Over the past few months, many of us have embraced a healthier lifestyle. With recipes for immune-boosting meals and fitness classes all over the internet, changing our eating and exercise habits has become a whole lot easier. When it comes to cooking, steam is the best way to make the most of all those wonderful vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Using steam to prepare everything from fresh, seasonal vegetables to meat, seafood and desserts helps to retain essential vitamins that are otherwise lost when immersed in water. As well as being packed with goodness, food also tastes better. Texture, colour and flavour are all preserved when cooked with steam. This means less seasoning is needed and no oil either.
You may think that steam cooking is a complicated affair when in fact the opposite is true. Take Miele’s GourmetStar freestanding steam oven. This portable countertop appliance is designed to complement your existing appliances and features the very latest MonoSteam technology where steam is pumped into the cavity direct from the integrated water container. You can cook different dishes on three levels at the same time without transferring flavours and operation is simple with EasySensor touch controls. Cleaning the steam oven is also a quick task, as the flush control panel just needs a wipe down with a damp cloth. And when it comes to the dreaded descaling, there’s an automatic programme that does it for you. There’s no need to worry about plumbing in either. This freestanding steam oven can be placed on the kitchen worktop and plugged in, much like a microwave.
As well as enabling you to cook healthy meals for the family, Miele’s freestanding steam oven is great for when you want to experiment with something more exotic. It comes with a water container built in and offers fast heat up times and precise steam injection, which is distributed evenly across the entire oven interior. This means dishes are cooked at the exact temperature you want them to be within one degree, from 40-100˚C.
“Steam ovens offer vast flexibility in the kitchen,” says Neil Pooley, Category Manager for Kitchens at Miele GB, “allowing you to cook not only vegetables but a wide range of produce including meat, legumes, rice, pasta and eggs, giving delicious results and maintaining rich, natural flavours. A Miele steam oven can also be used to gently prove dough, melt chocolate, blanch food before freezing and sterilise baby bottles and jars, making it a real kitchen multi-tasker perfect for a busy household looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
A Miele steam also oven makes an ideal substitute for the microwave, offering similar features along with the added benefits of steam cooking. Defrosting is fast and easy with no need to turn food over half way through, while each item is always evenly defrosted with no icy spots. The same goes for reheating ingredients and meals. An uncovered plated dish or ready meal will be fully heated through in around four minutes with superior results to any other method. This is because steam ensures food doesn’t dry out, keeping it moist and full of flavour.
The Miele GourmetStar is such versatile appliance that there are 21, yes 21, ways of using it! Think soups, skinning tomatoes and sous-vide cooking or even making your own home-made yoghurt in a 40˚C steam oven for five hours. Steam cooking also uses lower temperatures, which means less energy, which is kinder on the planet as well as the pocket.
The cooking process itself is more gentle than other methods, so there’s no need to sear meat beforehand, and it can be used to feed the whole family all year round. For Miele’s Chef Ambassador Sven-Hanson Britt, a steam oven is a must for any passionate home chef and is the perfect solution for those who want professional-style steam cooking in their own kitchen but may not have the room for a built-in steam oven. “I use the Miele freestanding steam oven whether I'm cooking indoors or out,” he reveals. “It is perfect for slow cooking short ribs of beef and brisket, which will become extremely tender after a number of hours of being gently steamed. Finish on the barbecue to achieve a delicious smoky, charred texture. When the weather isn't so welcoming, I like to prepare summer inspired dishes of soft and tender whole fish, salads of grains, slow cooked beef, pork or lamb, which can all be confidently produced in the freestanding steam oven. I steam nearly all of my fish on the bone or whole with lots of summery aromatic flavours like fennel, basil and lemon, and thanks to the low temperatures the fillets are always moist and juicy.”
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