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How long and how to best steam popular vegetables for delicious, healthy sides

Adding fresh vegetables to your meals is simple when you know how to steam them. This method helps cook them in a healthy and quick way that preserves the flavors you love. But how long do you need to steam your favorite veggies? And how should you go about doing it?

  1. Broccoli or cauliflower
  2. Asparagus
  3. Green beans
  4. Artichokes
  5. Carrots
  6. Sweet corn

This handy guide will walk you through how to steam popular vegetables and how long to do it, so they’ll have the best taste and texture each time!

Steaming broccoli or cauliflower

With broccoli more so than cauliflower, overcooking will make it more unappetizing. If you steam cauliflower too long, you can always correct it by adding cheese and making it into a cauliflower mac n’ cheese. But broccoli turns a vile green when you steam it for too long.

For both, get a steamer ready in your pot. Make sure the water is hot and steamy before you add your veggies. Once that water is hot, put the broccoli in for about 5 minutes for small florets of young, fresh broccoli. Larger florets of more mature broccoli will take about 6 minutes. To be sure, check with a fork at 5 minutes and keep an eye on the color which should be a vivid green.

Steaming asparagus

Asparagus can be steamed in a large skillet. You’ll want to put it over medium heat with just enough water to cover the bottom of your pan. Add a cover and steam it until the asparagus is fork-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Steaming green beans

Green beans are a notorious challenge in the kitchen, especially if you don’t want them too crispy. The easiest way to get the best results with steamy your green bean bounty is to use a steamer basket in a large saucepan with about 1 to 2 inches of water. Put your green beans in and bring them to a boil over high heat, then drop that heat down to medium and throw the cover on. Now you’ll start timing them to cook between 5 and 7 minutes, depending on the texture you like.

Steaming artichokes

Artichokes tend to stump many home cooks, but they’re easy to steam. They do take much longer than other vegetables though, so make sure you plan for that. After prepping the artichokes, add 1 inch of cold water to a large pot. Lemons add a nice fragrance to your artichokes when you drop them into the water, but it’s not necessary.

You’ll then put your steamer basket into the pot, then add the artichokes. Turn it up to high heat and get it boiling, then lower the heat down to simmer. Cover your artichokes and cook for 35 to 45 minutes. The outer leaves should peel away with complete ease when they are ready.

Steaming carrots

Since carrots take time to prep with peeling, get the water boiling. You’ll also want them to be cut to similar sizes to cook evenly. Then add them to the steamer basket in your pot. You will steam them for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.

Steaming sweet corn

The trick with sweet corn is not allowing the water touch the bottom of your steamer. Get the water boiling, then add your husked corn. Cover it up and steam for 4 minutes for crisper corn. If you like softer corn, do it for 7 minutes, and if you want it soft, steam it for 10 to 15 minutes.

Which one of these will you steam tonight?

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