Visiting farmers’ markets and pick-your-own farms are great summer outings for the whole family. It’s easy to turn fresh-picked fruits into sweet treats with some of the best pressure cooker and healthy food recipes on the Internet.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a farmer’s market or a pick-your-own farm, they’re a great way to get outside and enjoy the summer sunshine. Before you head out, remember to pack your best sunscreen—and one for baby. It’s easy to burn in a berry patch, and most farmers’ markets have their fair share of open, sunny spaces. With this in mind, don’t forget to pack a hat for everyone. Walmart.ca has a wide selection of hat styles for babies, girls, boys, women and men.
If you’re in Ontario, the search feature on Harvest Ontario is an easy way to find out what’s in season and where to get it farm fresh. There’s a similar site in almost every province and territory. Where my family lives in Niagara, we’re surrounded by vineyards, orchards, road-side fruit stands and farmers’ markets. So, from June through August, my kitchen is usually overflowing with fresh produce. I’m always looking for new—and easy—ways to enjoy summer’s bounty now and to preserve some of it for the cold, dark days of winter.
That’s why I was thrilled to trip across Instant Pot cake recipes, plus tips for making preserves, yogurt and other sweet treats. I love my Instant Pot! It’s ideal for cooking on hot, summer days when I don’t want to heat up the kitchen and my family doesn’t feel like eating one more grilled anything. I already use it to make dinner at least a couple of times a week, so using it for sweet summertime treats is a no-brainer.
Pressure Cooker Baking
Although “baking” in an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot doesn’t always save on time, it can be simpler and easier than regular baking (and it keeps the kitchen cooler than baking in an oven). Cakes and brownies seem to be the best bets for baking under pressure. They tend to turn out moist, dense and chewy. Cookies and crusty bread generally do better in the oven. Whatever you bake, be sure to use room-temperature ingredients and check (and double check!) the recipe’s timing for your size of pressure cooker.
I’ll admit, I had never heard of a “dump cake” before and was a little perplexed about the name. The term refers to how you make the cake. You dump the ingredients into your dish, pop it in your pressure cooker and go. With only three ingredients, it does not get much simpler than this recipe from 365 Days of Slow + Pressure Cooking. Although this version calls for peaches, you can source lots of online dump cake recipes that feature other fruits, including apples, blueberries and more.
I love cheesecake beyond reason, so the idea of a little built-in portion control appeals to me. This recipe from Aromatic Essence is fairly simple, as it uses traditional ingredients including cream cheese, sugar and eggs. The result? The mini cheesecakes are portion-controlled and look really cute. They’re also portable—perfect take-alongs for picnics and potlucks.
These short profile mason jars from Bernardin are ideal for samples of jam, jelly, gourmet specialties, baby food and other small quantity home-canned foods. Use them to make Instant Pot desserts, yogurt, jams and compotes. (Recipes for these other treats follow!)
Great Value’s corn starch is a natural thickener for sauces, stews, gravies and custards, making it a must-have kitchen staple. The strawberry jam recipe uses it instead of fruit pectin, which allows you to increase or reduce the amount of sugar without worrying about whether the jam will set.
The Berry Compote recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. This lemon juice from ReaLemon is made from fresh, quality lemons and is a staple in our fridge. Besides jams and compotes, we use it in stir-fries and salad dressings. We also sprinkle it on fruit salad to keep it from browning. My son makes his own “pop” by adding it to the sparkling water he makes using our soda maker.
This recipe from Chatelaine is pure and simple with just two ingredients (8 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of yogurt). Once baby is old enough, you can feel good about sharing it with them. According to the experts at BabyCenter, you can introduce your baby to yogurt when they start eating solid foods—around 4 to 6 months of age. Although Chatelaine categorizes this recipe as a tasty breakfast idea, you could just as easily enjoy it for dessert. Just add a dollop of Instant Pot fruit compote or jam.
This granola by Nature’s Path is made up of rolled oats and nuggets of brown rice flour with delicious vanilla and crunchy almonds. Add a handful of this yummy goodness to your yogurt, along with some fresh fruit, to create a healthy breakfast parfait.
There are many ways to turn fresh summer fruit into sweet treats using your electric pressure cooker. Just be sure to use a recipe geared to your machine’s size and follow the measurements exactly. Then hit the button, kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.