How Do You Steam Carrots??

Updated on February 23, 2009
D.C. asks from Walnut Creek, CA
22 answers

I tried steaming some carrots in the microwave and they became shriveled and dry. How much water should I put? Does it matter how many carrots I put in? If I put too much water will the nutrients seep out?? Thanks!!

2 moms found this helpful

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Thanks for the help! I appreciate it! Sounds so simple!

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J.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Microwaving them seeps out more nutrients than anything else. To steam carrots, get a steamer to put over boiling water and cook the carrots until they're tender, but still bright orange. Their color is the best indicator of their nutrients because beta-carotene is what makes them orange, so the more orange the better!

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L.S.

answers from Salinas on

Try Ziploc Zip'n steam bags. The vegetables taste great and no need for any extra pots or water. Carrots take only about 5 to 6 minutes depending on the type you are using. I also steam frozen vegetables in these baggies as well. You can add whatever type of seasoning you like and no mess. The directions are on the baggies and you can even steam seafood, poultry and meats. You can find these baggies where ever the foil and plastic wrap is located. I have found them cheap at WalMart. Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Microwave veggies suck. Gross texture and bad flavor. Get a steam basket (or use a pasta pot - that's what I use) and put in in a big pot with water underneath and let the steam do its work.

** NOTE**
Once you have your water hot and going at full boil - you can steam other veggies too. I do carrots, and then broccoli, and then cauliflower - or whatever. If the water is hot, take advantage of the time it takes to get it that way and steam as much as you can! I usually don't steam different veggies all at one time because they cook at different rates but I use that hot water until there is nothing left to steam or no water left!! Total time saver!!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

You've already gotten some good advice about alternate steaming methods. I just wanted to add that because of their high mineral content fresh carrots can actually create sparks in the microwave. Slightly dangerous and very creepy.

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S.M.

answers from Fresno on

I bought a small steamer at Target for $20, I've had it over a year now and it works great. We just had steamed carrots the other night and they came out perfect. I've never tried steaming anything in the microwave so I'm not sure about how much water.

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S.M.

answers from Stockton on

I roast them with skins on and everything. The nutrients stay in and they get soft.
For my son I used to roast a tray of sweet potatoes, onions and carrots at 400 degrees with a little olive oil. Then after 45 min or til they were soft, I'd throw them in the food processer and whip them up. worked awesome. he liked it best with spices and herbs.

BTW: Microwaving does not lessen the nutrients of food. I read an article that demistified the microwave process in Fine Cooking Magzine. Microwaving is safe and a good way to keep nutrients intact in the food. Just don't use plastic in it, use glass and cover with papertowl or towel.

J.L.

answers from Redding on

Get a steamer basket. I wouldn't be able to make my baby food without it.

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I have a little insert made of stainless steel that you put in the bottom on a pot. The insert has little feet to rest in on the inside floor of the pot. The insert has little holes in it. You pour about 1/2 inch or so of water, just until it touches the metal fan tray. You place your carrots on top of the fan tray. I say "fan" because the metal closes up like a fan, it sort of collapses to save storage space. Then, you boil the water in the pan with the lid on, until the carrots are done to your liking. Then I carefully remove the carrots. This little contraption should be fairly easy to find.

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C.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I would just boil them on the stove till they are soft. Not a big fan of the microwave, but then again mine doesn't usually work correctly. Good luck! C.

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S.K.

answers from Sacramento on

Well, to start you shouldn't cook your veggies in the microwave. They will lose their nutrients. The best way to steam them is to do it on the stove. If you have a steam rack that works well, you just fill the bottom of the pot with about an inch of water and put the rack on. Boil the water, then add the veggies and put a lid on. It should take 15-20 mins for carrots (depending on how thick you cut them). Make sure you don't over steam them because the nutrients will end up in the water if you do. If you don't have a steam pot/rack, you can put the carrots directly in the pot with the inch of water, just keep an eye on it because the water evaporates, and you don't want them to get burned. You should be able to pierce them with a fork, but they shouldn't fall apart when you do.

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E.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi D.-
I am not sure about how to in the microwave- I just know that everything I put into the microwave is either undercooked or rubbery. I have earned my finesse on a few items, but find that veggies need to go in either a steamer or be lightly steamed on the stove top. To keep your nutrients in your veggies, when you steam them, make sure they are just hot, but still somewhat crunchy. The mushier they get, the less value they have (from what i can remember). There might be a microwave at Target.com
(http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/188-###-###-####-###...)
I found one that looks pretty good. And it's fairly inexpensive ($15.99). Just go to google and type in microwave steamer. There seem to be alot of options! I hope this helps!

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M.A.

answers from Stockton on

please be smart and just boil them is much easy and just take a litte more than the micro-wave and is safer for you and baby.

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I had that same problem so I finally went down and bought a steam basket and use that. I'm amazed at how quickly I could steam veggies on the stove.
Thanks for posting this, I was wondering if there is a secret to steaming them in the micro. I'm pretty sure microwaved carrots is why my daughter doesn't like carrots now.

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G.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.,

I get compliments on the way my carrots come out. Not all mushy:

Cut carrots into thin pices/strips. throw in a frypan and cover with just enough water. Boil until slightly crisp but tender. Drain, and take back to the stove. Hat with a little butter and oil together (oil keeps the butter from burning) and stir fry on high until done. Season and serve.

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I have a combo rice cooker/veggie steamer that I use so very often, mine is worn out from use of probably every other day, if not every day for the past several years and we will be getting another one (ours is a black & decker)

I'm just sharing that because we use that kitchen appliance A LOT so I dont steam in the microwave as much since that is my go-to whenever steaming. That said, I still will and do steam things in the microwave - especially if I'm already cooking rice (they came out with the double decker right after we got this one). Mostly broccoli though so I am not certain about carrots. I would guess that it shrivels because it is a slightly over cooked?? What I do when I steam my veggies is put it in a glass bowl, and the water used to rinse it off or a handful of water - just a splash, enough to create steam with, but not to cover and then have to pour out, cover with plastic wrap and nuke 'em - probably 2-3 mins at most??
One thing I have noticed that perhaps could be used as a guide to whether they're done or not is when the plastic wrap is tight, and the food is hot but not completely when the microwave stops and it sits for a little bit, the wrap wont stretch all the way down to the veggies. But when it is good and hot, then the plastic wrap often will stretch all the way down and mold itself to whatever is in the bowl. Make sense??? Of course with carrots, your best test of doneness is to poke it with a fork. Once soft, it's good to go.

So, experiement, try just a splash of water and less time.

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A.A.

answers from San Francisco on

We eat a lot of veggies and the best way to prepare them is to steam them on the stove. When you microwave anything it takes all the nutrients out. (even when you heat things up) If you have a pan that's a steamer it'll work best. You put about an inch or 2 of water not touching the veggies and cover it. It's the best way to keep the nutrients in.

A microwave is very convient but sometimes not the best. Good luck.

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E.V.

answers from San Francisco on

it's just as easy and better on the stovetop. just put a little water in a pot and drop the carrots in, cover and in no time they are done. or get a steam basket that sits in the water and cover and steam them that way. i try to avoid the micro unless i really need to reheat something but i never cook anything in it. i think a lot of nutrients are lost in the micro and the radiowaves going into the food freaks me out. good luck!

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G.R.

answers from Sacramento on

I do this: in a large pyrex bowl, empty a bag of prepared carrots, add a little sea salt, then add a lot of chicken broth (maybe until they are 1/2 covered), then cover with a pyrex plate and zap for 8 minutes. (they sell covered glass casseroles that you could use, I just haven't gotten one). The carrots on top always look dry, but then I stir them and make sure all are moist. They aren't usually shriveled/overcooked, but if some of the carrots are smaller they will get shriveled. The key is having them all be about the same size so that they cook evenly. I then add the chicken broth to another dish so no wasted nutrients.

PS to all you sanctimommys out there, eating microwaved veggies is better than not eating any, and they are much quicker. You might notice that the water under your steam basket changes color after steaming--nutrient seep. Try not to be so judgemental. This is supposed to be a place to support each other.

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Normally what I do with carrots is shred them and put about an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pan and cook them on the stove covered. They keep their color and are quite tasty.

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L.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi-
First, steam things all you want in the microwave.
Second, I've never had carrots "spark" in there from the minerals in them...lots of foods have minerals.
Third, the shredding idea would probably work, though it seems like a lot of work.
because
Fourth, carrots just take a long time to get soft. So figuring out the amount of water would be crucial (if you use the cooking water with the vegetable to mash it up, you aren't losing any vitamins, btw), so
Fifth, steaming in a steaming basket on the stove lets you check them for softness, and won't let them burn, so that's probably the easiest way to do it.

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J.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Microwaving them seeps out more nutrients than anything else. To steam carrots, get a steamer to put over boiling water and cook the carrots until they're tender, but still bright orange. Their color is the best indicator of their nutrients because beta-carotene is what makes them orange, so the more orange the better!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Salinas on

Try Ziploc Zip'n steam bags. The vegetables taste great and no need for any extra pots or water. Carrots take only about 5 to 6 minutes depending on the type you are using. I also steam frozen vegetables in these baggies as well. You can add whatever type of seasoning you like and no mess. The directions are on the baggies and you can even steam seafood, poultry and meats. You can find these baggies where ever the foil and plastic wrap is located. I have found them cheap at WalMart. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear D.,
I have never tried steaming veggies in the microwave. Trust me, we eat LOTS of veggies! You can steam them on the stove-top using a steaming basket. They are quite inexpensive and work for everything from carrots to squash. All you need is a pan with a lid and a steaming basket and you're good to go. Once you try one, you'll never go back to doing it in the micro again.

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
If you have a rice cooker, steam them in that, just pop them in the steaming basket and add some water and you are done. Easy as can be. Also, avoid cooking your veggies in the microwave, 70% of the nutrients are stripped away by the microwaves.... an amazing piece of info not many people know. Stick with the old fashioned ways, sometimes they are much better.

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