Category Archives: Instant Pot

Instant Pot

10 Gift Ideas For Someone on the GAPS Diet

GAPS Gifts

So someone you love is on the GAPS Diet and you don't know what to get them. What does GAPS even mean? Well, for starters, GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. Many people who come to GAPS have digestive ailments, which you may or may not have known about since a lot of the time people don't share such details. Another reason people come to GAPS is because of “psychological” issues. Maybe your loved one suffers from depression. The GAPS Diet has also been known to help children with various issues, like autism.

I thought it would be helpful to share some items that a person who is doing the GAPS Diet might appreciate having.

1. Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet Book

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Anyone who is  on the GAPS Diet should have a copy of the book that tells you all about the diet. But sometimes people can't afford to buy the book. If you discovered your friend didn't own a copy of the book, I'd suggest that as the number one thing to buy.

2. What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro

What Can I Eat Now - 30 Day on the GAPS Intro ebookThere are two parts to the GAPS Diet. There is the Introduction part of the diet, then there is full GAPS. I personally feel that it is easiest to start with full GAPS because there is already a big learning curve, but sometimes people need to start with Introduction. I have written a blog post here that discusses the options: Which Should I do First? Intro or Full GAPS?  My friend Cara from Health, Home and Happiness has a great product called What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on GAPS Intro which is a great gift for someone who is planning to do Introduction.

3. Beyond Grain & Dairy: 113 recipes for GAPS

If your friend is on the full GAPS part of the diet, my e-book Beyond Grain & Dairy is going to be a great help in ideas for what to eat. I served these meals to my family and we all loved them, and didn't feel deprived at all. You can even buy this book as a gift, just choose that option after you put the e-book in the cart and hit checkout, then you can put in your friend's name and email address. And here's a coupon code for 50% off: BGDSAVE50

4. Detox Baths

You might have heard your friend talk about taking a “detox” bath. Dr. Natasha recommends that we take detox baths on a regular basis to aid the body in removing toxins.

My favorite detox bath consists of hot water and Epsom salts. When I'm really focusing on helping my body to detox I'll take one or two hot baths every week and add two or more cups of Epsom salts each time. Your friend is probably going to be taking quite a few detox baths, so she might appreciate having a bag of Epsom salts.

5. Spiralize Your Veggies

There is a lot of cooking with the GAPS Diet and lots of soup. Soup, soup, soup and more soup. One of the ways I keep soup interesting is to change up how I make it. I might make spiralized zucchini which is super easy with a spiralizer. This handy kitchen appliance is usually less than thirty dollars and is such a great help in creating substitutes for noodles or spaghetti. This spiralizer has seven blades, boasting various shapes like angel hair, fine and coarse shredding, fine or coarse “wavy” noodles, and a thicker “curly fry” blade.

6. Food Processor that slices AND dices!

Another handy appliance is a food processor that dices in addition to slicing and shredding. It really can make the different between one more boring pot of soup and one that's interesting when you change up on the way you prepare the vegetables. Dicing in a food processor is so much faster than doing it manually, you'll never go back to using your knife.

7. Natural Skin Care Products

One of the things we need to think about as we do the GAPS Diet is to decrease the toxins we are exposing our bodies to on a daily basis. Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients list on your favorite lotion, lip balm or soap? I would be willing to bet there are colorants, chemicals and things you can't even pronounce. One of my favorite companies is owned by Renee Harris. I am an affiliate for Renee but she is also a good friend, and I love her products. I appreciate that they are all-natural, most items are five ingredients or less and every ingredient can be pronounced. Her flagship product are her hard lotion bars and they work wonders with dry skin. I also love the muscle balmlip balm, and the goat milk soap. Your friend that is on GAPS should be actively working toward reducing her toxin load, and MadeOn Natural Skin Care Products can help with that.

8. Chocolate Treats (Yes, chocolate is allowed  on GAPS!)

Chocolate Treats

In Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's book she stated that chocolate is not allowed; however, a couple of years after the book was published she updated her views at her FAQ, and hip-hip-hooray we can have cocoa on GAPS after digestive ailments have subsided. Baker's Dozen Chocolate Treats is one of my e-books and all the recipes are GAPS legal or can be easily modified so that they are. It was a very happy day for chocolate lovers when Dr. Natasha made this modification. Check out my post with more than 20 chocolate recipes, all GAPS legal.

9. GAPS Guide by Baden Lashkov

When I start learning about something new, like GAPS, I find it helpful to have at least two books on the subject. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Dr. Natasha's book is required reading. But I also found Baden's GAPS Guide to be very helpful. Baden implemented the GAPS Diet for herself and her son and from her experience wrote a comprehensive guide to clarify the steps for her fellow parents and others supporting those with mental and physical symptoms.

10. 24-Hour Yogurt Maker

Yogurt is one of the fermented foods your friend will want to have while on the GAPS Diet. It's very important to allow the yogurt to ferment at least 24-hoursallow the yogurt to ferment at least 24-hours which reduces the lactose significantly. My favorite appliance for making 24-hour yogurt is the Instant Pot! Your friend might have heard that Dr. Natasha doesn't approve of pressure cooking, but the Instant Pot has a lot more functions. Admittedly its biggest claim to fame is pressure cooking but most models make delicious 24-hour yogurt, function as a slow cooker, steams and sautes and more. And… your friend will one day transition off GAPS and could incorporate the pressure cooker aspect. I have done some research on using an Instant Pot and I personally feel it is a very helpful tool in my kitchen, especially for making broth.

I hope you find something you can buy your friend or loved one who is on the GAPS Diet (even if that happens to be you!).

I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you are doing GAPS. What would YOU love to receive as a gift to help you on your GAPS Diet Journey?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Add Variety to Your Soup

Add Variety to Your Soup With These Simple Ideas

Add Variety to Your SoupOne of the things you may encounter while doing the Introduction part of the GAPS Diet is that you may end up feeling bored with the food. Soup, soup and more soup. You may even begin to dread the thought of eating. This is not the best situation when you are working to heal your gut!

It is very important to enjoy the food that you are eating so here are some ideas to incorporate to make your next bowl of soup fresh and new.

Cut the Vegetables into Different Shapes

One thing you can do to  stave off the boredom is to cut the vegetables in different shapes. Slice vegetables into thin or thick rounds. Dice, coarse chop, slice, the shapes and sizes are endless.

For example, if you're putting carrots in your soup, as you are selecting the carrots you will be using consider choosing slender carrots that are finger-sized,  and then slice them very thinly.

Or you could divide the carrot in half, use the thin end to slice very thin and the thick end to cut into small cubes.

There are food processors that will dice vegetables and they are a wonderful tool to add some variety to your soup. Sometimes I dice everything going into the pot: carrots, onions [affiliate link], celery, squash, etc.

I also like to use my spiralizer to turn vegetables into long thin spaghetti-like strips. My favorite vegetable to spiralize is zucchini squash, but you can also spiralize carrots, onions, beets (easier to spiralize if you steam until fork tender), turnips, celeriac, etc. Leave the strips super long or cut into shorter strips.

If you don't have a spiralizer, a julienne sliceris another great way to get skinny strips of vegetables.

Consider using a potato peeler to make noodle-like strips of vegetables.

I love cutting cabbage in wide strips – this to me is very much like having egg noodles in my soup.

Maybe for one pot of soup you will make all of the vegetables diced, another pot you will make all of the vegetables in thin strips like noodles, or spiralized. You could make your soup with big chunks of vegetable or create a mixture of different sizes and shapes.

If you're cooking for children consider using special shape cutters to make the soup especially appealing.

Change Up the Taste with Spices

They say variety is the spice of life and if you've been through my Broth Challenge you received a free download with 25 different ways to spice up your broth. This of course works wonderfully with soup!

Here are two of my favorite ways to season broth:

Taco Seasoned Broth

Cold Buster Broth Combo

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves [affiliate link] fresh raw garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger [affiliate link]

Creamy Blended Soups

Blended soups are creamy and so delicious! A stick or immersion blender comes in handy for these soups, if you're not opposed to a few tiny bits and pieces. You may even find you prefer a little texture. For super smooth soups use a regular blender. If you are blending hot soup, do not fill your blender pitcher more than half full and be sure to use the blender lid and hold it down for an extra measure of protection. Not only do you not want to be burned by soup splashing out, but it can make a huge mess and no one wants to deal with that!

Add some Variety with Dairy

If you are on the GAPS Diet, there is a limit on the types of dairy you can have. Mainly properly aged cheeses, and 24-hour yogurt. Click here for a list of cheeses you can use. Properly fermented yogurt is very tart, but tastes suprisingly delicious added to soup. If you're trying to preserve the benefits of the yogurt's beneficial bacteria, consider having your soup lukewarm.

Experiment with the Temperature

There are plenty of soups that are eaten cold on purpose. Trialing this with your own GAPS soups can lead to more variety.

Healthy fats are an important component to GAPS but once in awhile it's okay to skim off the fat, especially if you want to try eating the soup cool enough that the fat hardens. If you don't like how it tastes lukewarm or cold, simply heat it up a bit more!

Use a Variety of Meat

My favorite broth is chicken, but that can become boring week after week. You may be on GAPS Introduction for a month and you're going to want some variety. Start with an easy pot of chicken soup, or maybe you want to try making chicken soup in your Instant Pot, but remember to oncorporate a variety of meat. Beef, pork, turkey, lamb and fish are readily available at most stores. If you have access to other kinds of meat feel free to experiment. Maybe your husband hunts and you have deer on the bone in your freezer, or maybe you can get goat meat on the bone where you live. On GAPS Introduction you want your meat well cooked, two to three hours minimum. Remember to save the bones because you can use them later on to make bone broth. Remove all the little bits and pieces of skin, cartilege, etc. and if you're a picky eater, or feeding picky eaters just blend these bits up until super smooth and add back into the soup. No one will know but you.

Also remember to change up the way you serve the meat. Leave it on the bone, remove from the soup and serve on the side so the meat can be picked off or eaten like a drumstick, or cut the meat into chunks, small dice or “pull” it with two forks into strips.

Presentation and Pretty Dishes

Last but not least, don't forget presentation. If there's one thing I've learned from watching Gorden Ramsay it's the importance of not only the way the food looks, but also the dishes. One of my favorite things to do is shop thrift stores for unique and pretty bowls and plates. I especially adore oval shaped bowls and plates.

A sprig of parsley [affiliate link], sprinkle of shredded cheese or dollop of yogurt can go a long way to make a bowl of soup look much more appetizing.

Remember that silverware and napkins can also make the meal look more appealing.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, let me know if this post has inspired you to come up with some new and fresh ideas for making soup!

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Are Instant Pots GAPS-Friendly?

Can I Use the Instant Pot on GAPS?

This is a question that comes up a lot, so I thought I would address it.

Let's begin with Dr. Natasha's official response regarding pressure cookers:

Question: “What are your thoughts about using an old-fashioned pressure cooker to expedite preparation of meat stocks?

Dr. Natasha's answer: “I don’t recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree. It is better to cook food slowly on lower heat.”

Notice exactly what Dr. Natasha says: “I don't recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree.”

She doesn't actually say, “It is illegal to use a ‘pressure cooker' on GAPS.” I recognize that she is suggesting cooking food slowly on lower heat as the recommended alternative.

Instant Pot “It's a Pressure Cooker” (NOPE, it's more than that)

The beauty about the Instant Pot is that you can use it to replace several appliances in your kitchen. If you feel strongly about interpreting Dr. Natasha's response as saying Instant Pots are illegal and should not be used, you can still use the 7-in-1 Instant Pot in six other ways.

#2 Replace your slow cooker

Yesterday I pressure cooked a batch of Roasted Chicken Meat Stock Broth on high for two hours, strained out the broth, then put the bones and bits back into the Instant Pot to slow cook overnight. I was playing around with the timer and discovered that I can slow cook for up to 20 hours, and then the Instant Pot automatically goes to warm and stays there for 10 hours (that's on automatic warm, it can be set to manually stay on warm for 99 hours).

You may or may not have heard that some ceramic based inserts are being found to contain lead? No worries there with the Instant Pot since the insert is stainless steel.

You can use your Instant Pot to do the slow cooking the Dr. Natasha recommends.

#3 Replace your yogurt maker

You're making your own yogurt using raw milk, right? Because GAPS yogurt needs to be made in a specific way in order to be “legal”.

The 7 in 1 Instant Pot has a yogurt setting and you can set it for the recommended fermenting time for GAPS yogurt of 24 to 29 hours. Actually, I discovered you can set it for up to 99 1/2 hours on the yogurt setting.

If you need more information on making your own, here's a blog post from my friend Patty from Loving Our Guts who can tell you more about it: How to Make GAPS Yogurt.

“So for GAPS yogurt, the recommendation is to ferment it for 24 to 29 hours. This will eliminate enough of the lactose to prevent digestive problems and yet leave a trace behind for keeping the colony of beneficial bacteria alive until it is consumed. In just a cup of properly prepared GAPS Yogurt (236ml) you’ll get 708 Billion beneficial bacteria. (source) That is a lot of beneficial bacteria. Bio-Kult Probiotic, for example, has just 2 billion CFU (cell forming units).

“Since it takes 24-29 hours to make this yogurt it may be tempting to make up a whole bunch at once and then dole it out over time. This isn’t such a great idea, however. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt don’t last very long and after 2 weeks have nearly all died. You can only expect GAPS yogurt to last 3-4 weeks in the fridge at the most but past 2 weeks it isn’t really a probiotic food, just a lactose-free dairy food.

If you're interested in reading about making yogurt in your Instant Pot, go to this post at Team Yogurt.

#4 Replace your vegetable steamer (and no more worries about burning veggies on the stove top)

In doing a bit of research, I discovered that the steamer feature does use some pressure in the steam mode when the lid is engaged. The way around this is to use the special glass lid with a vent hole that fits the Instant Pot insert.

In my kitchen, I have two different lids, both have vent holes, and they fit my Instant Pot insert so I don't think there's a need to buy a special lid (if you have one that fits already). Of course, you'll leave the big pressure cooker lid sitting on the counter when you use a different steaming lid.

I like using the Instant Pot to steam vegetables while I have a roast in the oven. I can pretty much forget about it, since I can set the timer to steam my vegetables for the amount of time I wish, then the Instant Pot automatically switches to warm mode. If I am making steamed vegetables on the stove top, and happen to forget about them, the water could boil away and start burning (ask me how I know).

#5 Sauté Foods

If you're doing Intro wait until you get to Stage 4 before you sauté. Otherwise, you can sauté (brown) meats in the same pot as you'll be cooking them. For example, if you're making a beef stew you can sauté the pieces of meat in a little fat before adding the rest of the ingredients.

#6 Porridge/Rice Cooker

You won't be making rice or typical grain-based porridge on GAPS, but here are a few recipes to help you use your Instant Pot to make porridge while on GAPS. The first recipe is actually an Instant Pot recipe, and will cook your porridge in just eight minutes so it does use pressure. If you wish to avoid pressure, I would suggest making these recipes using the slow cooker setting. I would try the recipe during the day first, and keep an eye on it to see how long it will take. Check after 4 hours, then 8 hours, etc. When you know how long it takes, you can then set your Instant Pot to cook your porridge overnight using the slow cooker option.

 #7 Warmer

I've mentioned the warming feature of the Instant Pot. I actually haven't used the manual warmer yet, and that's mostly because it hadn't sunk into my head, that “warmer” is one of the features! I will definitely consider using this option when I need to warm up leftovers.

Does Pressure Cooking Destroy Food?

The next thing I want to talk about: does pressure cooking really destroy food? If you were paying attention, the question asked mentioned “old fashioned pressure cookers“. The Instant Pot is not your mother's pressure cooker.

My mother owned and used a pressure cooker. The old fashioned kind. I can remember it rattling and hissing. Hers was actually made from aluminum! I bought my first pressure cooker in my 30s, but it was stainless steel as I already knew about the dangers of cooking in aluminum.

So, does pressure cooking really destroy food? Well, according to a report in the Journal of Food Science, an investigation was performed to learn how much Vitamin C was retained in broccoli when cooking by various methods.

Guess what? Boiling and steaming caused losses of 34% (boiling) and 22% (steaming). So the retention respectively for each method: 66% and 78%.

Microwaving (I'm not going into microwaving here, but I can say I don't own one of the things and haven't for over a decade) and pressure cooking had more than 90% retention.

“Boiling, steaming, microwaving, pressure cooking, and the combined use of pressure and microwaves were the cooking methods investigated. Boiling and steaming caused significant vitamin C losses, 34% and 22%, respectively, while with the other treatments more than 90% retention was observed.” Source: Wiley Online Library

While the retention amount isn't huge, it does point toward pressure cooking actually being less damaging to food. I think that people equate home pressure cooking with commercial pressure cooking… think canned green beans. Or canned spinach. Ugh.

If you are interested to read a few more opinions, here are a few more articles on the topic:

We Do a Lot of Cooking on GAPS, Give Yourself a Little Break

Hopefully I have soothed some of your concerns about using the Instant Pot.

Being on GAPS isn't easy, there's a LOT of cooking, and a LOT of dishes. My husband and I have lived the life of eating out and eating fast food. There are a lot less dishes to clean when you eat out a lot.

GAPS produces a lot of work.

Even if pressure cooking DID damage food “to a degree” wouldn't it be worth it to regain some of time by needing to babysit food cooking on the stove? Time we could be spending with our families. The dishes will always be there, but the Instant Pot can even help in that regard, if you're sauteing. 😀

You Shouldn't Be on GAPS Forever

Finally, one day you won't be doing the GAPS Diet. Dr. Natasha does not recommend staying on it indefinitely. I personally have discovered that I feel better sticking with the full GAPS list of foods, but eventually, it will be okay to lighten up a bit on the restrictions. So maybe you'll feel okay to use the pressure cooking option of your Instant Pot then.

Crushing on the Instant Pot

Hopefully, I have soothed some of your concerns about using the Instant Pot. Even if you don't want to use the pressure cooking part, there are so many other ways to cook with it. You might clear some space in your kitchen cupboards!

My Instant Pot has a home right on my counter top because I use it quite often.One of the best parts is that you can truly set it and forget it. Slow cookers have advertised that for years, but the Instant Pot goes a step further because you can customize the time you wish to cook, and it automatically goes to the warm feature. Can you tell I love that feature?

When I made that broth I mentioned earlier? The one that I pressured cooked for two hours? Well, I didn't get back to taking care of it until six hours later. The Instant Pot just kept it warm. And really, it's not just “warm” but hot enough that there is no chance the food is going to spoil. And after it slow cooked for eight hours… it was another six hours on “warm” before I got it strained and chilled and in the fridge.

The more I use my Instant Pot, the more I love it. If you're ready to use one, check it out at Amazon:

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you want one?

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Dr. Karen Lee’s Instant Pot Chicken Soup

Easy Paleo Instant Pot Recipes by Karen S. Lee
Click on the image for my affiliate link

The 7-in-1 Instant Pot is an Amazon PRIME Deal — $58.99 today, Monday July 16, 2018 for 36 hours. The sale begins at noon EST.

Dr. Karen S. Lee has written an e-book called Easy Paleo Instant Pot Recipes and she has graciously given me permission to share one of her recipes. I thought the Chicken Soup recipe would be the best since we eat so much soup on GAPS!

Click here to get yours!

If you would like to get more of Dr. Lee's recipes, Easy Paleo Instant Pot Recipes is available at her sales site. Just click here!

su-soup1931414sDr. Lee's Instant Pot Chicken Soup

  1. In liner pot, add the vegetables first, then the chicken, and the herbs on top.
  2. Add 4-5 cups cold water.
  3. Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
  4. Press “SOUP”.
  5. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally. It may take about 20-30 minutes after the timer goes off for the vent to open.
  6. Open the lid, take out the chicken and de-bone.
  7. Reserve the bones to make bone broth.
  8. Put the meat back into the pot and stir.
  9. Crush the carrots and celery gently against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced onions, and scallions.

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dr. Lee's Instant Pot Chicken Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds pastured chicken
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
  • ¼ turnip or radish, cut into 2" cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning or equal mixture of dried parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • Garnish: thinly sliced onions and scallions
Instructions
  1. In liner pot, add the vegetables first, then the chicken, and the herbs on top.
  2. Add 4-5 cups cold water
  3. Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
  4. Press "SOUP".
  5. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally. It may take about 20-30 minutes after the timer goes off for the vent to open.
  6. Open the lid, take out the chicken and de-bone.
  7. Reserve the bones to make bone broth. Put the meat back into the pot and stir.
  8. Crush the carrots and celery gently against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced onions, and scallions.

 

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GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Review: Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker


Pressure Cookers in the 70s

I remember my mother using a pressure cooker when I was growing up. Of course hers was an old fashioned aluminum based cooker complete with the jiggling mechanism on top that spit and hissed. However, I don't recall any disastrous accidents, so I wasn't traumatized with regards to pressure cookers.

My First Pressure Cooker

In my thirties, I invested in the Fagor pressure cooker. I already knew about the hazards of cooking with aluminum so the set I bought was stainless steel. It included an 8 quart pot and a 4 quart pot. I used it on and off but not on a regular basis. I did find it to be a bit of a challenge, because stove top pressure cookers have to be carefully watched. If you have an electric stove, like I did, you have to learn the switching method where you bring the cooker up to pressure and switch to a burner which is at a lower temperature. Then you have to adjust the heat manually on the burner until the hissing regulates. It is not something you can start and leave.

However, the construction of the pot itself was awesome. Heavy duty and perfect for steaming large amounts of vegetables, or making big pots of stock and soup, or chili. I still have these pots and use them regularly.

GAPS and Pressure Cooking

Then I started the GAPS Diet in December 2009. Dr. Natasha has answered a question at her Frequently Asked Questions page regarding pressure cooking:

Question: What are your thoughts about using an old-fashioned pressure cooker to expedite preparation of meat stocks?
Answer from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride: I don't recommend pressure cooker, as it destroys food to a degree. It is better to cook food slowly on lower heat.

So I ignored anything I heard about pressure cookers for a long time.

Alleviating Concerns about Pressure Cooking Food

I heard that it was possibly a myth that nutrients were being “destroyed” by pressure cooking so I went Googling to see what I could find. Y'all know how it is on the Internet… if you want to find out if food is being destroyed you can find plenty of pros and cons. I decided to focus on the articles that said pressure cooking does not “destroy” food any more than other methods of cooking. Here are the articles I read which soothed my concerns:

I respect Dr. Natasha very highly, but I decided that I wouldn't worry too much about nutrients being damaged, since other methods of cooking also damage nutrients.

The Popular and Modern Pressure Cooker

My friends rave about their Instant Pots every so often which would get me thinking about having one of my own. And I've always loved the idea of pressure cookers, mostly since you can cook so much faster. According to the manufacturer, cooking with high pressure can reduce cooking time by up to 70%. We only have so many hours in the day… we do a lot of cooking when eating real food so the option of being able to cook faster is definitely enticing.

On Black Friday, November 27, 2015… I caved and bought my Instant Pot. I purchased the IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker. If you are planning to buy an Instant Pot, definitely watch for sales on holidays at Amazon.

My Favorite Instant Pot Recipe So Far

I've had my Instant Pot for 8 months. I have mostly used it as a pressure cooker. One of the recipes I have perfected and shared here at the blog is Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot). For this recipe, I used the saute/browning feature, plus pressure cooking. I am also working to perfect a chicken stock/soup recipe to share.

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

3 Things I Love About My Instant Pot

Three things I love about the Instant Pot vs. my old-style stove top pressure cooker:

  1. With the Instant Pot, you program it, and leave it (unlike the stove top pressure cooker where I had to babysit it constantly to assess when to turn the heat up or down, switching burners, etc.).
  2. The Instant Pot is silent. No hissing or spitting while cooking, like the traditional stove-top pressure cooker. (It does hiss when you are releasing pressure quickly).
  3. The Instant Pot includes a stainless steel insert, which can be removed. This makes it easy to refrigerate the leftovers.

The Other Features

Now, in addition to pressure cooking, the Instant Pot also functions in six other ways:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Rice Cooker
  • Saute/Browning
  • Yogurt Maker
  • Steamer
  • Warmer

So… you may be able to free up some space on your counter top, or in your cupboards.

With the slow cooker function, you can put the ingredients into the stainless steel insert, set the timer to begin later, slow cook for the day and when it's done, it will automatically switch to the warming function to keep your food warm. Can you imagine putting ingredients into the pot for stock and coming home to flavorful and nutritious broth?

I have also used the “rice cooker” setting to cook buckwheat, which is an advanced food on GAPS, and the saute/browning, steamer, and warmer functions.

When the weather cools down I am planning to order GI Prostart, (the starter I used to make my coconut milk yogurt) and try the Yogurt Maker function.

To help me use my Instant Pot more fully, I invested in Hip Pressure Cooking. Laura D.A. Pazzaglia is the founder of the blog hippressurecooking.com and her book has more than 240 recipes to help you get the most out of your modern pressure cooker. I will admit it has a lot of recipes that are not GAPS legal, but it is a wealth of information on modern day pressure cooking.

Instant Pot's Built-in Safety Mechanisms

The last thing I wanted to mention are the safety features in place in the Instant Pot.

Safety-mechanism-600x265

Visit the Instant Pot site to read more about each safety mechanism more fully, but here is a bullet point:

  1. Pressure regulator protection
  2. Anti-blockage vent
  3. Leaky lid protection
  4. Extreme temperature & power protection
  5. Excess pressure protection
  6. Safety indicator & lid lock
  7. Lid close detection
  8. Automatic pressure control
  9. Automatic temperature control
  10. High temperature warning

 

Click here to find your Instant Pot!

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot)

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

When I was doing strict GAPS it was a challenge if I ever had to eat out, which is actually rare, but occasionally the need arises. For example, if someone from work invites me to go out to lunch. And I'm the weirdo that can't eat ANYTHING.

But I could eat from Chipotle's, and most people enjoy eating there as well. I would always choose the salad bowl, with the carnitas (pulled pork) which is the meat of choice if you are on GAPS. I would have salsa and of course, guacamole. They have the best guacamole, it is delicious.

On Saturday night my youngest son came over for dinner. He's on a diet right now: Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and one of his mainstay foods is hummus. And he discovered that my Vitamix makes  super smooth hummus, so he's been out two weekends in a row. Yay Vitamix for bringing my boy home to visit!

The first weekend he brought barbecued pulled pork. We decided to have the same meal on Saturday night, which is basically salad with pulled pork, Chipotle style. And I had a pork shoulder butt in the fridge. At first I was going to slow cook but then I decided I wanted to try my Instant Pot again.

I bought it back in November, and I have only used it a couple of times. The first time I used it to pressure cook meat, it was a disaster. The meat was tough and I was so disappointed. I did some research and found a site that explained what went wrong. You can read it here for yourself: Common Mistakes in Pressure Cookery from Miss Vickie. I suspect what happened for me was that I brought the pressure down quickly, instead of allowing it to occur naturally.

However, since that disappointing experience, I've been a little scared to try meat in the Instant Pot. So I went looking for recipes, and found this one to try: Skinny Taste's Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork).

Being true to my  nature, I cannot follow a recipe exactly… well, I can… but only if I really apply myself. Plus, I was missing a few ingredients that Gina's recipe called for, so here is my version of pork carnitas.

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl

Remove the rind from the meat.

Cut the meat from the bone in large chunks. Trim fat as desired (but don't worry too much about this because you will be amazed at how the fat just dissolves away while cooking).

Plug in the Instant Pot and press the Saute button. The pot will stay on for 30 minutes, which is about how long it will take to brown the chunks of meat.

Place oil or grease into Instant Pot and let it get nice and hot. Place chunks of meat in a layer on the bottom of the pan, and allow to saute for several minutes. Ideally when you turn the chunks of meat over they will have some nice brown spots.

Sauteing Pork in the Instant Pot

While the meat is sauteing, peel the garlic and cut into small chunks.

As the meat browns, remove it and place into a large bowl.

Browned Carnitas

Eventually you will find that there will be browned bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot. After removing a layer of meat, pour in a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock and scrape the bottom with a straight edged metal spatula. This will prevent the bits from burning. You can remove them if you wish, and place in the bowl withe meat, or just continue to saute. Go ahead and place more raw meat into the Instant Pot to saute and brown.

It should take about 30 minutes to brown the meat, but if it takes longer, just press the Saute button again. You can also brown the meat using a regular skillet on your stove top.

Add the garlic, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano leaves and smoked paprika to the meat.

When all the meat is browned, add the chicken stock to the Instant Pot and make sure all the browned bits are freed from the bottom. Allow the stock to begin simmering.

Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Mix the meat around in the chicken stock. In the next image you can see the meat is piled up, go ahead and press it down so that it is uniformly even.

Carnitas in Instant Pot

Engage the lid onto the pot, and press the Meat button.

Extend the cooking time to 42 minutes.

When 42 minutes is up, now you just wait. The Instant Pot will automatically set itself to Keep Warm and the pressure will come down naturally after about 25 minutes.

Remove the meat from the broth and separate with two forks.

Shredded Pork Meat

Place meat in a bowl, pour in some of the broth from the Instant Pot.

If desired, you may remove some of the grease from the broth before pouring over the meat.

Save the broth! You'll be able to use it again or to add to soup or stew.

Serve over lettuce, and top with salsa and Lime Guacamole. Super delicious!

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder butt (7 pound shoulder on the bone)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or other GAPS approved fat (like bacon fat or chicken grease)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Remove the rind from the meat.
  2. Cut the meat from the bone in large chunks. Trim fat as desired (but don't worry too much about this because you will be amazed at how the fat just dissolves away while cooking).
  3. Plug in the Instant Pot and press the Saute button. The pot will stay on for 30 minutes, which is about how long it will take to brown the chunks of meat.
  4. Place oil or grease into Instant Pot and let it get nice and hot. Place chunks of meat in a layer on the bottom of the pan, and allow to saute for several minutes. Ideally when you turn the chunks of meat over they will have some nice brown spots.
  5. While the meat is sauteing, peel the garlic and cut into small chunks.
  6. As the meat browns, remove it and place into a large bowl.
  7. Eventually you will find that there will be browned bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot. After removing a layer of meat, pour in a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock and scrape the bottom with a straight edged metal spatula. This will prevent the bits from burning. You can remove them if you wish, and place in the bowl withe meat, or just continue to saute. Go ahead and place more raw meat into the Instant Pot to saute and brown.
  8. It should take about 30 minutes to brown the meat, but if it takes longer, just press the Saute button again.
  9. Add the garlic, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano leaves and smoked paprika to the meat.
  10. When all the meat is browned, add the chicken stock to the Instant Pot and make sure all the browned bits are freed from the bottom. Allow the stock to begin simmering.
  11. Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Mix the meat around in the chicken stock.
  12. Engage the lid onto the pot, and press the Meat button., and press the Meat button.
  13. Extend the cooking time to 42 minutes.
  14. When 42 minutes is up, do nothing at all. The Instant Pot will automatically set itself to Keep Warm and the pressure will come down naturally after about 25 minutes.
  15. Remove the meat from the broth and separate with two forks.
  16. Place meat in a bowl, pour in some of the broth from the Instant Pot.
  17. If desired, you may remove some of the grease from the broth before pouring over the meat.
  18. Save the broth! You'll be able to use it again or to add to soup or stew.
  19. Top with Salsa and Lime Guacamole (recipes at blog)


Save

If you love recipes like this, I have two cookbooks you really need to check out ASAP! Beyond Grain and Dairy for gluten-free recipes and Winter Soups

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Turkey Stock

Turkey Stock – The Best Part of Thanksgiving

Turkey Stock

We've been making turkey stock from the Thanksgiving turkey for decades, long before I ever heard of GAPS or Nourishing Traditions. It's the perfect opportunity to make a large amount of broth, and then we're set for several batches of soup. I always save the neck, gizzard and heart to add into the stock pot to make broth. I also save any juices left in the pan after the turkey is done baking.

I've recently discovered these awesome Ball Jar Wide Mouth Pint and Half Jars *Amazon Affiliate Link. They are tall without a shoulder and this makes them perfect for using in the freezer! Not only is there less chance of them breaking, but it is so much easier to get broth out of the jar when it isn't completely thawed!

I just set the broth into a warm pan of water and leave it and pretty soon there is a thin layer of broth thawed all the way around and pretty soon I can dump the frozen broth right out.

I'm definitely going to be investing in more of these!

You'll also need a large stock pot. I recommend using a 16-Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot *Amazon affiliate link (please don't use aluminum) with a thick bottom layer. This will help to prevent food from burning. In the past I could only afford to buy the stock pots with the thin bottom and I was burning food all the time.

You can also make turkey broth in your Instant Pot, but I found that I needed to break the carcass into two pieces and make two separate batches. You could freeze the second half to make broth at a later date.

Turkey Stock from a Turkey Carcass

  1. Remove as much of the meat as you can from the turkey carcass to be used for leftovers, sandwiches, or to be chopped up and place into a pot of soup once the broth is done. Ideally this task is completed following Thanksgiving dinner. Save carcass in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to turn into stock.
  2. Place the turkey carcass in the stock pot.
  3. Add in 4 ribs of celery, cut into 3″ pieces. I like to put the vegetables in big pieces so I can pull them out to save to add to a pot of soup.
  4. Add 1 onion, quartered.
  5. Add four large carrots, peeled and cut into 3″ pieces.
  6. Add parsley flakes, sage, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  7. Add filtered water to cover the carcass and vegetables.
  8. Bring to a boil, then lower heat until simmering.
  9. Cook for several hours until the carcass is falling apart.
  10. Pick out cooked vegetables, reserve for making soup.
  11. Strain broth.
  12. You can use it now to make soup.
  13. For the leftover broth, allow to cool for an hour or two, then refrigerate or freeze.

Turkey Stock - The Best Part of Thanksgiving
Author: 
Recipe type: Turkey Stock for Making Soup
Cuisine: American
 
Frugal use of the turkey carcass after the big Thanksgiving Dinner - turn it into a couple gallons of stock for making soup.
Ingredients
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • turkey neck, gizzard and heart
  • 4 ribs celery, preferably with leaves
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • ¼ cup parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Remove as much of the meat as you can from the turkey carcass to be used for leftovers, sandwiches, or to be chopped up and place into a pot of soup once the broth is done. Ideally this task is completed following Thanksgiving dinner. Save carcass in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to turn into stock.
  2. Place the turkey carcass in the stock pot.
  3. Add in 4 ribs of celery, cut into 3" pieces. I like to put the vegetables in big pieces so I can pull them out to save to add to a pot of soup.
  4. Add 1 onion, quartered.
  5. Add four large carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces.
  6. Add parsley flakes, sage, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  7. Add filtered water to cover the carcass and vegetables.
  8. Bring to a boil, then lower heat until simmering.
  9. Cook for several hours until the carcass is falling apart.
  10. Pick out cooked vegetables, reserve for making soup.
  11. Strain broth.
  12. You can use it now to make soup.
  13. For the leftover broth, allow to cool for an hour or two, then refrigerate or freeze.

Do you use the turkey carcass to make stock?

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.