Health Benefits of Steamed Foods & Method of steaming

13 Jan 2016
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For many years health experts have claimed that steaming is a far healthier option as compared to the various conventional methods that we employ to cook. This debate has been a rage from quite sometime. Steaming works by continuously boiling water, which gives off steam and hence the vegetables are cooked.

  Method of steaming: There are two methods of steaming:

  • Low pressure
  • High pressure

In low pressure steaming food may be cooked by direct or indirect contact with the steam. Direct, in a steamer or in a pan of boiling water Indirect, is in between two plates over a pan of boiling water. High pressure steaming takes place in purpose-built equipment, which does not allow the steam to escape & hence reduces the cooking time.

 

Health Benefits of Steamed Food Diet:

Cooking with steam is both healthy and versatile - Here are some of the benefits:

1. RETAINS THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF FOOD:  Steam cooking helps in preserving the fiber, color, texture and flavor of vegetables, it also helps preserving the water soluble B & C vitamins, potassium, phosphorus & Zinc, hence, in boiled vegetables, important nutrients are preserved. Steaming preserves 90% of antioxidants in fresh vegetables.

2. DOES NOT REQUIRE OIL: Steam cooking does not require oil and therefore we get a completely healthy meal.

3. RETAINS CANCER FIGHTING COMPOUNDS: Many vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, have cancer-fighting components, called glucosinolates, which are destroyed when over-cooked. By steaming them at low temperatures and using only a small amount of water their amazing compounds are retained.

4. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: When cooking meats like chicken & fish, steaming removes the fat from the meat so it can be easily discarded whereas conventional cooking methods such as grilling, baking or frying, cook the fat into the meat. Getting rid of the fat makes the meat lower in calories and lower in cholesterol.

 

IN A NUT SHELL:

  1. Retains food valuable nutrients, vitamins & minerals.
  2. Maintains food moisture & freshness.
  3. Soften food fibers - steamed food is tender & easily digestible.
  4. Does not use cooking oil or fat - steamed food is light & healthy.
  5. Cooks food fast & healthy - the fresher the food the faster it cooks.
  6. Cooks all kind of food - poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits & desserts etc.
  7. Keeps food vibrant colors & natural flavors.
  8. Cooks over a single heat source by stacking trays - its economical & saves time.
  9. Keeps your kitchen clean - no oil, no smoke no mess - cleaning up is easy.

 

COMMON FOODS THAT CAN BE STEAMED:

FOOD GROUP

COMMON DISHES

CEREALS & PULSES

idlis, dhoklas, muthiyas, idiyappam, patra, steamed modaks, steamed barley/ quinoa pilaf

VEGETABLES & FRUITS

stewed veggies, steamed momos, stewed fruits

NON VEG

Poached egg, fish or chicken, egg pudding, steamed salmon.



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