Gadget Friday: Steamer Basket

One great way to infuse tea into your food is by using it to steam vegetables. We’ve done everything from peas and broccoli to artichokes and asparagus. It’s one of the simplest ways to cook with tea – literally all it takes is a little bit of tea in the bottom of the saucepan and the steamer basket full of veggies placed into the pan. Then in less than 10 minutes, voila! You now have a tasty way to eat your veggies. Plus it retains more nutrients than other cooking methods and no oil or fat is needed.

(One word of caution … choose your tea and veggie pairings carefully. We learned the hard way just how thoroughly the tea infuses the first time Alan tried this. He used mint tea to steam asparagus … NOT a good combination!)

Check out this short video:


Here are the two steamer baskets we use:

Stainless Steel Steamer Basket (available at Sur La Table)

This durable stainless steel model fits in a variety of pot sizes and won’t react with foods. It folds up neatly for storage and is dishwasher-safe. But be careful when removing from the pan because it will be hot!


Joseph Joseph Lotus Steamer (available at Sur La Table)

But our favorite is this colorful model from Joseph Joseph, made of silicone and polypropylene. The coated feet won’t scratch surfaces and the top handle is heat-resistant. It’s also dishwasher-safe.

(Note: While you may see reviews from people complaining about this melting, we chalk that up as user error. If you use an adequate amount of liquid and steam only on medium heat, you shouldn’t have a problem. We never have!)


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