If you're new to using an Instant Pot, it can feel overwhelming (especially if you're also new a special diet like SCD). There are a bazillion amazing looking recipes online, but if you don't know the basics on how to cook with your IP, they'll likely feel a little out of reach.
When teaching my Intro to the Instant Pot classes, I focus on getting students comfortable with how to use the buttons. Once they've mastered the concepts like pressure, natural vs quick release, and saute, complex recipes seem less daunting.
I've laid out 5 simple and easy, intro to Instant Pot food prep guides (that are also SCD friendly) to help you learn the function of your machine.
HARD BOILED EGGS - Easy to make at home or on the road with your IP, hard boiled eggs are convenient as snacks, breakfast, on a salad, or even on the trail. By cooking them in an Instant Pot you can make them in large batches of 6-12 at a time, they peel more easily than the stove top version, AND you don't have to watch the water boil.
"5-5-5" is the easiest and most popular method of hard boiling eggs - it involves 5 minutes of pressure, 5 minutes of natural release, and 5 minutes in an ice bath. Here's my downloadable step by step guide to making hard boiled eggs using 5-5-5.
Note that if you want a softer yolk, experiment with different time settings. I have found a good soft boiled combination is 4 minutes of pressure, quick release, 5 minutes in ice bath. Also to make multiple eggs, space them out (don't stack them) so they have plenty of room to move around. I prefer to limit my batches to 6 eggs at a time in my 6 quart otherwise they bump into each other and crack. There are some tiered baskets (like this one that also works as a strainer and steam basket) that allow you to cook a dozen at once. If you cook a second batch be sure to replace the water in the IP between batches. The time it takes the water and Instant Pot to heat is part of the cooking cycle so using already hot water will result in less cooked eggs.
APPLESAUCE - this sweet treat is great as a dessert, in place of honey in baked goods, and is amazing as a snack on the trail. It's also a great way to prep lots of apples as it freezes well. I make applesauce with nothing but apples but you can add cinnamon or honey if you want. I also cook my apples IN the water of the Instant Pot because the resulting leftover water can be drained and kept as a juice, added to sparkling water, or used in baking. Here is my downloadable step by step guide to making easy apple sauce.
Note that if freezing, cool the sauce first then portion it out in 1/2 to 1 cup servings before freezing. For the trail, you can freeze it in reusable baby food pouches.
CHICKEN STOCK OR BROTH - Stock and Broth are different. Stock is a simple soup or cooking base that infuses some flavor into water (from bones and/or vegetables) making it tastier and a bit more nutritious - it requires much less time to make. Broth usually takes multiple hours of simmering on the stovetop (it can take 24 hours) or pressure cooking (4-6 hours in the Instant Pot) to release the nutrients and collagen deep in the bones. Broth has higher histamine levels which may be difficult for some people to digest especially when first starting SCD.
To make chicken broth or stock in the Instant Pot, I use the bones of two roasted chicken carcasses (I usually freeze them until I’m ready to use). I don't add any vegetables for broth because pressure cooking veggies for too long can result in a bitter taste. I also don’t season or salt my broth because I make a big batch and use it for multiple recipes. Keeping the flavor neutral means more flexibility. Here's my step by step guide to making broth (or stock) in the Instant Pot.
MASHED CAULIFLOWER - if you miss eating mashed potatoes or just want a new way to offer vegetables, this is a good alterative that is super easy to make in the Instant Pot. I think whipping them with an immersion (or stick) blender (I love my Cuisinart) makes them even more potato-esque but if you don't have one, use a standard masher. Here's my step by step guide to making mashed cauliflower in your Instant Pot.
GREEN LENTILS - I truly love lentils. They are a filling, non-meat option as a main course or side dish. Adding spinach or kale makes them even more nutritious. Between soaking for 24 hours and pressure cooking, they are pretty easy to digest though if you are just starting to eat lentils go slowly, as they have lots of fiber and can cause some GI discomfort.
I like this recipe for beginners because it allows them to explore the sauté function - this feature is just like frying in a pan on the stove but you don't need a separate pan which means less clean up! Just remember NOT to lock the lid in place when using the sauté button. Here's my step by step guide to making green lentils in the Instant Pot.
About the Gutsy Runner!
Lucie is a runner, hiker, and fitness coach who follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for her ulcerative colitis. She is currently on a year long birthday celebration that includes covering 2021 miles on foot and exploring some of the areas most iconic and beautiful trails. Read more