‘Your introduction to the Instant Pot, how life changing it can be for busy moms, AND how it can help heal your body from leaky gut, IBS, and autoimmunity… PLUS 3 easy recipes!’
Haven’t heard of the Instant Pot yet? Miracle pot is more like it. Yeah, I hadn’t either up until about 3 months ago when my body started to go even wonkier and I was forced to tweak my diet even further. Anyone these days with autoimmunity or following a Whole 30 plan, paleo, AIP, and/or keto will discover this revolutionary kitchen tool at some point (hopefully sooner VS later). Clearly I was living under a rock though because it took me a year! However, I am beyond thankful that I’m out from under that dark abyss and all things Instant Pot have been discovered! Seriously. Hands down the BEST investment in my arsenal of kitchen “stuff” since my Vitamix blender and something that gets used at least 5 days a week now! Serious, the thing is on round the clock AND within the first month we even invested in a SECOND Instant Pot… yeah, its that kinda love affair friends.
The Instant Pot is so insanely awesome. I’m considering nominating its creator for a Nobel Peace award… I can’t say enough good things about it and literally have NOTHING negative to say. One recipe/use and you will also be hooked. It has not disappointed our family yet. So, what can this awesome piece of kitchen equipment do exactly? Glad you asked friends because you are going to see A LOT of IP receipes here from now on…
Now we have all heard of pressure cookers right? The Instant Pot is a pressure cook BUT ten times better and can basically run circles around your crock pot. SO much more VERSATILE, FASTER, and even EASIER to use!
Anything from making hard “boiled” eggs (perfect in 6 minutes) to simply shredded chicken (frozen to cooked in under 20 minutes), pulled pork or chicken (under 25 minutes) , stews, soups, roasts, rice cooker, veggie steamer, bone broth, and even homemade yogurts. See! I told you… the Instant Pot is a one stop shop for AWESOME and FAST and HEALTHY meals/food. It easily replaces at least 3 other kitchen gadgets in my kitchen now. Crock pot who? Nope, that got tossed after the first week or Instant Potting!
If you are a busy & overworked mommy with little time to cook dinner, have trouble food prepping & meal planning, find yourself constantly struggling to get good healthy meals on the table during the week, meals seeming a little “blah” lately, you’re losing your insanity shuffling kids around to/from school/activities/sports, husband works weird hours, and/or you want maximum versatility in a kitchen tool… the Instant Pot will soon become your best friend. Definitely my new BFF.
Unlike regular slow cookers which you basically need to leave on the whole day (or longer for things like bone broth), the Instant Pot will do the same job BUT in a fraction of the time. Literally the tiniest of fractions. Regular stews and things will need to slow cook for 6+ hours, but in the Instant Pot (“IP” amongst the cool kids) it would be done in UNDER an hour (for most traditional recipes).
Here’s how the company summarizes their miracle gadget:
- Convenient: 12 turn-key function keys for the most common cooking tasks. Planning the meal with delayed cooking up to 24 hours, reducing cooking time by up to 70%. Read about the convenience of electric pressure cooker …
- Cooking healthy, nutritious and tasty meals: smart programming for delicious healthy food, consistent every time.Read more on making healthy meals with electric pressure cooker …
- Clean & Pleasant: absolutely quiet, no steam, no smell, no spills, no excessive heat in the kitchen. 6-in-1 capability reduces clutter in the kitchen. Read more about why electric pressure cooker keeps your kitchen clean and pleasant …
- Energy efficient: saves up to 70% of energy. Find out how electric pressure cooker does it …
- Absolutely safe and dependable: Instant Pot is UL/ULC certified and has 10 fool-proof safety protections. Read more about electric pressure safety protections …
Let’s take a look at the first few ways WE used ours shall we?
HARD BOILED EGGS
If you are anything like me, there is a love/hate relationship with hard boiled eggs. I love them, they are versatile, they are a great on the go food, quick & easy. However, no matter what I EVER did I could NEVER get those damn shells off. I tried every method known to man including baking soda, ice, covering, not covering, bringing to a gradual boil, room temp eggs, cold eggs, and every combination of these methods. Nope. Shells always stuck to the egg and I would end up eating only the yolk because the whites were a ridiculous mess OR tossing them all out all together. I was definitely handicapped when it came to hard boiled eggs. Maybe it was just me?
Not anymore though.
Perfect hard boiled eggs EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. in the Instant Pot! Even better that it only takes 6 minutes 🙂
1. eggs in (use the included rack or silicon steamer insert) and place 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pot
2. plug in the Instant Pot, close & seal the lid, press the MANUAL button, and press the + button to 6 minutes
3. once time is up release pressure carefully (I usually use an oven mitt or push on it with a fork), twist, and remove the lid.
Place eggs in a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. You can add baking soda if you like as well (just to be sure those darn shells come off)! I still haven’t tried it without the baking soda, but will update as soon as I do to see if it makes a difference!
Once cooled, remove shells… get a load of this shell…
Peels right off AND in almost one whole piece!
Like I said… perfectly cooked “hard boiled” eggs every. single. time.
Next up, my favorite all time “go to” protein for meal prepping is shredded chicken. In the crock pot, this would still take a couple of hours (even longer if using frozen chicken breasts), but in the Instant Pot frozen to cooked in under 20 minutes!
1. liquid in (I use about 1/2 cup of bone broth, stock, or water), some basic seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder), and the chicken breasts.
2. plug in the Instant Pot, close & seal the lid, press the MANUAL button, and press the + button to 18 minutes
3. once time is up release pressure, twist, remove the lid and using two forks, begin to shred the chicken.
I usually let the chicken sit in the pot (covered) for the juices to to soak a bit more into the chicken at this point. It also allows me some time to prepare the rest of whatever I’m serving for dinner. Or I simply put the cooled shredded chicken into a big storage container to use for quick & easy meals throughout the week!
Already super flavorful using the basic seasonings, but you can flavor or sauce this any darn way you like also of course. Plain like this OR mexican seasonings for quesadillas, taco bowls, tacos, or burritos… Your favorite BBQ sauce for sandwiches or sliders, loaded baked potatoes, quesadillas, or dips… Hawaiian style using coconut amino/soy sauce, pineapple, hoisin, ginger, etc. The skies are the limit with shredded chicken!
And now my favorite way to use my Instant Pot ever since discovering my autoimmunity and leaky gut syndrome…
When we first realized I had an autoimmune condition that was most likely caused by lifelong leaky gut issues, the first thing most people do (after getting NO help from traditional doctors/medicines) is turn to Google, YouTube, Pinterest, and their social media. Across the board, one of the TOP 3 ways to heal leaky gut, IBS, or ANY issues involving the stomach is in fact bone broth. Not only is the collagen from the broth supposed to help mend the holes in your gut lining, but after turning to a ketogenic way of eating I saw that anyone and everyone was sipping no the stuff all day, everyday!
Before I get to how easy bone broth is to make in the Instant Pot, let me take a step back and explain why it’s the new ‘go to’ super food…
For some, the mere mention of “bone” broth makes you cringe right? I know my family couldn’t even think about cooked bones, let alone drinking anything that involved animal bones. However, when you look at the reasoning behind the oddness, it makes total sense. Inside those bones left behind from your rotisserie chickens, turkey carcasses at Thanksgiving, disgusting joints and knuckles of cows is a PLETHORA of amazing nutrients. These nutrients are filled with anti-inflammatory agents, gut healing proteins, healthy fats, and loads of minerals our bodies need to function optimally.
Here are the tops reasons why even thinking about adding bone broth into your (and your families) is a splendid idea:
- Heal & Seal The Gut– most people have NO idea the havoc that our stomachs go through after prolonged years of outward or “silent” inflammation. I know I surely didn’t until it was all too late. Stomach aches, weird bowel issues that would come and go, and severe bloating that leaves people laying down in pain with a heat pad over their bellies. The gelatin found in the bones of animals will help tighten up those dysfunctional holes that are now beginning to grow larger and larger.
- Joint & Bone Health– amino acids are the building blocks of our bodies and found within various protein sources. Those amino acids found within the bones (specifically proline and glycine) helps to make YOUR bones stronger. They help to repair not only muscles, but rebuild connective tissue, cells, ligaments, and tendons as well. This is absolute KEY for those of us living with chronic pain in our joints… arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, In addition, bone broth is also rich in glucosamine which is beneficial for joint health.
- Improves Digestion– powerful and healing bone broth also contains glycine (promotes stomach acid which is needed for proper digestion of food) and glutamine (helps your intestines heal and repair ulcers/leaky gut, balances the mucous in the stomach to help relieve IBS).
- Boosts Immune System Function– With over 80% of our immunity found IN OUR GUTS, it’s no wonder why so many people are turning to bone broth. I don’t think you can find anyone on this Earth that hasn’t heard about eating chicken soup when you are sick right? There is a reason for that! Again, those minerals, collagen, and amino acids will help strengthen the lining of our stomachs which in turn keep us healthy! However, UNLIKE the chicken soup you buy in a can which I doubt contains any of the true healing properties… using real bones or the full carcass of a roasted chicken will up your immunity game ten fold! In addition, its also been said that bone broth (glycine specifically) will help induce better sleep… better sleep=better body & cell repair!
- GREAT for your skin, hair, and nails– why buy collagen beauty products that are always ridiculously overpriced when you can make your own and treat your body from the inside out? Increase moisture in the skin while decreasing wrinkles, pesky fine lines, puffiness, and even reduce cellulite one sip at a time!
- It’s CHEAP– almost every supermarket, grocery store, and of course meat market now carries bones that are readily available now. I had no idea just how easy it was to find bones until I attempted my first coupe of batches though. I was under the impression I would need to ask the butcher if they sold them, but much to my surprise… they were packaged up right in the regular meat case! More importantly and much to my surprise, I grabbed my first pack of organic grass fed beef bones for under $7! Those not living with any stomach issues or autoimmunity can get away with one batch lasting a week or two (use the broth in soups, stews, replace any recipes calling for water/liquid, or even just sip it).. everyone else like myself though? My Instant Pot is brewing bones every few days but now I usually turn to chicken…
How many families do you know turn to store bought rotisserie chickens at the super market or Costco for the fastest and most convenient dinner ever? Use the chicken meat, but now instead of throwing out those bones you thought were disgusting and useless… make BONE BROTH!
So easy, its dumb.
I add some things to mine for extra flavor, BUT its really not even needed. Some salt and pepper will do fine, but I like to flavor my broth a bit more to keep things interesting. It also helps reduce a LOT of waste from your meal & food prep… instead of throwing out those “useless” stalks, top greens, peels, and loose cuts now you can utilize it ALL! Save them in a big gallon size baggie and every time you are going to make some broth, just throw them in 🙂
Here we go:
1. gather your ingredients… chicken carcasses, spices, herbs, and whatever veggies you like (here I’m adding salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, onions, celery stalks/leaves, and garlic).
2. grab the chickens (or beef or turkey bones or plain chicken bones) and toss them into the Instant Pot.
3. Leftover meat, skin, bones, and all… add in your spices and seasonings.
4. plug in the Instant Pot, close & seal the lid, press the MANUAL button, and press the + button to 190 minutes (for poultry and 220 for beef)
You can either let the pressure release naturally OR speed things up a bit by releasing manually (again be careful, use a mitt or utensil to keep your paws safe). This is the awesome healing stuff you are left with…
The MOST rich and gorgeous stock you will ever drink, use, or sip on. See those little bubbles and the coating thats forming on the top? THAT’S exactly what you want. Those greatly make up the healing properties you are after!
5. let the broth cool down a bit, strain, and store in individual mason jars. This batch made a full gallon and some “change” 🙂
And again… peep the gelatin forming at the top. Its starting, the magic is happening…
This is what it should look like after its been in the fridge overnight.
Its strange that if you showed this to me 6 months ago, I would have gagged and certainly would have had the urge to skim it off before I even thought about putting it in my mouth. Not anymore though… between keto and fighting to heal my body? Gimme gimme gimme! Don’t fret though if you are thoroughly grossed out by now. Once you reheat this even just a little bit, it turns into a nice smooth stock again!
Oh and heres a little tip… you can also pour the cooled broth into ice cube trays to freeze & store! Just pop out your servings and reheat on the stove. This will ensure fresh healing bone broth anytime you want it!
There you have it folks. My “Introduction To The Instant Pot” in a big nutshell! In addition to these quick and useful uses, I have about 5 more complete recipes made, photographed, and just waiting in queue to be shared. I’m also in the process of converting ALL of my crock pot recipes to INSTANT POT recipes!
Stay tuned 🙂