Food & Drink

Instant Pot Yogurt

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I’m such a huuuuuge fan of yogurt, I eat it almost daily.  Whether it’s in a parfait or using it to bake or to make dressings & dips, I always have a jar handy.  Going through as much yogurt as I do, making it keeps costs down, and I truly enjoy the unique flavor and texture that only comes with homemade yogurt.

The main reason I jumped on the Instant Pot train was that I could make yogurt.  It’s so easy, and requires very little hands-on time.  The end result is a lightly tangy yogurt, and the texture is a good happy medium between regular yogurt and greek yogurt.  It’s got a certain viscosity and thickness.

My favorite way of eating this?  With lots of fresh berries and my homemade granola!

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Instant Pot Yogurt

  • Servings: 4 cups
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Ingredients

  • 1 qt (4 cups) whole milk (2%, 1%, and non-fat are also fine)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt starter

Method

  1. Sterilize the Instant Pot by pouring 2 cups of water in the pot.  Sealing the lid, press STEAM for 3 minutes.  Quick release the Instant Pot and give it a good rinse.
  2. Pour milk into the pot.  Press the YOGURT button and adjust until the screen reads BOIL.  This process will boil and pasteurize the milk.  It will beep once done.
  3. Remove the lid and let the milk come to 110-115°F (if you don’t have a thermometer, it should be warm to the touch but not scalding).  Add yogurt starter and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Press the YOGURT button and adjust the time to 10:00.  When it is done, refrigerate immediately.

Recipe notes:

  • If you like greek yogurt consistency, after the yogurt is done, strain the yogurt over a cheesecloth until desired consistency.
  • Yogurt starter can be store-bought yogurt.  Just make sure the label says it has active cultures.  In my experience, Fage and Oui make excellent starters.
  • When the yogurt is done, I like to scoop out some yogurt to freeze as my starter for my next batch.
  • You can adjust the time, but I personally like it at 10 hours.  Make sure you let it incubate for at least 8 hours.  The longer it’s incubating, the more tangy and thicker the yogurt will be.

Food & Drink

Instant Pot Soymilk

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You guys – since Instant Pot came into my life in fall 2016, life has not been the same.  Although most people praise the Instant Pot to cook tender meats or one-pot meals, I personally think it shines in cooking beans and legumes.  It seriously has changed the game for me.  It takes out so much guesswork in cooking beans and I no longer have to stand over a boiling pot of water waiting for things to cook.

I spent the better part of my childhood in Taiwan.  So it’s fair to say that I’ve drunk my fair share of soymilk.  So when I moved to the states, my mom was surprised to find that the products available in the U.S. were not at all like the ones back in Taiwan.  They were often laced with additional flavors, such as vanilla, which is something we never put in our soymilk.  We also sampled Asian grocery stores but found that the soymilk available there, although more authentic tasting, was overwhelmingly sweet.  After many fruitless soymilk hunts, my mom began making soymilk at home.

Traditional soymilk isn’t hard to make, but there’s a lot of steps and is quite consuming.  When I first moved away from home, soymilk became an elusive drink that I only have when I visit my parents.  So when I got my InstantPot and discovered that you can use it to make soymilk, GAME CHANGER!  Typical storebought soymilk costs around $2-3 for a quart carton.  I also did the math – 1 cup of soybeans in the bulk aisle is around 50 cents.  This recipe makes around 1/2 gallon, or 2 quarts.  So compared to storebought soymilk, which is around $2-3, 1 quart of homemade soymilk is only 25 cents!

Instant Pot Soymilk

  • Servings: 8 cups
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic soybeans
  • 8 cups water
  • Sugar, to taste

Method

  1. Soak the soybeans overnight in a bowl with 4 cups of water.
  2. Drain and rinse soaked soybeans.  In a blender or food processor, blend soybeans with 2-3 cups of water (subtract from the 8 cups of water), until you get a grainy paste (does not need to be super smooth).
  3. Pour blended soybeans and the remaining 5-6 cups of water into the Instant Pot.  Put the lid on and switch the pressure value to lock.  Manual cook for 10 minutes and natural release.
  4. Using a sieve, strain the finished soymilk.  Stir in sugar, if desired.  I typically add 1/4 cup sugar, but I recommend starting with 2 tablespoons and increase from there.

Food & Drink

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

HELLLLLOOOOO triumphant return! Typing this is so surreal. I guess I should rewind and take you back to the beginning. Blogging, especially blogging about food, is not new to me. I started blogging in 2014 as a stress relief when I was in grad school. It was my way of channeling my creative energy in a non-academic way. I kept at it off-and-on after I graduated, and in 2017, I stopped. I went back to school and did another graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania. Guess what? They make you earn that Ivy League diploma. I basically had no time to do anything creative. Did it drive me insane? Absolutely. Now, I’m on the cusp of starting my career, so I thought this is the perfect time to start over. Thanks for joining me :) Now let’s get to the good stuff.

If I got $1 for every time I tell someone to buy an Instant Pot, I wouldn’t need to rely on the lottery to win big. I love my Instant Pot so much (almost as much as my husband and my dog, combined). This past summer, it got insanely hot here in Philadelphia, so I cooked the majority of our meals in the Instant Pot. (I’m sorry, but I just can’t eat cold salads all day every day).

Now that fall is officially here and it’s sweater weather, I thought it is high time to reintroduce the mac and cheese, Instant Pot edition.

Since I’m “adulting”, I really shouldn’t rely on Kraft Mac & Cheese when I want a warm bowl of gooey cheesy goodness (although if you made some for me, I’d eat the whole thing). I really love this recipe because there’s nothing I hate more than standing over a hot boiling pot of pasta. The Instant Pot can perfectly cook my pasta. When it is done, mix in cheese and milk, tada! Dinner is served (or breakfast, lunch, and dessert. It’s that good).

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Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (I used small elbow macaroni, but you can use whatever you have!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (or half & half)

Method

  1. Turn IP on to ‘Sauté’ function. Melt butter and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off IP.
  2. Add water and salt. Make sure the water just covers the pasta. If it doesn’t, add more water until all the pasta is covered. Set IP to Manuel (high) for 4 minutes. (Do 5 minutes if you are using a larger pasta, like penne).
  3. Do a quick release when pasta is finished cooking. Drain if there is excess water. Stir in cheese and milk until pasta is thick and creamy.