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Video:Steam Veggies in the Microwave

with Meghan Lynn Allen

Make dinner easier for yourself by learning how to steam vegetables in the microwave. Here, these step-by-step instructions will show you how to steam vegetables in the microwave easily.See Transcript

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Transcript:Steam Veggies in the Microwave

Hi, I'm Meghan Lynn Allen for About.com. If you're looking to steam vegetables but don't have the time it takes to steam them on a typical stovetop, then why not steam them in the microwave? Cuts the time, and it's a lot easier.

Microwave Steaming

First, let's talk about how microwave steaming works. Microwave heating works by heating the water content in your food. Where vegetables have a high water content, it's easy to steam. Food like meats, which have a higher fat content than water - sure you could steam them, but that just heats up the water inside. It's almost like you're boiling your meat. Vegetables come out tasty.

Tips for How to Steam Vegetables in the Microwave

When microwave steaming vegetables, the method across the board is generally the same. Cut those vegetables into small pieces, put them in a microwave safe bowl with about two inches of water - maybe as much water as it took to rinse off your vegetables - and cover with some safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner to vent.

How to Steam Asparagus

Let's look at asparagus. First, let's make sure your asparagus is clean. Run it under the sink, wash off each piece that you plan on using before you start. Then take as many spears as you plan on using, and find the natural breaking point and break off those hard ends.

Once you've popped off those ends, you can put your asparagus in the microwave safe dish and add about two inches of water, and microwave from four to six minutes. It depends on how tender you like your asparagus, you can always do a minute or two longer - after about four to five minutes, take one out, take a taste and go from there.

You want to make sure you cover it with plastic wrap, because that's what keeps the steam from escaping.

How to Steam Carrots

Now let's look at carrots. It's a similar procedure, just as easy. First, peel off the skin, peel your carrots, and cut them into quarter-inch pieces. That's a good thickness so they cook all the way through. You'll use that same microwave-safe dish, the same plastic wrap, and the same two inches or less of water. It cuts about three minutes off the time it would take to steam them on the stove, and that's not even counting the time it takes the water to boil.

How to Steam Squash

Another great vegetable to steam - and a little more interesting - is squash. You can steam all kinds of squash from spaghetti, to butternut, or to what I have right here - an acorn squash. Steaming squash is simple, and it takes up so much less time than if you were to cook it, bake it in the stove. So we slice it in half, scoop out the insides, and then steam it - upside down - on a plate face-down for four and a half minutes. Then you'll want to put it face up for four and a half minutes.

But before you steam it for that second round, add in whatever flavorings or seasonings you might want to put on the inside. It could be just a little salt and butter, maybe some brown sugar, some honey, maple syrup - or something different, like cheese.

Why It's Helpful to Steam Vegetables in the Microwave

Hopefully you've had some fun learning about how to steam your vegetables in a microwave and learned not only can they taste great, but save you some valuable time. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.

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