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They say that 80% of our healthcare starts in the kitchen. Yet, there are many barriers to being able to ensure that there are always healthy options available. Aside from the cost of healthy foods, there is also the time required, not only to source quality ingredients, but then to prepare them before they spoil in a way that preserves their nutrition. I think it is one area where area, though critically important, continues to challenge people everyday. I found myself in a similar situation, how do I find the time and energy needed to feed my family in a way that I could feel good about it?
I started researching last fall, looking for a new gadget or appliance that would facilitate my goals. I was looking for something that would allow me to cook from frozen, should I forget to defrost the night before. That is when I came across the Instant Pot.
What is the Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a multi-function small appliance that can replace your slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. Since one of my first criteria is that an appliance has to “earn” its countertop real estate, I was intrigued, as now I could replace my beloved slow cooker. I read the reviews online, and quite honestly, thought it is too good to be true. The people who wrote about it seemed almost overly fascinated, overly enthusiastic, was it possible that one little appliance could transform one’s life so radically? Well, I have to admit, I am a convert.
Why do I love my Instant Pot?
The ability to cook meat from frozen was just the tip of the Instant Pot journey for me. Suddenly, I was able to make enough soups/stews to feed my family for about a month in a matter of hours. I would use it to make lunch and again supper in the same day. I think the best part of it is you can cook everything in one pot, with the incredibly handy saute function, add your vegetables and stock, set it and walk away. And when you return, voila, lunch/dinner is ready to serve, with enough for leftovers for another day.
Other advantages were I no longer threw out vegetables that were past their prime, but instead, trimmed them and froze them for my next batch of soup. I also quickly learned I no longer had to source out BPA-free canned beans and lentils, as now I had a time effective way to make beans from scratch. I really like the idea of making homemade yogurt, which can be a real health promoting food, when it is not full of sugar, thickener and stabilizers. For people sensitive to dairy, this feature also offers a much more cost-effective way to make dairy-free yogurt.
People use it for all sorts of things, including making cheesecake (not yet something i have tried). But having cooked chicken breasts, seasoned, and shredded for wraps, salads and soups on hand was incredibly convenient. And don’t get me started with how easy it is to make bone broth – rich, satisfying and nourishing bone broth in a matter of an hour.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have no financial incentive to promote this product. Just a zeal for tasty and healthy nutrition. There is a learning curve in how to use it, but tons of resources online from Facebook Recipe groups, Pinterest, and good old Google, I am sure you will have no trouble. I hope you find it as useful and as rewarding as I have. With the arrival of the autumn harvest, it feels time to dust off my Instant Pot (I didn’t use it much in the summer) and get busy. Yum, yum.