How to Bring More Flavor to Steamed Vegetables

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Steamed vegetables are undeniably healthy, visually appealing, and tasty. But maybe you want them to be even more delicious. There are ways, trust me! Here’s how you can bring more flavor to steamed vegetables.

Flavor is a complex thing and something you learn in time to build and expand upon. If you’ve been learning all the basics when it comes to cooking vegetables, then it’s time to step up your game, just a little. If you’re a vegetarian or just on a diet and trying to eat healthier and better for your body, then veggies are a nice thing to cook frequently.

But in order to avoid a mind and mouth-numbing routine, you can switch things up every time and bring more flavor to this simple dish. There are plenty of ways out there. Way more than when we were kids and taught to eat our veggies. There are so many items at the grocery store or in the supermarket aisles that can bring new perspectives and points of view to old boring dishes.

7 ways to bring more flavor to steamed vegetables

1. Salt and pepper

A dish is never going to taste great if salt and pepper aren’t involved in it in the slightest. It’s remarkable to me when I see how many people forget to add any of those in their dishes. Salt helps food to cook, chemically. It helps break down the molecules. And it’s even more healthy than it seemed until recently.

And it doesn’t do any good if you add the salt at the end, while the veggies are on your plate. It just doesn’t taste the same.

How to Bring More Flavor to Steamed Vegetables
Seasoning any dish with salt and pepper is Basic Flavor 101.

2. Olive oil

Olive oil has a very important purpose in cooking: being a type of fat, it absorbs the flavor of everything around it and helps transfer it to the food items. So drizzle a little on top of the steamed vegetables and then wonder at the results. You can also use butter, that other type of great cooking fat.

3. Vinegar

You can use something acidic like vinegar (any type of vinegar, balsamic or red wine) or apple cider to bring some extra flavor to your veggies. One or two tablespoons should be enough for the task so don’t overdo it. Pour these tablespoons over the cut veggies before you add them in the colander overheat.

4. Soy sauce or broth

Start with one or two tablespoons of soy sauce, vegetable broth, or chicken broth and add them to the water in the pot before adding the vegetables. They will turn to steam along with the water and bring a touch of flavor to your veggies as well while they’re cooking. If you add soy sauce, be careful with extra salt on your veggies. Try to keep the sodium as balanced as possible.

How to Bring More Flavor to Steamed Vegetables
You can add some soy sauce to add extra flavor to your vegetables.

5. Lemon juice

The acidity of the lemon juice can only do wonders for the vegetables. Don’t go overboard, though, just use a drizzle of it on the veggies before adding them to the steamer basket or colander. It will give them an interesting taste. On that note, experiment with lime juice and even orange juice, too. You might end up with something that has miraculous flavor.

6. Garlic

What doesn’t garlic improve? I know I don’t have to advertise it anymore, but its flavor is so amazing, I could add it to anything. For steamed vegetables, it’s best to mince or crush the garlic and then saute it while the vegetables are steaming. Don’t add it at the beginning of the process, because it cooks so quickly! The flavor it emanates will be so amazing!

7. Herbs

You can add whole sprigs of fresh herbs to your steamed veggies, but also do it near the end of the cooking process, because they might lose their flavor otherwise. Try rosemary, thyme, or parsley for this task. You can also chop some of them and garnish your wonderful steamed veggies with the herbs!

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6 thoughts on “How to Bring More Flavor to Steamed Vegetables”

  1. I like your suggestions to improve the flavor of steamed veggies.
    As usual a bit short on the details.
    When and how much to add.
    In the water? on the veggies, before steaming, during or after.
    Great ideas but when you don’t give specific details, new cooks are reluctant to try.
    For example: # 1 does the salt and pepper go on the veggies or in the water and at what point in the steaming process.
    If you are seasoned cook you likely know this stuff.
    A reprint of your article with better details would be helpful to me.

  2. I liked your idea using garlic, rosemary and lemon. My wife and I are vegans and have decided to omit salt and eat our vegies au natural…cooked of course. I’m looking for some different dips. Any suggestions?

    1. You are (almost) right. But that’s the whole idea of this story: steaming per se DOES NOT bring out the flavor, so here are some tricks that you could try in order to retrieve the lost flavor of your steamed veggies. You’re welcome! 🙂

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