Many vegetables you can eat raw, of course, especially leafy vegetables, such as spinach, chard, kale, carrots, and celery. Root vegetables or starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and turnips, are much easier for many people to digest, if they are cooked, either boiled with soup, baked, stir-fried, or steamed. If you steam them lightly, then they may retain more of their nutrients than if you boil them.
The complete recipe includes :
- the vegetable, such as broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, or cauliflower,
- a healthy vegetable oil, such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil, or coconut oil,
- an herb (or spice), such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, cumin, coriander, or other.
You can vary the vegetable, the oil, and the spice, but the instructions are mostly the same, heating the water, cutting the vegetables, putting the cut vegetables in the steamer basket after the water starts to boil, waiting ten to twelve minutes, and then serving with more or less a teaspoon healthy oil, and then the herb.
In temperate climates, root vegetables are in season in the winter. My favorite recipe for steamed vegetables includes broccoli, hemp seed oil, and rosemary. Many other combinations are possible.
Steamed vegetables with oil and herbs
- Steamer basket
- 300-500 grams broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips or other vegetable
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, or butter
- 1-2 grams single herb or spice to taste, such as rosemary, thyme, cumin, coriander, fennel, red hot pepper, ginger, clove, basil, oregano, or other
- Put water in the bottom of a pot big enough to hold a steamer basket. Let the water level be lower than the basket, so that you cook by steam.
- Cut up the broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, Brussels sprouts or other vegetable into thumb-sized pieces. (If you steam carrots or parsnips or other root vegetables, then peel them before you cut them up.)
- After the pot of water starts to boil, put the cut up vegetables in the steamer basket, and then put the steamer basket in the pot of boiling water.
- Let the vegetables be steamed at least ten minutes, so that they are soft but not mushy (or to taste).
- When the vegetables are ready, soft but not mushy, turn off the heat, Optionally, wait ten minutes until the steamer basket is not too hot to handle.Transfer and then deposit the hot vegetables into a serving bowl. Nota bene. This can be a delicate operation the first time that you do this, transferring the vegetables from a hot steamer basket to a serving bowl. Using a glove or a utensil, hold the steamer basket steady without burning your hand, as you move it to the bowl. Then tip or transfer the vegetables from the basket to the serving bowl, possibly using another utensil or another glove to prevent burning your hand. Some steamer baskets are much better designed than others to make this transfer safely and quickly.
- To serve, drizzle the vegetables with good-quality vegetable oil, such as olive oil, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, or good-quality butter. One to two tablespoons suits most people, but some prefer more and some prefer less. The better the quality of the oil, the less likely that it has been adulterated or become rancid, or been subjected to high heat and harsh treatment, also the more likely it contains the healthy fats and other nutrients.
- Possibly individually, sprinkle the vegetables with the herb (or spice) to suit your taste and type, such as rosemary, cumin, fennel, coriander, ginger, red pepper, clove, basil, oregano, or other favorite herb or spice. One quarter of a teaspoon is about one gram. The better the quality of the herb, the more free it may be of pesticides and heavy metals, and also the greater its content of minerals and nutrients may be.