On Your Health

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Delicious Summer Recipes Using Your Instant Pot

How do you keep cool while you’re preparing meals during the heat of an Oklahoma summer? Don’t turn on the oven or the grill and heat up your house and yard — reach for your instant pot instead!

What is an instant pot?

An instant pot (often known as an "Instapot") is a smarter evolution of a traditional pressure cooker that uses steam, pressure and a stainless steel-coated surface to cook full meals in a fraction of the time of traditional slow cookers: think 30 minutes to an hour for what might take a whole day in another appliance. Instant pots combine the functionality of a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a sauté pan and more.

Why is cooking with an instant pot better for your health?

Instant pots use significantly less energy than traditional slow-cook appliances, but the technology allows your food to cook up to six times faster. The instant pot can handle a huge variety of cooking tasks, saving you prep time and allowing you to combine various parts of the cooking process into a well-balanced meal, without losing valuable nutrients.

A plethora of healthy meals can be prepared in an instant pot, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals and families without a lot of extra time on their hands to devote to meal prep. Because the instant pot can quickly soften things like fresh vegetables and legumes, buying pre-processed or canned produce and beans isn’t always necessary. Instant pots lend themselves to healthier methods of cooking meats and poultry, too, rather than frying, which adds a lot of unhealthy fats.

If you're like many Americans who have already jumped on the instant pot bandwagon, you know it makes great roast, chili, noodle soup and stroganoff. These recipes sound delicious when the weather is cool, but what do you make when the weather turns hot?

We’ve got some ideas for you! Every meal can include one of these summertime classics without heating up the kitchen, plus you can set it and forget it. In no time, you’ll have a homemade summertime feast.

Barbecue beef sandwiches

Summertime and barbecue go hand-in-hand. This recipe for barbecue beef is tender, juicy and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3-pound beef chuck roast (separated into four pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite grilling seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ cup of beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 ½ cups of barbecue sauce
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 6 buns

When creating this delicious dish, make it your own by using your favorite rub or grilling spice mix. Read the directions for putting everything together from Cooking with Curls’ blog post.

Bacon potato salad

Who has a summer picnic without potato salad? As an added bonus, this recipe is acceptable to eat if you’re doing the Whole30 diet or the Paleo Diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds of small red or gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 slices of uncured, nitrite and sugar-free bacon, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of the leftover bacon grease
  • ½ cup of Whole30 compliant mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of Whole30 compliant Dijon mustard
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian parsley, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

For more information about cooking and combining ingredients or to learn more about Whole30 compliant condiments, read another blog post from Cooking with Curls.

Baked beans

Baked beans are a summertime favorite. If you’re looking for a quick and delicious recipe, this no-soak baked bean recipe may be perfect for you.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¾ cup of molasses
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of dry mustard
  • ¾ cup of ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

With help from this recipe you can go from dried, uncooked pinto beans to perfectly cooked baked beans in about two hours. Get the directions here.

Skinny apple cobbler

Indulging in the flavors of summertime means you’ve got to have some cobbler with ice cream, right? This is a special “skinny” version, which allows you to keep the guilt of indulging at bay while you scoop the ice cream on top.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2 ½ pounds of Gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup of water

Topping

  • ¼ cup of King Arthur white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup of King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of chilled, whipped butter
  • ⅓ cup of low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar, unpacked

You won’t miss the calories that aren’t in this skinny version of apple cobbler. You’ll be too busy celebrating the flavors of summer without the heat of the oven battling the air conditioning.

Shrimp boil

If you’re looking for a one pot meal which will not only excite your family but embody the tastes of the season, this recipe for a shrimp boil is the answer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds of baby red potatoes
  • 1 12.8-ounce package of andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 4 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce
  • 3 ears of corn, halved
  • 1 16-ounce pilsner or lager beer
  • 1 ½ pounds of medium shrimp, shell on
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

In only four steps, this blog post will help you serve a shrimp boil that takes longer to prep than it does to cook. Your family and friends will enjoy getting their hands dirty eating this delightful dish.

Surviving Oklahoma summers

There’s more to surviving Oklahoma summers than staying cool while you cook. Check out more blog posts to learn about summer activities to get you out of the house or visit the OKC Boat House District for some seriously cool wave action. Don't forget the rules of the road for avoiding a sunburn

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