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Since steaming vegetables is believed to be among the healthiest ways to prepare them, Wegmans recommends the method – and even provides an easy ways to do it.
"To preserve disease-fighting antioxidants, you need to minimize exposure to heat, light, and oxygen," noted Wegmans corporate nutritionist Jane Andrews in a statement. "One reason steaming is great is that it's very fast, so more nutrients remain at the end of cooking. Steaming also has an edge over boiling vegetables in water. During cooking, water leaches out some of the vegetables' water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and the B vitamins, as well as minerals like potassium. When you drain off the cooking water, some nutrients go right down the kitchen sink. If you steam vegetables, they’re not touching the water, and fewer nutrients escape."
Andrews added that steaming adds no sodium, fats, or calories vegetables.
The grocer carries in its fresh produce departments' refrigerated cases Wegmans-brand "Food You Feel Good About" triple-washed fresh vegetables in eight-ounce bags, which it suggests customers adapt for steaming. According to the company, "Just snip the bag in the corner, add a tablespoon of water for the steam, and microwave on high power for a couple of minutes, according to directions. Presto! You have a quick, healthy snack, lunch, or dinner side dish."
Varieties include asparagus tips, French beans, mixed beans, peeled baby carrots, snow peas, sugar snap peas, mixed baby squash, and baby vegetable medley (a mixture of sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and baby zucchini).
Wegmans suggests price-conscious shoppers use private label frozen vegetables that sell for 79 cents a bag to make customized veggie blends, which can be steamed in a microwave-safe container or a Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steaming bag.
The grocer further recommends a stainless-steel steamer insert that fits between the braising pan and the lid for stovetop steaming, and the addition of "just a little drizzle" of store-brand basting oil, a vinaigrette-style salad dressing, or an Asian-style sauce to enhance the flavor of the finished vegetables.