Steam Cooking Bags
Bags designed for steaming in the microwave have popped up in the both the fresh produce and frozen food sections of the grocery store. Now we’re finding these bags with the wraps and foils for do-it-yourself steam bags. But is this new invention a good idea when you can achieve the same steamed cooking results using a covered dish in the microwave?
• May encourage more vegetable eating
• Easy clean-up
• Prepare ahead and refrigerate
• Easy to take with you
• Steam cooking= great color and less nutrient loss
• Recipes for creative steamed complete meals in the microwave
• Prices of some frozen vegetables prepackaged in steam cooking bags very cost effective
• Price: do-it-yourself bags range from $.25-$.50 each
• Prepackaged fresh produce more expensive in ready-to-cook bags
• Steam vent in do-it-yourself bags allows for some leakage if storing moist products
• Some prepackaged frozen products have added fats and sodium
• Adds more waste to the environment
Cheryle Syracuse, MS, writes, “Did a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday and was pleased to find good deals on frozen veggies. One pound of frozen (nothing added) vegetables in a steam cooking bag was on sale for $.99 (regular $1.99--which I thought was good for a whole pound of vegetables). Fresh produce was more expensive at $2.89 for 12 ounces.
Both Ziplock and Glad claim their plastics are safe for contact with foods.
I think the biggest pro---it may get people to eat more vegetables because of the ease. My husband said he might even pop a bag of vegetables in the microwave because it's quick and ready to go with built-in instructions.”
1 pound baby carrots
1 cup canned pineapple chunks, drain well
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp corn starch
½ tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp butter
Seal all ingredients in a steam cooking bag or microwave container and mix to combine ingredients. Cook on full power for 6 minutes. Allow bag to stand for one minute before handling. Shake bag to coat carrots and pineapple. Test carrots for doneness; add more time in 30 second intervals until desired level of tenderness.
For more great veggie ideas, see the April 2002 issue of CFFH for “Fool Them to Eat Better” and get great ways to sneak more veggies!
Recipe by Cheryle Syracuse, MS.
Enjoy Your Veggies!
- Just tastes great
- Oh so low in fat and calories
• Enjoy lots of vegetables everyday for good health. Try to include some dark green leafy vegetables, beans and orange vegetable at least several times every week. Almost everyone would benefit from eating a few more vegetables everyday.
• The nutritional benefit in vegetables is impressive. Eating plenty of vegetables may help reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and some cancers. Vegetables are naturally high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
• Vegetables just taste good. Select fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% juice for a variety of flavors, textures and combinations. Try some new ones!
• You can eat lots of vegetables and have a healthy diet. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Vegetables are naturally high in dietary fiber, which can help you feel fuller, faster and can help you eat less calories. Fiber is good for your digestive system, too.
• Vegetables add color, textures and yummy flavors to your snacks and meals. They are quick, natural and convenient.
By Cheryle Syracuse, MS.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.