Why do I steam my baby's food?
Well, I do so because it is not only easy, it also retains the moisture and does not dry out the food, as can be so easily done when you only want to warm up 5 tablespoons worth of food. Does it take longer .... YES! but it is generally a healthier form of cooking than say a microwave, and it also retains a lot of nutrients as it doesnt get "washed" away which you can get with boiling.
I have an electric steamer , so its quite easy for me, but what if you don't, or what if there is no reliable electricity to use the electric steamer? Well, there is a more manual approach to it and most meals take only about 30 mins to re-heat, maybe up to an hour if you are cooking from scratch.
Pot steamers come in different forms, a few of them are listed below
- The stackable pot/steamer sets that many people have but have never used the steamer attachment ( yes we are all guilty, the steamer bit is still very shiny and we sometimes use it to wash carrot, cabbage and green pepper at Christmas/ Easter when we want to make fried rice or salad
|Single layer steamer attachment.|
|Multi- level steamer attachment|
2. The mesh baskets you can insert into a pot. Now I know most people use this for deep frying but yes it does have another purpose and can work very well as a steamer.
|basket attachments: the one in the middle is mostly used in combination with a deep pot for deep frying|
You just suspend over your pot as usually and rather than fill with oil, you just partially fill with water to below the mesh and voila!
3: To even the humble colanders that you can suspend over your pot!
This ( picture below) is came with my pressure cooker, it is essentially a food separator but i can also use it as a steamer in this configuration.
Iplace the little angles in the bottom of the pot to elevate the perforated bowl and add some water
Place the mesh bowl on the angles and place whatever I need to cook in it. I either use a plastic bowl with a cover or a glass jar with a cover. just make sure the water is below the perforated bowl.
Cover tightly and put on the hob or stove for the water to boil.
Do I steam only baby food?
Of course not! I use my steamer for other food stuff. I haven't boiled yam or plantain or potatoes in like 3 years and i don't think i can, without it turning into pottage, i steam all my veg - carrots, broccoli, beetroot, etc. i also steam fish and chicken, and you can also steam rice, eggs, or beans basically anything that can be boiled, can be steamed.
If you are steaming food in containers, make sure there is a bit of liquid in it.
For things like carrots, potatoes, yam and other veg, simply place in the veg in the perforated bowl for the steam to cook directly.
For meat, chicken of fish, make sure you wrap in foil before you do place in your steamer - keeps it super moist! also make sure it is completely defrosted as well if it has been frozen.