Steam Cooking Bags

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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?
• Easy
• Ready-to-use
• 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.”

Pineapple Carrots
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!

  • Everyday
  • Nutritious
  • Just tastes great
  • Oh so low in fat and calories
  • Yummy

• 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.

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