Take steamed food from bland to bold

Steaming meals is a great way to cut back on calories and make cleanup easy. But steamed foods sometimes get a bad rap for being bland and boring. 

That is, until now. Consumer Reports’ test kitchen has some great tips for savory steamed food. 

You don’t have to sacrifice flavor!

Whether you use a steam basket, an electric cooker, or a bamboo steamer, here are five CR tips to take your food up a notch.

Why just steam with water when you can infuse flavor with other liquids? 

Broth, beer, wine, or flavored vinegars will do. But avoid thick liquids like tomato sauce, which can burn.

You can even flavor the cooking liquid with things like lemon peel, dill, and sliced garlic.

Steam seafood with white wine, onion, lemon juice, and herbs. 

A little sesame oil goes a long way. 

And enhance chicken or potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

You can spice up your foods before steaming them by brushing on lemon juice or a flavored vinegar, and then patting ground spices right into the surface.

Marinating foods before steaming adds loads of flavor and tenderizes meat. 

A mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice makes fish taste fantastic.

And you can steam carrots with olive oil, cumin, coriander, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Finally, try using parchment paper or foil to make a sealed envelope for food that creates steam in the oven. 

Thin cuts of seafood are ideal for cooking this way. Surround the fish with a little oil, some greens, other veggies, and herbs.

The Consumer Reports food team wants to remind us to try to throw less food away. 

So after steaming food in those tasty liquids, boil them down afterward to concentrate the flavors, and pour over food as a sauce.

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