Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook vegetables, as it retains the nutrients and vitamins. Vegetable steamer baskets make it easy.

Rinse vegetables in cool water and slice into the desired size. Smaller pieces cook more quickly.

Fill a medium pot roughly 1/3 of the way with water and set it on high heat until it boils rapidly. Then, turn the heat to low.

Place the vegetables in the steamer basket and lower the basket into the pot. The water should not cover the vegetables, but it's fine if it touches them.

Place a fitted lid tightly over the pot to capture the steam inside. Know general cooking times for vegetables to avoid lifting the lid and checking them frequently; this allows too much of the steam to escape and significantly lengthens cooking time. Properly steamed vegetables should still have a firm texture.

Lift the steamer basket out with a potholder. Let the vegetables stand in the steamer over the sink or a bowl to let excess water drain out.

Once the vegetables are drained, they're ready to serve.

Tip

Cooking times vary for different vegetables, so keep that in mind if you want to steam several kinds at once. You can always add the longest ones first and then the ones that take less time toward the end.