Carrots taste great no matter how they’re served: raw, caramelized, roasted, sautéed, juiced or steamed. Steaming them, though, preserves their beneficial nutrients, as well as their flavors, textures and colors. It’s also quick, easy and a great way to get them ready for a sweet glaze or a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
We’re here to show you how to use a steamer basket—and two even simpler ways to cook your carrots.
In a Steamer Basket
A steamer basket (like this one) is the most obvious choice for steaming vegetables—because it works!
Thoroughly rinse the carrots with cool water to remove any dirt. Then, prepare them any way you’d like: peel, chop or julienne them—just make sure you keep the pieces consistent in size. Varying sizes will lead to under- and over-cooked bites in your dish.
Add about 1 inch of water and a dash of salt to a saucepan, then bring it to a boil. Place the carrots in the steamer basket. Carefully position the basket over the boiling water. Use the lid to cover the saucepan, leaving a small gap to allow the steam to vent. Steam the carrots for about 5 to 10 minutes or until tender.
Drain the carrots in a colander. Transfer to a bowl and toss with any seasonings of your choosing. (One of these easy flavored butters would be absolutely delish.)
In a Frying Pan
Frying pans (like this cast-iron workhorse) heat up quickly and can be used to cook an endless variety of ingredients for mouthwatering dishes—even steamed carrots. Here’s how:
Rinse and prep your carrots. Add about 1 inch of water—just enough to create steam—to a large frying pan with a fitted lid. Add a dash of salt to the water and bring it to a boil.
Carefully place the carrots into the water. Then, cover the pan with the lid and leave to simmer. When the carrots are done, the water will have evaporated. Test the carrots with a fork: If the prongs slide through the carrot with ease, they’re done!
Carefully pour any excess water from the pan, or drain the carrots in a colander. Serve them however you like.
In the Microwave
Your microwave happens to be super handy for steaming carrots and other veggies. What you lose in precision with the microwave method, you gain in convenience. (Easy cleanup? Yes, please.)
Rinse and prepare the carrots to your desired shape. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl—covered with a plate or lid, never plastic wrap—with about 2 tablespoons of water, and microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes. When ready, the carrots should be tender (again, test with a fork). Finish with the ingredients of your choice and serve.
Microwaves can do so much more than you think! Check out these 20 life-changing microwave hacks.
Whichever method you choose, steaming carrots is simple enough for any weeknight. Now if only getting kids to eat vegetables were so easy…
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