A popular vegetable with the health-gurus and nutritionists, asparagus has numerous benefits when it comes to keeping the body fit. It contains a mix of vitamins that not only helps boost energy but also, helps in cleansing our body, and improving the development and functioning of our brain. Nutritionists term it as a “well-balanced vegetable, even among nutrient-rich vegetables.”
Be it a disease like diabetes, or certain cancers like bone, breast or lung, asparagus has been proven to protect and fight against all of them. Being vastly low in calories, it can be consumed raw or cooked. In the latter case, however, it is very important to keep the cooking way and time in check since wrong techniques can make it lose nutrients and become less effective.
Published studies recommend people to steam asparagus to be able to consume it at its maximum potential. Different sections of the vegetable have different sensitivities and require different care and cooking time. Therefore, we have enlisted the correct ways to steam it for you to be able to make your body stronger in more ways than one.
Different Ways to Steam Asparagus
How to Steam Asparagus Using a Steamer?
The most common, and probably also the easiest, way to steam asparagus is by using a steamer. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a steamer is a kitchen appliance that holds food in a small container and makes sure the steam has minimum escape points. The heat from the trapped steam is used to cook or prepare the food.
In this method, add three cups of water in the bottom part of the steamer and bring it to a boil. For the asparagus, it is essential to cut off the dry ends since they are not good for consumption. It is also recommended to not have the spears too thick. A hack for making them thinner is by using a vegetable peeler to peel them. Next, simply place it into the top half of the steamer. Let the steam cook it until the vegetable becomes soft and tender. Depending on how thick the asparagus is, the cooking time can range from five to ten minutes.
You can fry the steamed asparagus with butter and season it with salt, pepper, and other spices according to taste.
How to Steam Asparagus Without a Steamer?
Although a steamer is an easy solution to our problem of steaming asparagus, you may not have this appliance in your kitchen. Should you just forget about this miraculous vegetable and all its health benefits then? Absolutely not!
There are ways to steam asparagus without a steamer, too, that we will be discussing from now onwards. One alternative is to use a large skillet. Add water until it covers the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a light boil and then add the asparagus. Cover the skillet and leave it on medium heat, allowing steam from the boiling water to cook the asparagus until it is soft enough to be easily cut with a knife. The cooking time can range from three to five minutes.
How to Steam Asparagus in a Rice Cooker?
In case you did not find any of the above methods plausible, we have yet another technique to get you what you want. Here, we will walk you through the steps of how one can steam asparagus in a rice cooker. This common and often used kitchen appliance is probably available with you and ready to be used for this purpose.
You should start by understanding your rice cooker’s steam cooking settings and then preparing it accordingly. Next, you add water to the inner bowl until it is half full and bring it to a boil. Add the steamer basket that came with the rice cooker or any other one that fits and place the asparagus in it. Next, cover the rice cooker and let it cook until the asparagus is tender. The cooking time can range from ten to fourteen minutes.
You can open the lid to move the asparagus around to make sure it gets cooked evenly. The last step, again, is to season it to your liking.
Steaming Asparagus in the Microwave
Yet another tool that can serve our purpose perfectly is the food heating machine we all have in our homes. Yes, you guessed it, we are now going to be telling you how you can steam asparagus in a microwave. Believe it or not, this method is quicker than the previous one and does not require you to boil water.
After trimming and washing asparagus as done in all the above methods, place the asparagus on the paper towels and roll the towels around it. There should be different layers of asparagus and towel in the roll.
Next, place this roll into the microwave and let it cook for three minutes on high. If the asparagus is tender, you are done! If not, let it cook on high for another minute or two. Make sure you do not touch it directly with your hands when it is done because it will be very hot.
How to Steam Asparagus in an Oven?
The method used to steam asparagus in an oven is as simple as all the above methods. Get a baking sheet and put the asparagus in it. Each piece needs to touch the baking sheet for it to cook evenly. Next, top it with some olive oil and seasonings. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then cook the asparagus for twelve to fifteen minutes. Check if it is tender enough and you are done!
Asparagus is a vegetable proven to be helpful against many diseases and it is recommended for everyone to include this in their diet. The cooking time does not exceed more than 20 minutes. We have talked about different steps on how you can steam asparagus along with the time it will take for each. We ask you to choose the most suitable method for you and get cooking!