As a chef I would recommend steaming as one of the methods of cooking as it is a rather healthy way of cooking food. But I would also say that experiment with this method and become more creative. If you look at the one extreme then in the earlier days the raw food diet was the healthiest! But not so any more because of the pesticide laden fruits and vegetables. In fact, steaming the food comes closer to the healthiest methods as steaming preserves the micronutrients to a great extent. Steaming means that the food never comes in contact with water and hence none of the essential nutrients get leached out. Steaming can be done without the addition of fat as a medium of cooking. Hence, those who are looking out for low fat food, then steaming is your method of cooking.
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• Steaming is also one of the easiest ways of cooking healthy food. For me, cooking as such is an easy activity. I have always found it easy to do. In any case, what is difficult at first, with time and practice becomes easy to do later. Steaming is just one method of cooking and once you start using this method regularly in the kitchen, you will not make too much of it! It is simple to do: for me, one pan of water with a sieve on it to hold the food, and steamer is ready! We all have the pressure cooker in the kitchen, so use the vessel without the whistle. That is a good steamer for you.
• I have also been asked how does the process of steaming work on food. Steaming, like I mentioned before, does not allow food to be in direct contact with water. See water boils at 100 deg C, in the pressure cooker it is at 105 deg C but steam is at 110 deg C. Food is not bothered by the source of heat, it just needs a medium of heat and steam is so potent that it cooks without disturbing the molecular structure of the cells. Water soluble vitamins will remain intact because food is not coming in contact with water. But the more volatile nutrients do get lost in steaming. Essential flavours do remain intact when food is steamed.
• I have also been asked how I steam food exactly. Like I said before, it was a matter of a large pan with a sieve earlier for me. Of late, have started using an excellent Ballarini steamer from my Wonderchef range of cookware. It is to be used on the gas flame and has a base pot that holds the water and then a number of stackable glass bowls that are also good enough to go directly onto the table for service.