The New Year is a great time for fresh starts with high hopes and enthusiasm for wise meal planning and grocery shopping. Often times, however, when we exit the month of January our excitement for nutritious meals is also left behind. Although we have the desire to prepare quick and healthy entrees, soon we may find ourselves slipping back to poor choices and comfortable habits. Why? Too much work. Too much planning. Too tired by dinner time. Too busy. Too hungry and can’t pull it all together when I’m am/family are hungry.
As technology becomes ever so savvy, tech solutions are heading to the kitchen that make it easier to eat healthy. This past month I was able to enjoy getting acquainted with a Christmas present I received…The Instant Pot. And, it appears as if I am not the only one experimenting with this popular appliance although I (and awesome results shared by a friend of mine!) seem to be having better results than some. While working on this post, an article appeared in the WSJ, February 1, 2018, “Why Is American’s Anxiety Rising? The Instant Pot”, noting that Amazon delivered 27,000 Instant Pots in 2017. The article also reveals fear and frustration that many new users are experiencing with the pot. The numbers, though, definitely support what I heard last fall… this appliance is “all the rage” for fast cooking. It is…quite amazing!! Instant Pot website, notes…
If you live a fast-paced, healthy, and eco-friendly lifestyle Instant Pot® is designed for you!
Does some or all of this statement apply to you?
The following shares what I discovered about this appliance and why I love it, how to overcome common reported frustrations, and, inspiring resources to keep your focus on healthy menu choices.
What I love about Instant Pot
- I can make most healthy hot meals in 12 – 20 minutes. Their claim that cooking is 70% faster, is true!!
- No chemical coating on the cooking appliance. YES!!
- This one appliance serves many functions, saving on kitchen cabinet storage.Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer and Warmer
- Numerous available built-in programs (depending on size 3,5,6, or 8 quart) make preparing meals easy.
- Can make anything from soup/broth, meat/stew, eggs, sauté, rice, porridge, steam pressure cook, keep warm and slow cook your favorite chili, meat dishes and stews to baking breads and cakes.
- It makes PERFECT risotto in 12 minutes using ½ the broth typically needed and I don’t have to stand over a pot stirring for 25 minutes!! We love risotto in my household so this is a big win!!
Meal planning and grocery shopping for the week can be done on the weekends, for the most part. Mincing and dicing along with purchasing prepackaged sliced vegetables or washing and bagging ahead of time for the following day’s dinner makes it easy to pull a meal together. When dinnertime approaches, I feel as if we can now have our dinner in an instant and it feels good to know we are eating healthy and timely prepared meals.
Common Instant Pot Reported Frustrations
After reading the WSJ article and doing an internet search found these common reported frustrations: burnt food, splattering liquid when using the quick pressure release, curd like results from recipes using dairy as an ingredient, liquid overflow, steam release intimidating spewing out HOT.
Suggestions to avoid frustrations
- Purchase the right size pot for your cooking needs. Read the capabilities of each Instant Pot available and invest in the size best suited for you – Instant Pot Products. If you are cooking for a family, invest in the 8 qt size.
- Read the provided manual.
- Follow the guide in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe book that accompanies your appliance. I found pages 31-37 to be helpful.
- Watch professional and helpful instruction videos. Visuals are often easier than reading manual instructions. Click here for the menu of free available videos. This is one of my favorite videos, How To Use An Instant Pot.
- Only use recipes created for the Instant Pot. This video link offers an impressive menu of video taped recipes . Amazon offers a wide selection of Instant Pot cookbooks.
- Always, slowly release the steam handle, even though it is called “quick release”. Quick release means it is faster than letting the pot sit for 30 minutes to depressurize on its own.
- NEVER have children operate this or any appliance and whenever releasing the steam be sure children and pets are not near the pot. Never place your face down looking at the pot when releasing steam. This instruction video, How To Use An Instant Pot offers a good demonstration on steam pressure release.
- Join the Facebook Instant Pot Community to see how others are successfully using their pot and to share some of your successes, too. This group has 1,230,798 members and 10,000+ new members just in the past 30 days!!
Inspiration for a Healthy Focus
Years ago I read in a health magazine (wish I could remember the source!) that what we eat and do (or not do) for our bodies today will reflect the condition of our health 10 years from now… good or not so good. Where is your current lifestyle leading you?
If you need to be inspired to get back on a healthier track, visit Wellness Changer 12 Days of Christmas Video Series by Jeanne Wisniewski, BS, NTP, CFT. Jeanne does an outstanding job in these brief yet powerful video segments, sharing information we all need to know about how food and exercise directly affect our health and overall wellbeing. The Wellness Changer website explains the RESTART program and how nutrition, fitness and lifestyle choices can proactively reduce the risk of disease, even those known to be linked to family history. Jeanne is passionate about combining her love for science and clinical research to educate others for life transforming results. If you need inspiration, visit her website and watch the video series! And, whether you live in the Austin Texas area or out of state, call Jeanne for a consultation.
Healthy meals can easily be achieved! Invest in today’s savvy appliances to make meal planning, prep and cooking easier on you. The Instant Pot is one of these kitchen conveniences and it doesn’t need to be intimidating. In fact, pressure-cooking has been around for generations and often a common means of preparing family meals. This cooking option is now coming back in vogue through multi-function appliances, which requires a slight learning curve. The result is fresh, balanced and healthier meals in a fraction of the time that even grandma would approve to accommodate our busy lives! If you need inspiration to maintain enthusiasm for healthy living, surround yourself with educational resources, such as Wellness Changer. Stay focused on the truth that the benefits of your choices today will shape your overall wellness tomorrow.
Resources – Hyperlinked
- Instant Pot, website
- Instant Pot Products
- Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Book Edition 2
- Instant Pot Resource Videos
- How To Use An Instant Pot – Video
- Amazon.com – Instant Pot listing of cook books
- Facebook Instant Pot Community
- Wellness Changer website
- Wellness Changer 12 Days of Christmas Video Series (Nutrition and Exercise)
- The History of Pressure Cooking