The Instant Pot cuts the cooking time of brown rice in half.
Most people think of soups, stewed meats, and pot roasts when they think of things you can make in an Instant Pot. However, you don’t have to do a grocery run to get all the items on a long recipe list in order to use this appliance. There are several healthy kitchen staples you can make in an Instant Pot.
Why make your kitchen staples in the Instant Pot? Well, you might be avoiding ingredients like dried beans or brown rice because they take so long to cook. True, you can buy canned beans or parboiled brown rice. These items are relatively affordable, but considerably more expensive per ounce than using the unprocessed form. In other words, the Instant Pot may help you save money on groceries, reduce your cooking time, and get more healthy foods on the table.
Healthy Instant Pot Staples
1. Homemade marinara sauce
Sure, you can buy jarred marinara at the store. The benefit of making your own is that you can control the amount of sodium and sugar. Diets high in sodium and sugar can have several effects on overall health. Plus, you can personalize the sauce to your liking. You might want to add extra basil, a splash of red wine, or a few more cloves of garlic.
2. Beans from scratch
When it comes to protein, dried beans are a low-cost, high-fiber option. Normally, cooking dried beans from scratch requires several hours of soaking, and then an hour or more of cooking on the stove. The Instant Pot cuts way down on this time. In some cases, you can even skip the soaking step altogether.
3. DIY yogurt (dairy or plant-based)
With homemade yogurt, you can start your mornings with a high-protein. When you make it yourself, you can avoid added sugars, flavorings, or other additives. Making yogurt at home is easier than you might expect when you use an Instant Pot.
4. Brown rice
Let’s be honest: Brown rice takes a lot longer to cook on the stove than white rice. When time is tight, it may be tempting to choose white rice. If you’re trying to include more whole grains in your diet, try making brown rice in an Instant Pot. It significantly cuts down on cooking time.
5. “Boiled” eggs
Boiled eggs don’t take a lot of time to cook, but they can sometimes be fussy or difficult to get just right. Making them in the Instant Pot can help take away some of the guesswork. That way, cooking the perfect hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs can be as easy as eating them.
6. Vegetable broth
Not only is this a quick and affordable way to make vegetable broth, but it can also help reduce food waste. You can make this broth simply by saving up on veggie scraps, such as onion skin, leftover herbs, and carrot peels. You can store these scraps in the freezer until you have enough to make the broth.
The other benefit of making vegetable broth at home is that you can use little to no salt. That’s crucial because broths, soups, and stews are a major source of sodium in Americans’ diets.
Doing More with Your Instant Pot
These pressure cookers can be intimidating, but don’t limit yourself. Try these other Instant Pot ideas:
- 10 ways to save time and money at the grocery store. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on April 6, 2021)
- Are eggs good for you or not? Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2018. (Accessed on April 6 2021)
- Eating right with less salt. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2017. (Accessed on April 6, 2021)
- Smart tips for reading menus. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Accessed on April 6, 2021)
- The benefits of beans and legumes. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. (Accessed on April 6, 2021)
- What is a whole grain? Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2021. (Accessed on April 6, 2021)
- What superfoods are good for diabetes? Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association. (Accessed on April 6 2021)