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Steaming isn’t just about weight loss! Tips and tricks to give your dishes some extra flavour with olive oil.  Whether it’s plain and simple or an infusion with aromatic herbs, olive oil  and steamed foods are a match made in heaven. Follow our advice below to enjoy a light, healthy meal.

What foods taste great steamed?

Pressure cookers, couscous makers, bamboo steamers placed over a wok or pan of boiling water, electric steamers, even steam ovens if you’re very well equipped... : there are several appliances you can use to steam food... and this method of cooking isn’t just reserved for vegetables and fish either!

Most ingredients lend themselves to this ancient cooking method: tender white meats (especially poultry), cereals and legumes, flans, sweet and savoury cakes, chocolate cakes, various desserts... Yes, you can even steam your pastries! There are plenty of recipes online and in books that are dedicated to steaming.

Why steam your foods?

Steaming isn’t a punishment invented by dieticians!

Give your food more flavour

Steaming food preserves its flavour, prevents it drying out and allows you to easily control its doneness. It’s also possible to flavour the steam by adding herbs, spices, zest, garlic cloves or shallots to the cooking water, or by placing them in the bottom of the steamer basket. You can also season the steamed food right at the beginning of cooking. A drizzle of olive oil infused with basil or oregano will give it that pop of extra flavour.

Keep nutrients in your food

Steaming also preserves nutritional qualities by better preserving water-soluble nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Gentle steaming, which doesn’t exceed 95°C, is particularly popular.

Make your dishes healthier

In addition to being delicious, steaming also has great nutritional benefits. In particular, it allows you to control the amount of fat in your food. It also removes the excess fat that’s released from certain meats and fish.

Reusing the cooking juices

The steamer has another advantage: when the steam rises and comes into contact with the food, it condensates and is collected in the container. During this process, it captures the flavours of the ingredients being steamed. The resulting liquid therefore makes a delicious addition to broths, soups and sauces.

Save time by preparing meals quickly

Finally, electric steamers with tiers or stacked bamboo baskets allow you to cook several foods at once, allowing you to easily juggle cooking times. Some foods, such as fish or shellfish, are ready almost instantly. Perfect for a busy weekend!

Adding extra flavour to steamed vegetables with olive oil

Unlike other cooking techniques such as grilling, baking or frying, steaming doesn’t produce the caramelised tastes found in grilled, roasted or sautéed vegetables. For this reason, olive oil makes the perfect finishing touch. Not only do you get to enjoy the natural flavours of the steamed vegetables, but you can also enjoy the subtle flavours of raw oil, whose flavours are often destroyed by high temperatures. There’s a huge variety of olive oils since the origin, fruitiness and aromatics all create a distinct taste, so there’s a wide array of flavours you can choose from. Whether it’s garlic, rosemary or lemon thyme, infused oils offer the taste of aromatic herbs all year round.

Recipe ideas for steaming with olive oil

Let’s start simple: light and easy vegetable recipes. Steamed aubergine caviar is made by mixing or crushing the vegetable’s flesh with a dash of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Another delicious vegetarian steaming recipe is the Algerian Kabyle couscous, made with semolina and seasonal vegetables, all steamed and drizzled with an excellent extra virgin olive oil.

Fish also lends itself to steaming since this method of cooking doesn’t dry out its flesh. Why not try steamed cod and seasonal vegetables (cauliflower, carrot, fennel, potato, beetroot...)? Don’t forget to add a fresh aioli sauce made with aromatic garlic olive oil! As for meat, steamed chicken fillets are perfect in mixed salads, especially in a Caesar salad spiced up with a drizzle of aromatic Espelette chilli olive oil.