My parents, who are fanatic eaters of steamed vegetables, were really excited about these new-ish microwave steamer bags from Ziploc when I was home over the holidays. I hadn't seen them before and was curious to see how they performed...
The bags come in medium and large sizes, which are meant to hold 2-3 servings and 3-5 servings respectively. Instructions for steaming various foods are printed right on the bag. The instructions say that no water is needed as "moisture in the food provides sufficient steam" and special vents in the bag control pressure inside the bag. The bags are dioxin-free and meet all FDA requirements.
We steamed a bag of broccoli on one day and green beans on another. The broccoli turned out perfectly, cooked through but still firm enough to have a bite. The green beans were a bit overdone, but we wondered if that might have been because the beans were a bit (...er...a lot) past their prime.
It's hard to deny the convenience of these steamer bags. They're the definition of "no fuss, no muss," particularly when you compare this to dragging out pots and steamer baskets and waiting for water to boil for the traditional method. Ziploc advises that each bag should be used only once, but my parents (from whom I inherited my frugal ways) feel sure that the cleaned and dried bags will be good for several more uses.
In addition to veggies, Ziploc has also designed these bags to be used for cooking meats and even whole dinners, though we have to admit that cooking meat in the microwave has no appeal to us at all. Their website does boast an impressive array of recipes, including appetizers, entries, and even desserts made right in the steamer bags.
Have you tried these steamer bags? Or is this something that you would try?!
Related: Microwave Silicone Steamer from Okra
(Images: The Nibble)