Vegetable Steaming 101

Steaming vegetables is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get vegetables at each meal. It’s time to ditch the mushy boiled veggies and expensive prepackaged steamer bags.

Learn this simple cooking technique and start steaming your own fresh vitamin-packed veggies!

Did you know:

Quick Start Guide

A steaming pot usually looks something like this: 

Steamer-pot set

Stainless Steel Steamer basket

3-Tier steamer-pot set

Steaming How-To

1. Place an inch and a half of water into a pot, and heat to boiling.

2. Put your vegetables into the steamer basket and place the lid on.

3. Cook for 5-10 min with the lid on. Poke with a fork to check doneness. (cooking times vary. See chart below for recommended cooking times)

Now, let’s get to it!

The Table below lists a number of vegetables, their recommended cooking times as well as seasoning ideas.

Vegetable

Size / Preparation

Cooking Time

How to season

Artichokes

Steam whole artichokes

25-40 min

Season with extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest

Asparagus

Whole spears, thick spears peeled lightly

7-13 min

Serve with olive oil combined with lemon zest, or olive oil combined with sesame seeds

Asparagus

Cut into 2-inch pieces

4-7 min

Season with olive oil combined with lemon zest or sesame seeds

Beans, green

Whole beans

6-10 min

Season with garlic

Beans, wax

Whole beans

6-10 min

Season with garlic

Beets, small or medium-sized

Whole, unpeeled beets scrubbed clean; peel off the skins after steaming

35-50 min

Season with fresh thyme

Beet greens

Cleaned and coarsely chopped

7-9 min

Drizzle with olive oil

Broccoli

Trimmed stalks

8-12 min

Season with olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar

Broccoli

Trimmed stalks split in half or florets

5-7 min

Extra-virgin olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar

Brussels sprouts

Whole, trimmed

8-15 min

Season with fresh thyme

Brussels sprouts

Trimmed and halved

6-8 min

Season with fresh thyme

Cabbage

Cut in wedges

6-10 min

Lemon or lime juice

Carrots

Cut into ¼-inch thick slices

7-10 min

Season with honey combined with cinnamon or ginger

Carrots, baby

Whole baby carrots

10-12 min

Season with honey combined with cinnamon or ginger

Cauliflower

Florets

5-10 min

Lemon or lime juice

Celery root

Cut into ¼-inch thick matchsticks

5-7 min

(celeriac)

Celery stalks

Cut into ½-inch thick slices

4-9 min

Season with seeds

Corn on the cob

Whole, husks removed

7-10 min

Homemade chicken or vegetable stock

Daikon radishes

Peeled and cut into chunks

8-12 min

Season with fresh herbs

Chicory (endives)

Cut in half lengthwise

5-10 min

Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice

Fennel bulbs

Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices

8-10 min

Season with olive oil and basil (or lemon)

Jerusalem artichokes

Peeled or scrubbed; sliced

5-8 min

Serve with arugula or fresh herbs such as chives or parsley

Jerusalem artichokes

Whole tubers, peeled or scrubbed

20-25 min

Serve with arugula or fresh herbs such as chives or parsley

Kale

Trimmed

4-7 min

Drizzle with olive oil and crushed garlic

Kohlrabi

Peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

5-8 min

Toss with parsley and olive oil

Leeks

Trimmed, cut in half

5-8 min

Season with your favorite vinaigrette

Okra

Fresh whole okra, trimmed

6-8 min

Season with lemon/lime juice and parsley, or with sauteed scallions

Onions, pearl

Whole onions, peeled

8-12 min

Parsnips

Peeled and cut into ½-inch slices

7-10 min

Season with fresh herbs such as oregano or parsley

Peas, green

Fresh, shelled peas

2-4 min

Season with fresh herbs (such as mint) or lemon juice

Peas, sugar snap

Whole pea pods, trimmed

5-6 min

Season with fresh herbs (such as mint) or lemon juice

Potatoes, all

Peeled or scrubbed clean, cut into ½-inch slices

8-12 min

Toss with fresh parsley, rosemary or dill

Potatoes, new

Whole, scrubbed clean

15-20 min

Toss with fresh parsley, rosemary or dill, or with chopped red onions

Radishes

Whole radishes, trimmed

7-14 min

Season with chopped scallions or chives

Scallions

Cut into ½-inch slices

3-5 min

Spinach

Cleaned, whole leaves

3-5 min

Season with olive oil and garlic, or sesame seeds

Squash, butternut

Peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

7-10 min

Season with honey, lemon juice, and rosemary

Turnips

Cut into 1/2-inch cubes

8-12 min

Season with olive oil and fresh herbs

Turnip greens

Cleaned and coarsely chopped

4-6 min

Season with olive oil and garlic

Sweet potatoes

Cut into large chunks

8-12 min

Season with honey and lemon juice

Swiss chard

Coarsely chopped leaves

3-5 min

Serve with chopped fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, olive oil and pepper

Zucchini

Cut into 1-inch slices

5-8 min

Season with olive oil, lemon/lime juice, and fresh herbs (such as thyme or rosemary)

Source: http://www.healwithfood.org/chart/vegetable-steaming-times.php#ixzz3p0lC5pPA