Instant Pot Yogurt

I tried making yogurt in the ever versatile Instant Pot for the first time over the weekend and it was quite successful! I read many other blogs about how to best make it and avoid any mistakes they made, and with that research in hand, my batch turned out pretty well!

The first thing they recommends was to sterilize your stainless steel insert and the underside of the lid. I just poured boiling water over everything. They also recommended using a separate silicone seal exclusively for yogurt because if you use the one you use with savory food, the yogurt could end up tasting like that food. So I bought a new 2 pack of seals from Amazon and plan to use one just for yogurt and will save the other for when I feel like I need to replace my original used with savory foods.

Next you need a good probiotic capsule to empty into the mixture. I had some probiotics at home that I just used but you can easily find them in health food stores. I’m told it’s important to get the capsules and empty the capsule and discard the capsule itself. Probiotics that are in a pressed vitamin form won’t work for whatever reason I read on many blogs.

Also make sure you have a good thermometer as you will need to measure the milk temperate a couple times to make sure everything is on track.

Lastly, be patient while it does it thing! Here is a great resource I used for the recipe itself and some tips (I searched the internet far and wide and liked this resource the best!): https://amindfullmom.com/instant-pot-yogurt/

 

Newest Kitchen Gadget!

I love new tools for my kitchen to make cooking faster and more fun! I finally jumped on the Vitamix train after many, many years contemplating this investment and I’m over the moon about it!

I had a Kitchen Aid blender for years and while it did the trick, it didn’t have the speed or power to do much more than smoothies, and absolutely no frozen strawberries or ice or it sounded like it was going to blow up!

But with the Vitamix I can blend just about anything including sauces, soups, dressings, even my own peanut butter and nut milk! I will admit the blender is quite loud (now I understand why the juice shops have that plastic box that covers their Vitamix).

You will see the Vitamix for sale in many places these days, but I chose to buy mine from Costco since they have such an excellent return policy should anything go wrong. Vitamix also has a warranty but I appreciate the extra security I get from being a member at Costco. If the motor ever dies or I have any issue, I know I can return it and not be hassled. Plus Costco had a very good price on the model I purchased, so I’m very pleased to have saved some money.

One thing I’m considering it whether I would like to purchase an extra container to make my own flours out of rice, quinoa, oats, millet, etc. Making fours requires an entirely different blade so you have to invest in a second container that is pricey. But over the long term it would save me a lot of money from buying those specialty flours in the store. And you can use your own organic ingredients which is nice and another cost saving versus buying organic flours.

Overall, I would rate my Vitamix a 9/10. I love everything about it except the initial investment, but if I use it multiple times a week for many years, the investment will certainly pay off. I also wish extra containers and accessories weren’t so steeply priced.

Quick Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

You might have read my recent post about my new favorite kitchen gadget, the Instant Pot. It’s a pressure cooker that plugs in rather than using the stove top and not to be dramatic, but I really do feel it’s changed my life in the kitchen. I’ve always loved cooking but there are some recipes that are so time intensive (like soups and stocks!) that having the ability to cook them much more quickly saves so much time. The Instant Pot also generates very little heat so I loved using it this summer when the weather was particularly warm and I didn’t feel like having my stove or oven adding to the temperature in my already balmy home.

One of my favorite foods to eat and make in the pot is spaghetti squash. Squash are coming into season now and I just adore how they taste. They do, however, take some time to roast in the oven, which is why I appreciated learning a faster and simpler method in my new pot.

To begin, cut your spaghetti squash in half width wise. Then scoop out and seeds and discard. Place the metal trivet in your instant pot liner and add one cup of water to the liner. Place your squash halves side by side on the trivet. Close the Instant Pot lid and set manual timer to 5 minutes for al dente spaghetti squash or 7 minutes for softer squash.

One the timer elapses, use the quick release method to release the steam. Open the lid and allow the squash to cool for 10 minutes before handling.

When slightly cool, scoop out the squash and serve alongside your favorite pasta sauce!

This really is a 10 minute recipe and I so appreciate not having to wait over an hour for my oven to heat up and cook my squash. I can only imagine how much electricity this method saves as well! If you love squash as much as I do, please give this a try!