Cook Brown Rice In An Old Fashioned Pressure Cooker Cooking Under Pressure

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Cooking Under Pressure

I am often asked how I find time to cook. My answer consists of two parts. Firstly, healthy delicious food is essential to my well-being, so cooking is usually first on my to-do list. I also find nothing more relaxing, creative or satisfying than trying a new dish or enjoying an old favorite. Second, I use a pressure cooker. The usual response I get is, “the ones that explode?” Not exactly.

Pressure cookers have come a long way since the days of noisy valves and the occasional explosion. Thanks to new technology, today’s pressure cookers automatically release the pressure in the event of overheating. A pressure cooker is essential for quick cooking of whole grains and beans. For example, brown rice takes an hour to cook conventionally. It also requires the use of a flame retardant or very low heat to avoid burning. With a pressure cooker it takes 35 minutes and does not burn if an Ohsawa pot is used. Black beans cook in two hours conventionally, but only take 25 minutes in a pressure cooker. Long bean soaking times can also be avoided with a pressure cooker.

There are other benefits to pressure cooking. Food retains its nutritional value because pressure cooking uses less water and the nearly airtight seal prevents nutrients from escaping. Pressure cooking tenderizes meat quickly so cheaper cuts can be used. Shorter cooking time uses less energy.

Choose a stainless steel pressure cooker. Aluminum is available but will leach harmful aluminum into the food. Look for a removable pressure regulator. A removable one is much easier to clean when it gets clogged with food. The pressure cooker must generate at least 15 pounds of pressure to save time over conventional methods. A lid locking mechanism and pressure cooker and has a pressure release system will prevent explosions. The 5 liter size is usually suitable for a family of 4. As when choosing a piece of kitchenware, pick it up by the handles and make sure it is level in your hands.

My Magefesa pressure cooker is highly rated and has performed beautifully for 17 years (www.magefesausa.com) Kuhn Rikon’s Duromatic pressure cooker is also highly rated (www.kuhnrikon.com)

Perfect brown rice starts with the right rice. I like Ohsawa Rose medium grain or Southern Brown long grain rice. Both available at Goldmine Natural Food (www.goldminenaturalfood.com) The Ohsawa pot is essential and also available at Goldmine Natural Food. The rice is cooked in this pot inside the pressure cooker. This makes it impossible to burn. The recipe also calls for kombu, a seaweed that softens the rice, making it easier to digest. Find it at your local health food store.

Perfect pressure cooked brown rice

1-1/2 cups brown rice

½ tsp salt

1 stick kombu

Water

Wash the rice by placing it in a bowl and filling the bowl with water. Stir the rice around with your hand. Chaff will float to the top. Carefully pour off the water and chaff. Do this two more times or until the water runs clear.

Place the rice in a one-quart Ohsawa pot. Add salt and kombu. Fill the pot to the top with water and put the lid on. Fill the pressure cooker with an inch of water. Place the Ohsawa pot inside. Attach the lid to the pressure cooker and bring it to 15 pounds of pressure according to the instructions. Cook for 35 minutes, then remove the pressure cooker from the burner. Allow it to take the pressure off itself. Serves 4 to 6.

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