Years ago, Miele (German manufacturer of appliances), introduced the ‘Speed Oven.’ It was the first hybrid of a microwave and a convection oven. It is still one of the leading technologies of microwave/convection because it not only cooks either microwave or convection, but it can utilize both at the same time to increase the speed and quality of the cooking. Miele was mindful of the limited space in some kitchens and used the microwave (which has become a mainstay of the contemporary kitchen) to double as a second oven.
Recently Miele has taken its Steam Oven and combined it with a Convection oven (called a Combi-Steam oven.) According to the representative, the Combi-Steam oven is overtaking the Speed oven in popularity, mainly due to the healthy benefits of steam cooking over microwave cooking.
Once considered a ‘specialty’ appliance, the steam oven is working its way into the standard kitchen appliance list. Everyone knows that steam cooking is the healthiest way of cooking, mainly because it retains the nutrients, vitamins and minerals of the food. It also maintains the moisture in the food and you do not need to use any oils or fats. Because of the lack of oils and fats, cleaning the pots/pans is extremely easy. In our new ‘health’ oriented society, steaming is ‘in’ and microwaving is ‘out.’ Although the FDA claims that microwave cooking does not reduce the nutritional value of foods ‘any more than conventional cooking,’ steam cooking experts claim that up to 60% of the nutrients and glucosinolates can get damaged by boiling or microwave cooking.
I’ve noticed that with every two steps forward in technology, we demand back a little of our old fashioned values, eating whole foods, raw or steamed, not boiled or fried, buying food from local farmers or even growing it ourselves to try to encapsulate the vitamins and minerals that are often lost in mass production. Asking if the food has been genetically engineered, looking for quality products, grown in quality conditions, to put inside our body. Keeping our bodies healthy….we all may be steaming soon!