Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pressure Cooking and Why It's Worth the Investment

We originally bought an electric pressure cooker because we thought it would make cooking our dog food easier. GOOD call. We can whip up a batch of dog food that will last for 9 days in no time. But, we decided to try some "human" recipes to see if cooking was as quick and easy...and cheaper. Here's what we found...

1) You can cook a BIG batch of brown rice in MINUTES! I put 4 cups of brown rice in the pressure cooker (pc) and 5 cups of warm water. Then, I set the pc for 22 minutes. When the rice kicks over to the "warming" setting, I leave the pc on for 10 more minutes (on the "warming" setting). After the 10 minutes have passed, I release any remaining steam. It comes out PERFECT... every, single time! Also, I generally freeze several containers for future use.

2) You can cook a BIG batch of beans for CHEAP! I've made batches of chickpeas and black beans at a fraction of the cost of canned. I pay anywhere from $1 to $2.49 for a can of organic beans in the store. I can make around 7 cups of cooked beans with only 1 pound of dried beans. I just bought some non-GMO dried chickpeas from Vitacost.com for $1.29 a pound. This is equivalent to 28 cents for 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans (the amount in a can of beans). Also, they're so easy to cook. If you soak them ahead of time, chickpeas can be set for about 20-25 minutes with natural release (meaning, you wait for the pressure to come down naturally--allowing the top to open without having to release the steam valve). You can also cook them from their dry state in about 40 minutes. The best part is that you can set it and forget about it! Again, I like to freeze containers of 1 1/2 cups to use when I would have normally used a can of beans.

3) You can DUMP and GLOW! What I mean by that is you can make soups, stews, and chilis by dumping in all the ingredients, but your friends will think you slaved over the stove for hours! Sure, you have to do a bit of chopping (or make sure you prep each week to make this cooking during the week faster!

4) You can SAVE MONEY by not buying vegetable broth! Save your veggie scraps and make your own salt-free vegetable broth! I've paid anywhere from $1.99 to $3.00 for a container of organic vegetable broth. It costs NOTHING EXTRA to make your own with veggie scraps!

5) You can use it like a dutch oven! When we went to Healthfest a couple of weekends ago, we made Corn and Potato Chowder and PlantPure Nation Creamy African Stew before we left home, stored them in our coolers, and warmed them in the pressure cooker for dinner in our hotel room! We just set the pressure cooker to the "Sauté" mode and stirred the brew until it was warmed!

6) You can steamed veggies to perfection!
If you add the metal stand that comes with the Instant Pot to the bottom of the pot and place a steamer basket with your veggies on top of that, you can add water to the bottom and steam them! They retain their beautiful color and nutrients!

7) You can brown onions before you add the ingredients for soups, stews, and chilis using the "Sauté" feature. And, the best part is, you don't need any oil for this! If the onions begin to stick on the bottom of the pot, just add a bit of water or veggie broth and stir!

8) You can cook a cauliflower--WHOLE! You know all those awesome cauliflower-based alfredo sauce recipes that require cauliflower florets to be cooked well? You can simply cook the whole cauliflower in the pressure cooker without having to do all the work of cutting off the florets!

9) You can make a HUGE pot of PASTA SAUCE! A pressure cooker is perfect for making a big pot of pasta sauce. It can be a simple or more complex recipe...whatever your family likes best!

10) Cook a bag of potatoes to PERFECTION! I love to put an entire bag of Yukon Gold potatoes or sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker with a cup of water at the bottom. It takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook them perfectly on high pressure with natural release. Then, we have lots of potatoes for the week--for snacking or a last-minute meal (Baked Potato Night!)!

11) Cook your GREENS without a SCENE!
Just wash a bunch of kale or chard, tear them into pieces, and cook them in the pc with about 1/4-1/2 cup of water in the bottom for 3-5 minutes on pressure with quick release. Drain the water and splash a little of your favorite balsamic vinegar on top, and you've got a nutrient-rich side dish for a meal!

12) Your HEART will THANK you! Cook your oats in the pressure cooker with ease! We make a batch of Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oats for the week and store them in the fridge for breakfasts.




Disclosure: Mrs. Plant makes use of Amazon.com affiliate links when they are available. These are products I have personally purchased and recommend based on my experience with them. Your use of these links for product purchases provides me with a commission. However, your use of these links as a reader is not required. 

5 comments:

  1. This article has really helped me master my pressure cooker. I love using it now and save so much time!

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  2. SO glad this helped you! ENJOY! Pressure cooking is the BEST!

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  3. This is great information! I am looking into buying my first electric pressure cooker and I cannot decide between a 6qt and an 8qt pot. Do you have any suggestions? What size is your pc?

    Thanks!

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    1. Markah,

      Unless you have a family larger than 4 people or you plan on batch cooking large quantities, the 6 qt. has always been adequate for me. HUGS FROM TEXAS!!!

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