Review of the Instant Pot Plus Simple Hummus Recipe
It’s been a month now that I’ve been using our new Instant Pot. We’ve had stews and chilis, potatoes, and beans. I’m going through the learning curve and figuring out the ins and outs of pressure cooking. One important thing to remember with pressure cooking is to use plenty of liquid to allow the cooker to reach high enough steam and heat levels. Another one is to keep the lid of the cooker attached until food is finished cooking and the pot has released all the pressure. There are two ways to release pressure – naturally with time or manually by pushing over a valve and watching the steam shoot out the top. Since we’re usually under time crunches in daily life I normally resort to pushing over the valve and watching the steam come out. After that, voila, dinner is served.
So why switch over to an Instant Pot? The number one benefit of using an Instant Pot is that it saves time. I think of it as a CrockPot on steroids.
What are the con’s? For me the biggest one has been having to use so much liquid and broth. Everything turns out ‘stew-ish’ which works well in the winter but won’t appeal for long as we head into spring and summer. Another one is getting used to not being able to take the lid off, give it a stir and a taste! There is more liquid diluting flavors, hence the necessity to get bolder with adding spices right up front.
Lastly, at the risk of stating too many cons, you can’t get things crispy in there. There is a saute feature which works well for onions or finely chopped veggies. I haven’t had luck cooking ground turkey in the Instant Pot – it comes out mushy. I still use the pan and stove top method for cooking ground turkey.
There are a couple features I haven’t tried to prepare in the Instant Pot yet. I have been resistant to trying rice in the Instant Pot because it turns out so nicely when cooked in the rice cooker – why mess with a good thing? I have yet to try making yogurt in there either. Several years ago after a trip we took to Turkey I was on a yogurt making kick. I will be experimenting with yogurt soon.
The thing I’ve made the most is beans!
I use a bag of dry garbanzo beans and cook them up in veggie broth. The result is deliciously fresh cooked beans.
I’ve been making big batches of hummus using these beans along with loads of lemon juice and garlic, a touch of Persian ground sumac or smoked paprika, and a touch of olive oil – yum!
As a family we are moving more towards a plant-based diet and life style daily. Beans are a beautifully perfect food. They are so nutritious, loaded with fiber, protein, and folate (iron) plus other nutrients. Beans instantly add flavor to salads, dips and main dishes to make them more satisfying and filling. I find the taste is even better when cooking from dry beans. With an Instant Pot I can cook up beans on the pressure cooker mode in about a half hour. Add the time for the cooker to get up to pressure cooking temperatures and also time for it to cool back down after cooking. From start to finish it takes about an hour. I recommend soaking the beans over night and then some. In my old Crockpot it take about 4 hours of cooking for the same results!
In a nutshell the Instant Pot does everything the Crockpot does in a third of the time. I recommend trying one if you have the opportunity.
In writing this post I realize I have yet to post my hummus recipe. It’s not much of a recipe as I am so used to making it that I don’t think much about measuring anything. Use your discretion for portions on the add-ins. Use more liquids (olive oil, lemon juice and tahini) if you like a smoother paste. Use less olive oil, lemon juice and tahini if you like it thicker and chunkier. It’s that simple!
- garbanzo beans - 2 cans or 1 bag dry beans
- veggie broth if cooking beans from dry
- lemon juice - lots of it!
- garlic - lots of it!
- sea salt to taste
- Tahini at your discretion
- olive oil - about 2 Tablespoons or so
- sumac or smoked paprika - a few sprinkles for garnish
- For dry beans pre-soak overnight
- Cover dry beans with veggie broth and/or water to about 1 to 2 inches above level of beans in pot
- Instant pot - set pressure cooking manually for about 30 minutes
- Crockpot - cook for about 4 hours
- Combine all ingredients including cooked beans in a blender or food processor and blend
- Transfer to serving dish/bowl
- Sprinkle with sumac and drizzle with olive oil
- Serve with baby carrots or whole wheat pita toast
Do you have an Instant Pot? What are your favorite things to cook in it? Have your experiences been similar to mine? Share with me, I’d love to hear from you.