Do you like carrots? Most of us do, don't we? There is a specific taste that we expect from foods be it any vegetable. So, some may like them raw, mashed, while some would prefer stir fried vegetables on their platter. Carrots on their part, are sweet and healthy root vegetables. Used in almost all foods, these make excellent salad foods, and a side dish with many recipes. More information tells us that they are good in fiber and sugar content, high in minerals and vitamins, and are a most vital source of carotene.
The most convenient way to eat carrots is by eating them raw, however, when cooked they taste the best. Cooking carrots narrows down to options like blanching, boiling and steaming them. Since carrots have most nutrients that are water soluble, boiling them while completely immersing them in water results in loss of vital nutrients in them. So boiling is not the most preferred option for cooking carrots. Steaming on the other hand, helps in cooking them just right and also helps in retaining most of the nutrients. Steaming is the most preferred way to cook, as it helps in retaining the color, shape, and texture. So they are cooked evenly and can be mashed, but are not water logged and over cooked. To help you cook carrots at their best, we have compiled a few easy and healthy ways on how to steam these amazing vegetables.
Steaming Carrots Without a Steamer
Steaming carrots is an easy and hassle free way to serve a cooked carrot side dish. All you need is carrots, a steamer basket, a sauce pan, a knife, and a peeler. The procedure without using a steamer is described in the following.
- Always choose fresh carrots uniform in color, texture and size. Avoid, limp and blemished carrots, or those which are greener or darker than normal at the crown.
- Wash and scrub the carrots, to get rid of dirt under cold running water. Always wash before using them, store carrots unwashed till use. After washing peel them. Baby carrots with a good texture need not be peeled, but some may require peeling.
- Place water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Place a steam basket on the pan. Make sure the water in the pan does not touch the bottom of the steam basket, as the water may come up through the holes.
- You may chop them or may keep them full length, if they are baby carrots. In case of big carrots it is advised that they be cut in pieces, about an inch. While there are many ways of cutting the carrot, it can be cut in stripes, cubes or sliced in rounds, you can cut carrots as per your convenience of eating.
- Now put these in the steamer and simmer for few minutes. Ideally carrots will take approximately 5 to 8 minutes to cook right. You can either cover the steamer or leave it open, keep a little gap for steam to escape.
- Check the water when half done, add more if the water level has gone very low. Check the carrots if they are done, use a fork and try to stick it in. Testing the carrot at intervals will help you get the exact crispness and softness.
- You can make use of an electric steamer too, or one can also steam carrots in a microwave. To steam in the microwave, place the carrots in a microwave safe bowl. Add a little water and cook for few minutes (4 to 5 min).
There you have, perfectly crisp yet soft carrots! Saute a little garlic and butter, spices, or sugar and honey, toss them and serve a delightful healthy platter! How to steam carrots is easy, and with a little time and testing, a healthy steamed carrot recipe is all set for the table!