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Make healthy dinners without breaking the bank with this handy kitchen appliance


Unlike a traditional pressure cooker that can sometimes take too long to cook your food, electric pressure cookers are well-designed kitchen appliances that can be used to make nutritious and filling meals for your whole family.

An electric pressure cooker or an instant pot is a device that usually combines the features of many appliances in one convenient gadget. Many instant pot brands and models come in different sizes, all of which offer various features.

An instant pot often can be used for cooking rice, pressure cooking, sauteing, slow cooking, and steaming. It can even be used to make yogurt and keep food warm.

An instant pot has a hot plate on the bottom and a metal pot that fits in the machine. If you take off the lid, the hot plate in an electric pressure cooker can be used to brown food. Locking the lid in place and applying high or low pressure activates the rest of the device’s many functions.

Cooking healthy meals with an instant pot

According to Dr. Steven Gundry, lectins are proteins responsible for the gut problems of most individuals. Lectins look for specific sugar molecules and attach to the surface of cells.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributes 20 percent of all food-poisoning cases to lectins in undercooked beans.

Gundry explained that lectins bind to the surface of the gut, and this forces open the tight junctions between the cells, causing leaky gut. This condition allows bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream and cause widespread inflammation.

Leaky gut can even trigger a reaction from the immune system. A person with leaky gut syndrome can experience symptoms such as bloating, digestive issues, fatigue, food sensitivities, and skin problems.

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Using an instant pot to pressure-cook legumes destroys lectins, which is one way to protect your gut health. With an electric pressure cooker, you no longer need to pre-soak legumes before pressure-cooking them. (Related: 7 Healthy Cooking Techniques to Help You Lose Weight.)

Buying dried legumes from the bulk section of a grocery store is also cheaper than buying the canned, pre-cooked kind.

To make chickpeas or beans in an instant pot, add six cups of water and a pound of dried legumes. Move the valve to “sealing,” then cook on high pressure for about 50 minutes. Don’t move the valve and let the pressure release naturally. Finally, drain any remaining cooking liquid. You can store cooked chickpeas in the fridge for at least one week.

Making DIY yogurt using an electric pressure cooker

If you’re a fan of dairy-free yogurt, you can make a batch at home using an instant pot. This is a healthier alternative to store-bought yogurt, which usually has added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut cream or coconut milk
  • Powdered probiotics (from a probiotic supplement)
  • Grass-fed gelatin (optional)

Steps:

  1. Add coconut cream or coconut milk to the pot. If you use coconut cream, the yogurt will be thicker. Put the lid on the instant pot, then press the “Yogurt” button. Adjust until it reads “boil.”
  2. After the mixture boils, the instant pot will beep. Open the lid then let the temperature cool down to 115 F.
  3. Whisk in some powdered probiotics, which you can get from a supplement. Carefully open a probiotic supplement, then pour the contents into the coconut cream or milk. You will need two capsules for every 13.5-ounce can of coconut cream or milk.
  4. Secure the lid of the instant pot, then press the “Yogurt” button again. Adjust the time to 15 to 36 hours. Leaving it for 15 hours will make yogurt, but letting the mixture ferment longer produces yogurt with more probiotics.
  5. For a thicker yogurt, whisk some grass-fed gelatin into the finished product. Let the mixture chill completely to allow the gelatin to set. The final product will resemble yogurt you can find in stores, but minus the added sugar.

With an instant pot, you can make delicious meals or snacks for your whole family that can boost their gut health.

Sources include:

MindBodyGreen.com

Healthline.com



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