Cooking with a steamer is an easy and healthy way to prepare meals. But can you steam lentils in a steamer?
Well, the answer is yes! Steaming lentils in a steamer are one of the best and easiest ways to cook them.
Not only does it preserve their nutritional value, but it also cooks them quickly and evenly.
In this article, we’ll discuss why steaming lentils is a great method and provide tips for cooking them perfectly every time.
Let’s get into it!
The Benefits Of Steaming Lentils
The health benefits of steaming lentils are numerous. Steaming is a great way to cook lentils quickly and retain the most nutrients possible.
It helps maintain their shape and texture while retaining essential vitamins and minerals.
Additionally, it’s also low in fat, cholesterol-free, and high in fiber and protein, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to add more plant-based foods to their diet.
Compared to boiling or simmering lentils on the stovetop, steaming them can help preserve more of the nutritional content as well as help retain flavor because less liquid is used during the cooking process.
Since no additional fats or oils are needed during the cooking process, this method can help reduce calories from unhealthy sources that would otherwise be added through traditional methods like frying or sautéing.
Steamed lentils are versatile, too. You can use them as a side dish with your favorite meal or incorporate them into salads for an extra dose of nutrition throughout the day.
You can blend cooked lentils with other ingredients to make nutritious soups and sauces. It’s perfect for those seeking healthy alternatives to their favorite meals without sacrificing taste!
See also: Can You Steam Kale In A Steamer?
What’s The Difference Between Boiling And Steaming Lentils?
The main difference between boiling and steaming lentils is the cooking time. Boiling lentils only takes about 20 minutes, while steaming them can take up to an hour.
Boiled lentils are cooked in water until they become soft and tender, whereas when you steam them, the moisture from the steam cooks them slowly over a longer time.
Boiling lentils is one of the quickest ways to cook them as it requires minimal preparation beforehand.
All that needs to be done is rinse them in cold water and then add them directly into a pot with enough liquid (usually twice as much liquid as there are lentils).
This method allows for more control over how they’re cooked since you can monitor their level of doneness by checking if they’ve reached your desired consistency.
Boiled lentils retain some shape and texture after being cooked, making them great for salads or soups where you want some bite left within each grain.
Steaming also preserves essential nutrients better than boiling because less liquid interacts with the food thanks to its contained environment inside the pot or pan used for cooking.
This is also due to their slow-cooking process via indirect heat from steam.
These legumes have an almost pureed-like texture making them ideal for sauces or dips without having too many chewy bits present throughout!
See also: Can You Steam Mussels In A Steamer?
Type Of Steamers For Steaming Carrots
The best type of steamer for steaming carrots is an electric steamer. An electric steamer offers convenience and flexibility when cooking vegetables, as you can quickly adjust the heat settings to get your desired results.
It also allows you to steam multiple ingredients at once without having to worry about overcrowding or uneven heating. Plus, it’s easy to clean and takes up minimal counter space.
Electric steamers are designed with numerous features that make them ideal for preparing various dishes, including carrots.
For instance, they often come equipped with adjustable temperature settings so you can easily customize the heat needed depending on your cooking vegetable.
In addition, many models feature a timer setting so that food is cooked perfectly every time without any guesswork involved.
Electric steamers also provide even heat distribution throughout the entire basket, so each veggie gets cooked evenly — no more half-cooked or over-cooked veggies!
These devices typically have removable baskets, making it super simple to transfer your food from the unit into serving dishes after they’ve finished cooking.
Finally, electric steamers are more energy efficient than other types, such as a stovetop or microwave steamers.
It’s because they use only a fraction of the electricity required by traditional methods like boiling water in a pot on the stovetop or using microwaves for cooking foods like carrots quickly but not necessarily evenly.
How To Clean Lentils Before Steaming?
The best way to clean lentils before steaming is to rinse them thoroughly with cold water. This helps remove dust, dirt, and other debris on the lentil’s surface.
Additionally, sorting through the lentils for any small stones or other foreign matter that may have made its way into your container is important.
After sorting and rinsing, you can begin prepping your lentils for steaming by following your recipe instructions.
See also: Can You Steam Noodles In A Steamer?
How To Steam Lentils In An Electric Steamer?
Start by filling the steamer’s water reservoir with cold water according to whatever instructions are included with your specific model of the electric steamer.
Place desired amount of lentils in the top tier or bowl of the steamer, making sure not to fill it above the maximum line indicated on most models.
Then, put on a tight-fitting lid and plug in your electric steamer, then turn it to the ‘On’ position and set a timer for 15 minutes (or as per directions).
Monitor progress during cooking time. If necessary, add more cold water so that all ingredients remain submerged beneath the liquid level throughout the process.
This will ensure even cooking results for both ingredients. If you have added too much liquid, remove some using a ladle before beginning step five below.
When the timer goes off, indicating the end of cook time, unplug the unit from the wall outlet and carefully lift either one side or the entire top layer/bowl off the steam chamber.
This allows hot air/steam to escape into the open area. Be careful not to burn yourself on any remaining heat source inside the chamber.
Check cooked lentils by pressing lightly against them with fork tines. They should be tender but still, hold their shape when pressed gently against the surface. If necessary, add a couple of minutes back onto the timer until desired texture is achieved.
Finally, use a spoon or slotted ladle to scoop out cooked lentils from the steam chamber and any accompanying liquids, then discard used lids/containers appropriately before serving.
See also: Can You Steam Onions In A Steamer?
Can You Steam Dry Lentils?
Yes, you can steam dry lentils. To do this, spread the lentils on a baking sheet and bake in an oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until they are completely dry.
Can You Steam Lentils In A Rice Cooker?
Yes, you can steam lentils in a rice cooker! This is an excellent way to cook lentils while preserving their nutritional value quickly.
Plus, it’s easy and convenient since most modern rice cookers have a steam function.
Do You Have To Soak Lentils Before Cooking Them?
Yes, it is recommended to soak lentils for at least 4 hours before cooking them. This helps reduce the cooking time and makes them easier to digest.
Which Colour Lentils Are The Healthiest?
Red lentils are considered the healthiest type of lentil, as they contain the highest levels of protein and fiber.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Eating Lentils?
The main disadvantages of eating lentils are that they can cause digestive issues such as gas and bloat and contain antinutrients that can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Some people may be allergic to lentils or have difficulty digesting them.
Conclusion: Can You Steam Lentils In A Steamer?
The answer is yes, you can steam lentils in a steamer! Steaming lentils can be a quick and easy way to cook a nutritious meal full of flavor.
Making your favorite dish takes time, patience, and the right ingredients. Follow the step-by-step guide discussed above, and don’t hesitate to get steaming today.