Do you love the convenience of using an Instant Pot? From rice side dishes to curries and desserts, it’s a versatile kitchen appliance. But have you ever tried steaming fresh vegetables in the Instant Pot? If not, you’re missing out on a quick, hands-free way to cook perfectly tender and nutritious veggies. In this guide, we’ll show you how to steam vegetables in the Instant Pot and why it’s the best method for retaining nutrients.
Steaming vs. Boiling: Which Method Preserves Nutrients?
When you boil vegetables, they come into direct contact with water, which can cause the nutrients to leach out. On the other hand, steaming vegetables in the Instant Pot prevents this nutrient loss. Steaming retains the vibrant colors of the vegetables and makes them look more appetizing.
How to Steam Vegetables in the Instant Pot
Now that you know the benefits of steaming, let’s get started with the process. Here’s what you’ll need:
Follow these simple instructions to steam vegetables in the Instant Pot:
- Rinse the fresh vegetables under cold running water to remove any dirt.
- Chop the veggies into equal-sized chunks.
- For a 6-quart Instant Pot, add 2 cups of water (1 cup for a 3-quart) to the steel inner pot.
- Place a trivet in the inner pot and top it with a steamer basket or steel bowl.
- Add the veggies to the steamer basket or bowl.
- Use the provided chart to determine the correct pressure cooking time for your vegetables.
- For non-starchy vegetables, perform a quick release of the pressure after the timer is up. For starchy veggies like potatoes, wait 5-10 minutes before releasing the pressure.
- Immediately move the steam valve to ‘venting’ to release the remaining pressure.
- Season the steamed vegetables with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings.
Tips for Perfectly Steamed Vegetables
Here are some tips to ensure your vegetables turn out perfectly every time:
- Use a steamer basket to prevent nutrient loss.
- Chop the vegetables into similar-sized pieces for even cooking.
- Avoid overcooking by performing a quick release for non-starchy vegetables and allowing a short wait time for starchy veggies.
- Steam vegetables with similar cooking times together for even results.
- Season the vegetables after cooking by sautéing them in olive oil or butter and adding salt and pepper to taste.
- You can cook vegetables in either low or high pressure, depending on the delicacy of the vegetables.
Instant Pot Vegetables Cooking Times
Steaming vegetables can be a bit tricky, but with the Instant Pot, it becomes a hands-free process. To help you out, here’s a cooking time chart for different vegetables:
|Vegetable||Cooking Time (Minutes)|
Remember, it’s better to undercook vegetables slightly as they can always be cooked again if needed. Avoid overcooking, as it can result in mushy vegetables that are no longer appetizing.
Variations to Try
Once you have perfectly steamed vegetables, here are a few variations you can try:
- Roast the veggies in butter or olive oil until they are nicely browned.
- Season with salt, pepper, or other spices like red chili flakes or garlic lemon pepper.
- Drizzle cilantro lime crema or store-bought dressing for added flavor.
- Toss the steamed veggies with cheese and air fry them for a minute at 375 degrees F.
- Finish off with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
Prep Ahead and Storage Tips
To save time, you can chop the vegetables up to 2-3 days in advance and steam them when you’re ready. Frozen vegetables can also be steamed in the Instant Pot without any need for thawing. Just note that it may take slightly longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
To store steamed vegetables, simply place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. When reheating, use a microwave or sauté the veggies in a pan with a little oil to crisp them up.
If you’re looking for more easy Instant Pot recipes, head over to Family Cuisine for a variety of vegetarian dishes, desserts, and rice recipes that you can enjoy with your steamed vegetables.
Now that you know how to steam vegetables in the Instant Pot, you can enjoy nutrient-packed, perfectly cooked veggies with minimal effort. Say goodbye to overcooked mushy vegetables and hello to healthy and delicious meals in no time. Happy cooking!