Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Under Pressure: The Joys Of Pressure Cooking! Guest Post from the Original Diva!

The Original Diva a/k/a my mother has written a wonderful guest post about why she loves pressure cooking, a technique that has long been in her kitchen repertoire. Not only can pressure cooking save you time and money, but it preserves food's vitamin and mineral content.

In this post, she explains how she used her pressure cooker to can local peaches to preserve them for the winter. Now that's thinking ahead! 

The Joys of Pressure Cooking

Now that the summertime is upon us and we have a bounty of wonderful organic fruits arriving, I decided to use my Durotherm Pressure Cooker to store up for the winter months ahead.  These pots come from a Swiss company and I have used them for over 30 years now.  They make sense for several reasons;  the flavor, vitamins and color are sealed in by a unique flavor seal that keeps oxygen out and moisture in and are heat-efficient using 60% less cooking energy.  This is good for you, as well as the planet!

Kuhn Rikon, the parent company that manufactures the Durotherm Pressure cookers has done studies on the amount of time-savings that translates into real savings in energy.  How would you like to cook a risotto in in 7 minutes?  On their website, they break down the real savings for you by looking at different recipes and calculating the energy savings.  For instance, a roast pork or pot roast would take about l hour and 30 minutes in the electric oven (including preheating) verses cooking the roast in a pressure cooker on a gas stove.  You would save .82 cents every time you cooked the roast.  This may not seem like much, but remember the time as well as the energy expelled.

By their calculations, a family could save $325.00 a year using pressure cooking.  At that rate, you would pay for a pressure cooker in 6 months!  Probating over a 20 year life of a pressure cooker, that savings comes to $6500.00.

So, rather than spend my time canning a bounty of Floyd peaches, I decided to use my pressure cooker to cook the peaches for the freezing.  I cut my time down dramatically by just halving the peaches, removing the pit and not taking the skin off until after I removed them from the cooker.  By doing this, the skins just rolled off the fruit.

I cooked the peaches for 30 seconds to a minute, depending on the size of the fruit.  Within an hour I had prepared, cooked and stored the fruit in freezer bags ready to be frozen.  Now I saved money and time, stored fruit for the cold winter months when we don't have fresh local fruit available and with the time I saved, I have more time to play!

Happy eating!  Jeri (The Original Diva)

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