It's fall ya'll! When the weather cools off, it means it's the perfect time to start cooking yummy soups. This is one of my go-to recipes, and it doesn't get much easier than this chicken noodle soup. As a little added bonus, I'm sharing how to make it in a slow cooker and a pressure cooker.
Whenever I need cooked, shredded chicken for a recipe, I almost always forget to take the chicken breasts out of the freezer. For example: I was going to share my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe on the blog next (don't worry, it'll be up next week). However, I need to have cooked, shredded chicken. And of course... All the uncooked chicken I have is frozen. So, I thought I'd share how easy it is to cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker!
One thing that sold me on my Instant Pot was the ability to easily make yogurt at home. It's super simple, and only take two products (milk and a starter yogurt). The process takes a whole day, but you really only need a couple hours to prep the milk before incubating it for 8-10 additional hours. Now, I can make a gallon of yogurt just how I like it for less than $2! So, in this post I'll walk you through picking the right Instant Pot to make yogurt, and how to make it.
Getting the Right Instant Pot
The pressure cooker I have is the 7-in-1 Instant Pot in the 6 quart size (yes, that's an affiliate link. Don't be scared. It just means I get commission if you buy something after clicking that link :) ). This is the lowest-priced Instant Pot version you can get that has the yogurt feature. They do have one that is less expensive, the 6-in-1 version, but it does not have the yogurt making feature.
Safety Note: There is definitely a learning curve to cooking in an electronic pressure cooker, and you need tofollow the instructions to ensure you use it correctly. I mean it is a pressure cooker... Improper use could lead to an explosion. Now don't get me wrong, these are very safe when used correctly, and it has a lot of mechanisms to make it safe. BUT! Please, please, please, if you buy one, follow the manufacturer's instructions!
Instructions on How to Make Yogurt in Your Instant Pot
What you'll need:
Instant Pot with yogurt setting (I have this one << and yes that is an affiliate link :) )
1 gallon of whole milk
4 tablespoons of yogurt with live and active cultures
To start, pour the entire gallon of milk into your Instant Pot, and put the lid on. You don't have to worry about the release valve, because the lid does not need to be sealed to make yogurt.
Next, press the "Yogurt" button followed by the "Adjust" button. It should say "boil" on the front of your Instant Pot. Leave it alone until it beeps, which takes around 30-60 minutes.
After the Instant Pot completes the boiling process and beeps, check the temperature of your milk. It should be between 180° and 185°F. If it hasn't reached that temperature with the boiling mode, don't worry. Just use the "Saute" mode on your Instant Pot and stir it regularly until it reaches a temperature between 180° and 185°F.
Once you're milk is between 180° and 185°F you need to take it out of your Instant Pot and let it cool down. You need it to be at or below 115°F. If you're not in a rush, you can just take it out, and place it on the counter. If you're like me, and don't want to wait, you can place it in an ice bath. I've seen people put them in deep baking pans full of ice, but I prefer to fill my sink up with cold water and a bunch of ice cubes.
When it's at or below 115°F take it out of the ice bath, dry off the outside of the pot, and place it back into your instant pot.
At this point you need to add your starter yogurt. If this is the first time you're making yogurt in your Instant Pot, you'll have to buy yogurt from the store that contains live and active cultures. I used the Chobani plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. However, once you've made yogurt in your Instant Pot, you can use some of your previous batch as your starter yogurt for the new one.
Measure out 4 tablespoons of your starter yogurt and whisk it into your milk for a minute or two. Then, place the top back onto your Instant Pot (you do not need to seal it), and press the "Yogurt" button so it shows 8:00 on the front. This number is how long it's set to incubate. I personally don't like very tart yogurt, so I leave it at an 8 hour incubation time. However, if you would like more tart yogurt adjust this setting to 10 hours using the "+" button. Then, leave it be until the incubation period is finished.
Voila! You've got yogurt! Now once the incubation period is done, I typically place it in the fridge for a little while to cool. However, you can take it straight from the Instant Pot and use a cheesecloth to strain out the whey (this will make it greek yogurt which is tarter), leave it as is and place it into your storage containers, and/or eat it.
I love making my own yogurt, because I don't like it to be overly tart. Plus, my husband and I can add what we want into ours. I like mine with chunky strawberry compote, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and granola. My husband uses a nut/granola mixture, honey or agave to sweeten it, along with chia seeds. We also add it to smoothies! You can find my all-time favorite smoothie recipe on the blog here. How do you like to eat your homemade yogurt?
You guys are probably going to get sick of hearing about my Instant Pot, but I'm addicted to cooking in it! One thing I have gotten really good at cooking are hard-boiled eggs. Overall it takes the same amount of time to cook the eggs in the Instant Pot verses on a stovetop, but It's very convenient cooking them in the Instant Pot. Plus, removing the shell is so much easier. I love that you can set it and forget it for a few minutes.
A Little Background On My Instant Pot
The pressure cooker I have is the 7-in-1 Instant Pot in the 6 quart size (yes, that's an affiliate link. Don't be scared. It just means I get commission if you buy something after clicking that link :) ). I've had it for a week now, and I've used it every day. There is definitely a learning curve to cooking in it, and you need to follow the instructions to ensure you use it correctly. I mean it is a pressure cooker... Improper use could lead to an explosion. Now don't get me wrong, these are very safe when used correctly, and it has a lot of mechanisms to make it safe. BUT! Please, please, please, if you buy one, follow the manufacturer's instructions!
How to Hard Boil Eggs in and Instant Pot
Now what you're here for... how do I make hard-boiled eggs in my Instant Pot? What you'll need:
- 1 Cup of Water
- The trivet that comes with your Instant Pot
- Eggs (the most I've made is a dozen at one time)
You put the cup of water in your Instant Pot, and place your eggs on the trivet. I honestly don't know if you need to use the trivet, but I like to use it so the eggs are not sitting directly on the bottom of the pot.
Next, put the lid on and seal it.
Then, press Manual, and cook them on high pressure for 5 minutes. If this is the first time you've used your Instant Pot, you don't have to press any buttons after you have your settings correct. Wait a few seconds, and you'll hear it beep. Then it will start to build up pressure. Once it's fully pressurized, it will start the 5-minute cooking time.
After it's finished cooking, it will beep. If you don't press any buttons after it's finished cooking, the Instant Pot display will actually count the minutes it has been since it finished cooking. I let it naturally release the pressure for 5-7 minutes. Then, I manually/quick release the remaining pressure. You'll know if it's still pressurized, because the pin by the sealing/pressure release knob will still be up (it drops once it's depressurized).
Once it's depressurized, take the lid off your instant pot, and place your eggs in an ice bath for a few minutes. This will help cool them down, so they stop cooking and are easier to handle.
After 15-20 minutes, remove them from the ice bath. You should wait to remove the shells until you're ready to eat them. One thing I love about my Instant Pot boiled eggs is it's so much easier to remove the shell. I've seen videos online of people removing them with one hand! It's amazing!
Then, enjoy! You can make them into deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, add them to your salad, or eat them whole.
This is the easiest banana bread recipe I have found. Making banana bread is great way to stop wasting bananas that are super brown and extra ripe. Even if you don't want to eat it right that minute, you can easily bake it, freeze it, and then thaw it when you want to eat later. My favorite part is that if I do have a few very ripe banana, I can pull all the other ingredients out of my pantry and fridge to whip this up.
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
- Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Then, slice, serve and enjoy!
Original recipe by Simply Recipe
If you don't already know, I hate oranges. But! I love smoothies. After combing Pinterest for recipes, I found out it was really hard to find a smoothie recipe that didn't use orange juice. So after a little experimenting, it came up with this concoction. This is hands down my favorite smoothie, and it's loosely based off my go-to one from Topical Smoothie, the Kiwi Quencher.
What you'll need:
This recipe makes 2 servings
- 1 fresh banana
- 2 ripe kiwis
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup regular almond milk
- a blender
First, I peel the banana, scoop out the kiwi insides, and put them in the blender. Next, I add my yogurt and almond milk. Then, I add the frozen strawberries. Finally, I blend them up, poor into a cup, and enjoy! :)