One thing I can pride myself on is loving to cook and being rather good at it. I’m certain I inherited this from my Polish grandma. I don’t shy away from a new product if I think it’s going to make my job as a constant cook easier! Let me introduce you to the Instant Pot. You really should become friends.
Have you ever noticed how your favorite crock pot gets screaming hot even when on low? I recently read this article describing the dangers of the high heat in a crock pot and how in some models lead is being leached from the cooking surface into foods! Frightening I know! Since I’m always focused on the safety of the products we use in our house (that includes the glass straws I make), I set off in search of an alternative to the very popular crock pot and was happy with my findings.
Why I love my Instant Pot
First, the cooking surface is stainless steel which makes me feel confident in its safety and quality. There aren’t any painted surfaces that can leach whatever that paint is made from into my food.
Second, this machine does way more than just slow cook, it fast cooks and incubates. To clarify, it incubates at the perfect temperature to allow yogurt to be made in it! And you can even make coconut yogurt in it. When it fast cooks, it does this timing-saving, super-heroesque, dinner-in-minutes thing. It really should don a cape! I have so many favorites that I make in my Instant Pot. To name a few: perfect quinoa in 7 minutes, minestrone soup in 12 minutes (that tastes like it’s been simmering all day), quick breakfast quinoa for busy school mornings, cook a pie pumpkin or a whole squash or a load of sweet potatoes in mere minutes, salsa verde chicken, the list goes on and on. I find all of my ideas for Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest and I save them on Strawesome on Pinterest here (yes, there’s more than just straws on there).
Third, it retains nutritional value. It seems that getting food really hot quickly wouldn’t retain nutritional value, but it actually does. Any cooking method is going to reduce the nutrient content of a food versus eating it raw. But, if I have to cook something I want to make sure my cooking method isn’t totally stripping my food of its nutrients. This study from back in 1995 shows the effect of home cooking on spinach leaves. It makes sense to me that flash cooking something for 30 minutes would retain nutrients up to 95%. Yet another reason to kick the crock pot to the curb.
Lastly, the Instant Pot is fabulous because it’s programmable. There are buttons on it that say “Soup” or “Yogurt” so it’s perfectly timed and heated for the meal you desire.
If you get one new thing this year make it an Instant Pot, you won’t regret it!
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