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A bamboo steamer probably isn’t the first thing you grab when you’re ready to cook. But we’ve finally managed to unlock its secrets and we’re amazed at how many pros there are to investing in one.

For those who don’t know how to use a bamboo steamer or even what it is, these steamers are essentially bamboo trays that have little slits on the bottom, allowing steam to travel through and cook the food. The steamer’s placed in a skillet that has an inch or so of water on the bottom. Then, the water’s absorbed into the air as steam to keep the food moist while it cooks. Just remember to add a leaf of lettuce or cabbage to each tray so your food doesn’t stick to it.

One of the many perks a bamboo steamer offers is that it’s a healthy alternative to cooking with a pan. Unlike with pan cooking, most foods cooked in a steamer don’t need oil since there’s already a lot of moisture circulating around the trays.

And, of course, everyone knows bamboo steamers and dumplings go together like, well, bamboo steamers and dumplings. Just think of all the dumplings — that wafer-thin skin, filled with meaty, juicy goodness — you could make to stuff yourself with.

Other foods you can cook in the steamer include fish, vegetables and meat. But don’t limit yourself, because this steamer’s ready for anything.

As the environmentally-friendly person you aspire to be, you’ll be happy to know bamboo steamers are incredibly eco-friendly. Bamboo itself takes very little effort to grow and is a renewable material, so it’s a win-win situation for yourself and the environment.

Bear eating bamboo
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We know how you’ve struggled to get rid of that caked-on grime that clings to the bottom of a pan. Never again. Not when you could be using a bamboo steamer. All you need to do is scrub the trays in water, set them aside to air dry and bam.

You can get a bamboo steamer for under $20 CAD here. Pretty inexpensive, right?