- Pressure-cooking helps maintain foods natural taste, texture, and nutrients.
- Pressure-cooking may help reduce the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes.
- Instant Pot meals are safe, healthy, fast alternatives to traditional cooking methods.
Instant Pot® is a kitchen appliance designed to consolidate preparing and cooking food
into one electronically controlled device. This trendy, programmable appliance
has become popular for those interested in making healthy dishes because
it allows for better taste, texture and nutrient retention.
The Instant Pot can replace multiple kitchen appliances including the
pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté/searing,
yogurt maker and warmer. Depending on
which model you choose, you can easily cook meals in a variety of different ways, like:
Pressure cooking - Using pressure and heat the Instant Pot can prepare food evenly and
quickly—usually in less than half the time of traditional cooking methods.
Slow cooking - The slow cook function on the Instant Pot allows you to cook food slowly
and safely, similar to a .
Sautéing and steaming - The Instant Pot has a built-in heat source at the base of the machine,
which makes it easy to sear meats, steam or sauté vegetables, and
Rice cooking and yogurt making - Each Instant Pot comes with a recipe booklet that shows you how to easily
make rice and yogurt.
Of course, any brand of the types of cookers named above can do the same things.
Health benefits of pressure cooking
Whether you maintain a paleo, vegan or keto diet or are just trying to
eat better, the “instant pot”-style cooking will help you
cook healthy meals — faster. The method works by raising the boiling
point of water while allowing heat to generate inside the pan. This results
in shorter cooking times, greater preservation of vitamins and minerals
and healthier meals. Here are some additional health benefits:
Research suggests that cooking food with water-based methods, like
pressure-cooking, may reduce the risk of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Pressure-cooking preserves more heat-sensitive nutrients by reducing cook
times and using less water than any other cooking method.
It is the
best method for preserving the ascorbic acid and beta-carotene in spinach and amaranth.
legumes more digestible by breaking down proteins and reducing phytic acid and lectins.
These tips will come in handy, especially if you are new to cooking with
an “instant pot”:
Don’t overfill it! Fill your pressure cooker only about 2/3 of its capacity. If you overfill
it, the food will be too crowded to cook properly.
Follow recipes closely. For optimal results, pay close attention to cooking times, ingredient
order and chopping sizes. This will ensure your meals are cooked to perfection.
Save fresh herbs for last. It’s best to wait until your food has finished cooking before adding
any fresh herbs. The combination of heat and moisture will cause them
to wilt and lose flavor.
Try these fast, healthy, delicious “instant pot”-style meals
Though the pressure cooker may not be right for every meal, it is a contender
for delivering fast, healthy foodss that are as delicious as they are
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (Whole30, Paleo, and Keto) (courtesy TastyThin)
Serves 6 | 280 kilocalories
Prep time 5 min. | Cook time 25 min.
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tbsp. butter or ghee (Whole30)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c. full fat coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté.
- Add butter, onion, and yellow peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes until veggies
start to soften.
- Add garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and coconut milk and stir well to combine.
- Place chicken on top of mixture. Close the lid and set to Poultry (or Manual
setting for 15 minutes).
- When cycle is complete, remove chicken and shred. Using an immersion hand
blender, puree the sauce. Add the chicken back to the sauce and adjust
seasoning to taste.
Instant Pot Carnitas (Whole30, Paleo, and Keto) (courtesy Gnom-Gnom)
Serves 4 | 272 kilocalories
Prep time 10 min. | Cook time 45 min.
- 2 ¼ lbs. pork shoulder, cut into large cubes
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. water
- 1 orange, halved
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- Pat meat dry and cut into large cubes. Season lightly with salt and freshly
ground pepper. Set aside.
Set instant pot to
sauté and heat up olive oil, add meat (working in batches as needed) and sear
meat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until browned. Press
cancel to turn off the heat.
- Add remaining ingredients, squeezing the orange into the mix before adding
it in (yes, you want the whole orange in the mix!). Toss to combine.
Lock lid in place, close pressure valve, and press
meat. Adjust cooking time to 30 minutes and cook. Allow pressure to release
naturally (roughly 20 minutes). Remove lid and shred meat with two forks.
For crispy carnitas
- Turn on oven broiler while carnitas are cooking. Once meat is shredded,
transfer to a baking tray, along with some juice, and broil for 3-6 minutes
until the edges begin to brown and crisp up.
- Serve right away with desired toppings.
If you have a healthy, delicious “instant pot”-style recipe
that leaves you jumping for joy, we’d love to hear about it. Please
share it in the comments below.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.