Step-by-Step guide on how to use a pressure cooker for healthy recipes (w/ pictures)
The Role of Pressure Cookers in Cooking Healthy Foods
A pressure cooker is a handy tool to help you cook your meals fast and healthy without compromising on their health and nutritional value. Of course, you must choose the right pressure cooker to truly achieve that. Why? Let me explain:
Food is a biochemical entity which means it is prone to react while it is being cooked with heat. A healthy and non-toxic pressure cooking pot goes a long way in deciding the safety and health value of your ingredients. Most pressure cookers use a metal pot, and metals being innately reactive, leach toxins during cooking and render food unhealthy. They also destroy the nutrients by cooking with harsh heat. Keep reading to take a look at different pressure cookers, and how healthy and easy they are to use.
Choosing the Right Pressure Cooker, How to use it for Healthy Cooking
How to use an old fashioned pressure cooker: These stovetop pressure cookers came with a valve and a rubber seal and as a precaution, one needed to check if the vents and valves were not clogged. They lacked sufficient safety features which caused accidents and they were later replaced by their safer versions.
How to use a Jiggle Top Pressure Cooker: The jiggle top pressure cookers come with a pressure safety valve, rubber gasket and overpressure plug to make it safer. You can set the timer based on the recipe and the weight over steam vent starts to jiggle as the steam pressure inside reaches maximum. You can manually release pressure using slow or quick release method by lifting the weight accordingly. It typically uses a metal pot which makes it an unhealthy choice.
How to use Modern Pressure Cookers: Modern electric pressure cookers offer you better control with pressure regulator, temperature control and timer setting, making them a convenient choice. The control unit of an electric pressure cooker has different cooking functions that are programmed to handle various recipes. In terms of health, the metal pot and silicone inner lining do pose a safety issue because both these materials are toxic.
How to use Pressure Pot for cooking on stovetop: Most health conscious prefer pressure cooking in stovetop cooking pots for they have a simpler design, which makes them easy to clean and use. Just add ingredients, cover the lid and start cooking. You can keep checking the food for doneness and adjust the heat accordingly. Is this method healthier? It sure is, provided you are cooking in an inert pot. More on that below.
The Healthiest Pot for Non-toxic Pressure Cooking
Among all the known materials, all-natural primary clay is the only non-toxic material that can cook food without leaching. And did you know that a US-based company makes cookware from lab tested primary clay without using any additives or glazes?
Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) is a pioneering company that offers pure clay pots and pans of different sizes for healthy stovetop cooking. Besides cooking non-toxic food, these handmade pots preserve even the most delicate nutrients with gentle far infrared heat cooking. Food cooks from inside out at low heat and takes less time. These ergonomically designed pots naturally lock steam inside during cooking and allow the food to pressure cook while also fortifying it with essential water soluble nutrients.
Cooking is as easy as it can be in these versatile pots that can be used on any heat source and for any kind of recipe without an increase in the cooking time. Here are steps to cooking common recipes in MEC:
Steps to cook rice and grains: Add grains and water in the recommended ratio (typically 1:2) and start cooking on stovetop on low heat. After 5 minutes, increase the heat to medium-low and cook until done (4-5 cups of cooked rice takes 25-30 mins on average).
Steps to cook beans and lentils: Add beans or lentils to the pot and cover with water to rise 1 inch above the lentils and start cooking on low. Add onions, garlic and other ingredients after 5 minutes and cook for 30 minutes. Add spices and oil, if needed when the recipe is just about done.
Steps to cook vegetables: Add 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp water and set on stove on low. Add onions, ginger, garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Start with adding slower-cooking vegetables, cover and cook for 7-10 minutes, then add in faster-cooking vegetables and let them cook for 7-10 minutes. Add spices and cook for 10 minutes more. Add 1 tsp oil on top, if needed.
Steps to cook beets and potatoes: Fill your pot 1/4 way full with water. Add beets/potatoes or other root vegetables. Cover the lid and cook on low for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into the vegetable. When the vegetables are about 75% done, you can choose to turn the stove off and allow them to cook passively with the lid on.
More recipes can be found here. Interested in trying your favorite pressure cooker recipes in MEC’s naturally non-toxic and healthy pressure cooker? Head over to our online store and order a pot today!
People Also Ask
How much water should I put in a pressure cooker?
Although the amount of water differs from recipe to recipe, as a rule of thumb, the cooking liquid should never be more than 2/3 of the pot to leave room for the high pressure steam. Also, putting too much water can dilute the food and overcook it, leaving it tasteless and soupy. It is also important to consider the natural water content in your ingredients while deciding the right amount of water.
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