Fruit for children

How to make fruit attractive
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Full steam ahead for a taste treat
Miele’s DG 1450 steam oven

Delicious food, healthy cooking and ease of use – because they deliver all these attributes, steam ovens have earned an established place in our kitchens. Each year, more and more consumers are opting for these innovative cooking appliances. And now, Miele has launched a new model which fits in any kitchen.

The DG 1450 steam oven is a freestanding unit only 50 cm wide that takes up only a minimum of space on the worktop. Technically it’s based on the previous model, the DG 1050, which scored top marks in a recent survey of steam ovens conducted by Germany's leading German consumer watchdog, Stiftung Warentest (1/2007). The main difference between this new model and its predecessor is that the new model sports a more contemporary user interface, where temperature and time are set via touch controls on the glass control panel.

Ultra-simple to use

The DG 1450 uses VitaSteam technology, a system developed by Miele. This involves generating steam in a water tank outside the inner compartment. Professional chefs and hobby cooks alike appreciate this approach because the food is cooked very gently. Another benefit is that VitaSteam technology allows what is called menu cooking where it is immaterial whether large or small amounts, fresh or frozen vegetables are cooked. VitaSteam delivers the same excellent results every time. By contrast, conventional cooking methods demand much more expertise and attention on the part of the user. With a steam oven, food simply cannot burn or overcook. An audible signal marks the end of the cooking process. Cleaning after use is incredibly simple – cooking produces only small amounts of condensate which are quickly wiped away. There’s no risk of lime scale deposits forming on the walls of the inner compartment.

Miele's DG 1450 has a stainless-steel interior with a volume of 20 l – ample space for different foodstuffs to be cooked simultaneously on up to three levels. And all without even a trace of the flavour being transferred from one dish to the next! The  DG 1450 steam oven operates in a temperature range from 40 °C to 100 °C. Alongside traditional steam cooking, the product offers a broad range of additional applications including defrosting, reheating of plated food, blanching, bottling and even disinfecting baby bottles. The product comes with a set of stainless-steel cooking containers and a recipe book.

Scientific study confirms benefits
Steam cooking combines healthy cooking with culinary pleasure in the best possible way. This is confirmed by a scientific study by researchers from the German universities of Giessen and Koblenz-Landau. Their analyses showed that the vitamin C content of various types of vegetables cooked in a Miele steam oven was 50% higher than vegetables boiled in a pot on the hob. The study also found that food cooked in steam tastes considerably better than the boiled equivalent.

The study arrives at the following conclusion: "Steam cooking releases the characteristic flavour of the various vegetables without the need to add salt. With respect to sensory properties, the results were far superior to traditional cooking methods."

True or false: “If it tastes good, it’s probably unhealthy”?
Miele steam ovens put paid to this misconception once and for all. These versatile appliances are helping to create new recipes. And like no other food preparation method, steam cooking turns out food that is low in fat and rich in vitamins. This claim is supported by the nutrient analysis carried out by Professor Elmar Schlich, an expert in household technology, from the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen. "Vegetables in particular retain very high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and trace elements after steam cooking. This helps to explain why each vegetable tastes so intensively of itself", he points out. "Conventional cooking on the hob tends to have a leaching effect on food, so that a large proportion of water-soluble vitamins and minerals is lost". Broccoli, for example, cooked in a Miele steam cooker showed 50% higher levels of vitamin C than samples boiled in water. The story for peppers is similar. After steam cooking, peppers still had a mineral and trace element content that compared very well with fresh produce. Boiling on the other hand resulted in a 45% reduction in levels of minerals and trace elements.
The study also points out that, in the comparative study under laboratory conditions, cooking times and energy input were closely regulated, but that it’s very difficult or impossible to do this in at home. With reference to the Miele steam oven, the report states: "Precise cooking times result in reproducible good results". In other words, the electronically controlled steam cooking process eliminates any mistakes the home cook might make, such as incorrect power settings and overcooking.