Pressure cookers have been around for decades now. Those old enough will remember being hushed out of the kitchen when the old-fashioned pressure cooker was put on the stove.
The pressure cookers of old gave out a high-pitched screeching sound while the pot literally rattled on the stove.
There was the fear that the pressure cooker could explode if the pressure inside was too great. And you had to be an experienced cook to unlock the lid of the pressure cooker of old.
Today’s pressure cookers have safety features that prevent excess pressure build up and lid handles that cannot open until the pressure is released.
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is literally how it is named, i.e., food is cooked while sealed in an airtight container. Cooking with a pressure cooker requires a liquid, often broth, but water is ok depending on the recipe.
As the container is airtight and does not allow moisture to escape, the fold is cooked in a much, much shorter time although it will have the taste and texture of something that has been cooked for long time.
Modern pressure cookers can save you nearly two-thirds of normal cooking time, thus save electricity or gas (depending on the pressure cooker type) as well.
Pressure cookers cook the food at temperatures exceeding 100°C or 212°C. As the container is airtight, the steam can only escape into the food. Food like roast meats are juicy and tender in a much shorter time because of this principle.
Newer pressure cookers come equipped with valves to release the pressure inside before you open the lid, so they are very safe to use if the instructions are followed.
Today’s article shares some of the benefits of using a pressure cooker.
Benefit #1: Superior nutrient retention and bioavailability
With all the modern forms of commercial agriculture, the nutrients in our food have actually declined mainly due to the depletion of nutrients in the soil.
Combine this fact with the many cooking methods that destroy nutrients away from your food, the end products are meals that do not provide sufficient nutritional value to your body.
Here is where a pressure cooker is beneficial, as it greatly reduces the cooking time, which correlates with the loss of fewer heat-sensitive nutrients. Here are the research facts to confirm this:
- One article from the Journal of Food Science and Technology says
pressure cooking increased the amount of beneficial phenolics (antioxidants) in bananas.
- Another article from the Journal of Food Science and Technology found
that pressure cooked broccoli retained 90 percent of its vitamin C content.
We can compare this to steaming (78 percent) or boiling (66 percent retention).
- In a Plant foods for Human Nutrition periodical, researchers published their findings that
pressure cooking was the best method for retaining both vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach and amaranth.
Benefit #2 – Reduces health harming compounds
As foods are cooked with steam under pressure, they stay moist. This method helps eliminate two cancer-causing compounds which are acrylamide and heterocyclic amines, often produced by other high-heat cooking styles.
Benefit #3 – Helps boost digestion
The human body absorbs nutrients from food, so maximizing the nutritional value of food is vital.
A tender texture is a sign the food is easily digestible. Pressure cooking breaks down protein in legumes (beans, peas, peanuts and lentils) and increase digestibility of these foods by as much as 84 percent.
Benefit #4 – Saves time and money
Considering how we think of ways to save time and money nowadays, cooking with a pressure cooker kills two birds with one stone. It saves electricity which in turn saves money, and with cooking time cut by nearly two thirds, you save precious time.
So, consider investing in a good pressure cooker to get your food cooked quickly and nutritiously for healthy and tasty meals.
You may have to experiment a bit initially, as one drawback is you can’t check taste or on the status of your cooking when using a pressure cooker, but that will resolve itself after a few attempts.
We hope this article is informative to our readers, and welcome feedback on our readers experience with a pressure cooker in the comments section below.
1st October 2020 22:30
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