Steamed vegetables get a bad wrap. But when prepared right, they’re not just a healthy way to enjoy your veggies, they’re super delicious -- and versatile, to boot. We share our tips for making the perfect steamed veggies (every time!) and seasoning them like a plant-based boss.
Steaming vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to eat them. But if you grew up with Grandma’s mushy steamed veggies you may worry it’s also the blandest way to eat them. Nothing like a mouthful of soggy broccoli to put you off steaming forever. But we’re asking you to give steamed vegetables another shot. Why? When done right, steamed vegetables are delicious and crisp! Plus, they’re a quick and easy way to prepare vegetables, so you can get out of the kitchen and on with your life.
All you need is a little guidance...
Note: soft veggies like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans will cook faster (in 4-6 minutes) than harder ones like carrots, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and squash (6-12 minutes). Peas and non-cruciferous leafy greens (spinach, baby bok choy, arugula) are lightning fast -- ready in 3 minutes or less.
Pro tip: if you’re mixing and matching from these groups, add the longer-cooking veggies first.
Strapped for time? Microwave-ready steam veggie packs from the grocery store are a perfect solution for the busy plant-based eater.
OK, OK...your vegetables are steamed up to perfection. Now for the fun part.
Give your steamed vegetables some pizazz with our go-to seasoning tricks:
1. Sprinkle with low-sodium Tamari/soy sauce. Or try Bragg’s Coconut Aminos for a soy-free and just-as-tasty alternative.
2. Add nutritional yeast! No plant-based kitchen is complete without nutritional yeast and it’s the perfect addition to your steamed vegetables (or popcorn -- seriously, try it on popcorn! You can thank us later). Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast and it adds a slightly nutty and cheese-like flavor. Not to mention, it’s packed with vitamin B12. Here’s the scoop on why you need B12 in your plant-based diet ASAP.
3. Toss on some minced garlic (sauteed first) or if you’re short on time, lay on that garlic powder. Maybe carry mints for later though...
4. Go for citrus! A squirt of lemon juice or lime juice adds zip in seconds.
5. Give it a tang with balsamic vinegar.
6. Experiment with fresh herbs: dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, basil, mint!
7. Get Asian inspired: whisk fresh ginger and some Chinese 5 spice into Bragg’s Coconut Aminos then toss to combine.
8. Top with toasted sesame seeds for a delightful crunch.
9. Lay on the heat with a dash (or more) of red chili flakes.
10. Don’t be afraid to explore your spice cabinet. Here’s our easy guide to salt-free seasonings. And good news: you probably have most of these on hand already!
There’s a whole wide world of delicious steamed vegetables out there and it’s yours for the taking. Remember, the perfect steamed veggies are all about: