Do pressure cookers make healthy foods?
Pressure cooking or cooking with a pressure cooker is just a few centuries-old methods, but it has become quite popular throughout the last century’s industrial revolution. Pressure cookers never used to be considered safe for cooking, because of so many explosion stories related to them. But nowadays the 2nd and 3rd generation pressure cookers are made considering the safety matters profoundly. Modern pressure cookers are equipped with sophisticated functions and extra safety. However, some people still think that cooking with a pressure cooker is unhealthy.
The eateries also have some arguments about using a pressure cooker.
- Pressure cookers are not good with nutrients.
- Pressure cooking utilizes abnormally high temperatures.
The second argument looks a bit convincing. Most of us live and stand on the basis that our ancestors taught us, food making is one of them.
On the other hand, a group of people who like to prepare even better food with just the right kind of taste and feel with the help of modern pressure cookers. You must have noticed:
- The food made in a pressure cooker always takes a quarter of the time, even then it results better than a slow cooker.
- The broth you prepare in the pressure cooker is always gelatinous, unlike the one made with the traditional method.
Think about it; if a pressure cooker’s not so good with nutrients, how come it prepares such tasty and mouthwatering foods all the time? This article will answer every concern related to the quality of food made by pressure cookers. So, before cooking a broth with your pressure cooker take a look at the pressure cooking process.
Two Noticeable Things about the Pressure Cooking Process
Almost every kind of food – meat, poultry, fish, fruits, grains, or vegetables takes a certain amount of water while cooking. Cooking is the process of transferring heat from one source to the food, causing changes to the food, and eventually get it cooked.
Primarily, it’s the temperature of the water that’s responsible for delivering the heat and causing that little change in food.
Boiling Point of Water
The boiling point of water has a significant impact on how much time it takes to cook the food. When we increase the pressure power inside the pressure cooker, it is greater than one atmosphere. So the water in the pressure cooker boils at a high temperature which cooks food more quickly. Moreover, if the external pressure is lower than one atmosphere, the water will boil at a lower temperature than the normal boiling point.
These temperature differences for boiling water affects cooking times. So, without the assistance of something like a pressure cooker you will find that cooking times must be increased in high altitude areas.
Increasing Pressure Increases the Boiling Point
Now, think about the low altitude. The lower height increases your cooking time by increasing the pressure of the utensil. High pressure increases the boiling point of water, and besides, the food will take a few moments to cook. This process is mainly followed by pressure cookers.
Now let’s figure out whether pressure cookers cook healthy food, or the manufacturers are just fooling you.
Is the Pressure Cooker Safe and Healthy?
Do pressure cookers make healthy foods? That’s the main argument raised by some people who haven’t used a pressure cooker yet or more into traditional cooking. There is no proof found o being unhealthy or worst with nutrition. In fact, after studying on a pressure cooker, I have revealed some impressive facts:
- Cooking with a pressure cooker preserves more nutrients than regular cooking.
- Through boiling, you retain 40 – 75% of the vitamins in food
- Roasting can keep 53 – 90% of the vitamins in food.
- If you steam your recipe, it preserves 75 – 90% vitamins available in the food.
- With the help of pressure cooking, you can retain 90 – 95% of vitamins in food. Also, research proves and suggests that a pressure cooker preserves beta-carotene and ascorbic acid in amaranth and spinach.
1. Reduced The Cooking Time
High temperature does not destroy nutrients from the food. The heat-sensitive nutrients would be vanished in other forms of cooking like boiling, steaming, and roasting. High-temperature processes of cooking cook these all.
The real trick lies in cooking time. The more time spent on food, the more will be the chances of nutrient loss. Pressure cookers take far less time than other methods and end up preserving more nutrients.
2. Less Water Usage
Health experts always prefer steaming vegetables rather than boiling them. That’s because nutrients dissolve in water and it dumps out when you serve the food.
In this context, pressure cookers are more suitable because of the less utilization of water. They can be seen as steam cookers cause they secure the vapor under the lid. Altogether, as the water inside is turning into vapor, there are fewer chances of losing nutrients.
If you let your pressure cooker cool naturally, more vapor will turn into water and get back onto the food, preserving more nutrients.
3. Pressure Cooker Prepares Legumes and Grains Better
That’s true! Comparable to boiling, the pressure cooker makes vegetables and grains more digestible. A pressure cooker reduces the lactic acid and phytic acid from the grains and legumes.
Phytic acid binds minerals and nutrients inside grains and legumes tightly, as a result, that the human body cannot absorb the nutrients properly. For that, foods like grains and beans are too difficult to digest.
As an example; boiling soaked peas reduce the quantity of phytic acid by 29% where pressure cooking reduces it up to 54%. That’s double the amount!
Lactic acid is another anti-nutrient found in grains, and you can result in the best by using the pressure cooking method.
4. Formation of Acrylamides and Carcinogens
Some may raise the question that high temperature causes the formation of unhealthy compounds like Carcinogens and Acrylamides. Such compounds are mostly built while cooking potatoes over high heat.
The pressure cooker does not let these compounds form at all. These compounds form when you cook dry foods like a roast, grill, and fry. As the pressure cooker has a consistent presence of steam inside, these sorts of compounds cannot build.
In research conducted by Swiss researchers, they found a negligible amount of acrylamide while pressure is cooking potatoes for 20 minutes. But when the cooking time was reduced to 10 minutes, there was not any sign of these radicals.
5. Denaturing of Protein
All the cooking methods are intended to denature protein to make the food digestible. The human body cannot digest protein without breaking it down into small particles.
When you stew the meat, it gets enough tender to eat and denature proteins into small particles. In short, you cook food for denaturing the protein.
Pressure cooking with no doubt the best way to get perfectly digestible food. By cooking soaked peas in a pressure cooker, you can increase protein digestibility up to 84% where boiling does the same job resulting in 81%.
You can go through for more proofs with other foods. Such as:
- Mung beans
- Meat, (making it more tender), etc.
Pressure cooking unnatural, or not traditional.
Pressure Cooking is Unnatural
If you think a pressure cooker is unnatural, what about the oven, the toaster oven, or a blender? All of these kitchen appliances make the process simpler and much more convenient. Pressure cookers, in their ways, are also unnatural but they’re far better than the old traditional cooking methods.
The Mechanism and Process is Different
In fact, the mechanical process is better than the traditional cooking process. The steam is forced to stay inside the cooker as the pressure or temperature is increased, and it makes the boiling point of water move up.
If you think that cooking with a pressure cooker is unnatural, then think about two different attitudes of pressure cooking.
- If you make the roast in Miami and do the same in La Paz, the whole process will take different durations to prepare. Miami’s at sea level while La Paz is above sea level. Roasting takes less time in Miami comparable to La Paz.
- The difference in duration doesn’t affect the nutritious value or digestibility of the food. All you care about is, whether the food is cooked properly or not. Comparatively, the food at one altitude takes more time than the food at another altitude.
Now, apply the same rule in a pressure cooker. Imagine that the internal atmosphere of the pressure cooker is like Miami’s environment, while the outside atmosphere is like La Paz’s environment.
Cooking with a pressure cooker is more time-consuming than a conventional oven. The foods that you cook in a pressure cooker hold the nutrients better and also keep the food digestible than traditional cooking utensils.
What Should You Care About is not Cooking Time or Temperature?
By the time you reached here, your concerns about cooking duration and temperature may have been removed or reduced. Even if they remain the same, think about all the evidence and research made by food experts and scientists.
- Cooking with a pressure cooker/ Pressure cooking holds more nutrients than the other cooking processes.
- Pressure cooking is healthier than other cooking methods
- Pressure cooking creates a difference in boiling point just like the way two different atmospheres do.
You have already known the health benefits of using a pressure cooker, and now you should pay attention to the entire cooking process. Be careful about the temperature indicated in the recipes or else the food will turn into mush.
When you see these benefits, you’ll be more careful to achieve them
- Pressure cooking reduces a wide amount of cooking time
- Pressure cooking makes food more digestible than others,
- Pressure cooking preserves more nutrients than traditional cooking.
- A pressure cooker makes mouth-watering broth on top.
- It is the best alternative to cooking last-minute meals. So, doesn’t matter if you are a bad planner. You can hide this weakness by using a pressure cooker.
So, if you’re getting the same sort of food in less than the usual time, you should be proud rather than being suspicious about its quality and nutrients. To cook your food conveniently, choose pressure cooking. It’s nothing but a technology that makes cooking faster than you usually cook. By the high pressure inside the pressure cooker only lessens the cooking time keeping the food quality better. So, without any doubt, your best pressure cooker cooks healthy foods.
View the following articles to know more about The Best Pressure Cookers:
Relevant Search Term:
- Do pressure cookers make good food?
- Are pressure cookers healthy?
- Pressure Cooker Pros And Cons
- Side effects of Pressure Cooker
- Pressure Cooker Healthy Recipes