The basic method for steaming is to put 1/2 inch of cold water in a pot. Insert a small metal vegetable steamer inside the pot, or an Oriental wooden steamer on top of the pot. Place the vegetables in the steamer along with a pinch of salt to bring out their natural sweetness. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender, depending on the size and thickness of the vegetables. When steaming, be careful not to over cook the vegetables. They should be slightly crispy and will continue to cook from the heat they have already absorbed even when the heat under the pot is turned off.

To keep their bright color, rinse the vegetables under cold water and do not cover them until they are cool or they will turn a dull color.

Left over steaming water may be used as soup stock or in a sauce.


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