3 Instant Pot vegan cookbook reviews
I’m normally someone who likes to experiment when I cook, but it didn’t take long for me to order my first Instant Pot vegan cookbook. And then a second… And then realize I already had another cookbook that was going to help me take advantage of additional features of the Instant Pot. I’m reviewing these cookbooks together, as part of my series of reviews of vegan cookbooks for beginners.
What is an Instant Pot?
Maybe you arrived here looking for inspiration for vegan Instant Pot recipes, or maybe you just stumbled across this post while browsing for vegan cookbooks. In that case, you are probably wondering what the heck is an Instant Pot!
In a hurry?
An Instant Pot is an electric appliance that combines several functions in one clever device. With the Instant Pot, especially the latest 7-in-1 models, you get a:
- pressure cooker
- slow cooker
- rice cooker
- saute/browning device
- warmer (to reheat meals), and
- yogurt maker
Suspicious about one device being able to do all this? So was I, at the beginning. When I learned about the Instant Pot, I wanted to get a feel for how people were using it. Before buying one, I joined a very helpful group on Facebook called Instant Pot Vegan Recipes. It didn’t take long for me to figure out this appliance would make a great addition to my kitchen. I was especially impressed with the pressure cooker function, and the yogurt maker feature.
So I finally bought an Instant Pot during the recent Amazon Prime Day sale (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial). I settled for the IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, with a capacity of 6 quarts.
Why do I need Instant Pot cookbooks?
If you have never cooked with a pressure cooker, it’s a good idea to follow recipes for a little while, especially when it comes down to how much liquid is needed. Too little liquid? You’ll burn the content to a crisp (and then will have to scrape it off the bottom of the pot). Too much liquid? You’ll get a mushy mess.
The Instant Pot comes with its own recipe booklet. I didn’t try a single recipe from this book, for the most obvious reason: most of them are not vegan. The book does contain a few vegan friendly recipes, but sticking to only these recipes would prevent you from experiencing all the amazing dishes and flavors you can conjure up with your new Instant Pot.
Best Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Vegan Under Pressure
No contest here: Vegan Under Pressure, the bestselling vegan pressure cooking book by Jill Nussinow, is a must if you want to create amazing dishes in your Instant Pot.
Jill is the pressure cooking queen, she has been pressure cooking for a long time, and she really knows her stuff. Pressure cooking is less about going with the flow as it is experimenting over and over. And Jill has been experimenting tons over the years.
Her instructions in the book are simple, and allow for difference between using a stovetop pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. I’ve made three recipes from this book so far and they have all turned out perfectly. One dish in particular, a tempeh tajine with sweet potato and carrots, was probably the best tempeh I’ve ever had!
Jill is also a valued and very active member of the Instant Pot Vegan Recipe Facebook group, where she is generous with her advice and time.
You really can’t go wrong by adding Vegan Under Pressure to your collection of vegan cookbooks! Just one word of warning: if you buy cookbooks for the photos, this is not your top pick, but the next book in this review might be just what you needed!
A dedicated Instant Pot vegan cookbook: Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking
I was very curious about this cookbook, as it was clearly meant to be used by those with an Instant Pot.
As far as the recipes in Epic Vegan Instant Pot Cooking go, they are good, some of them are even pretty amazing (especially the Bomb Diggity Black Bean Rice and the Asian Style Quinoa), but there are only about 30 of them in the entire book. If you’re picking only one vegan cookbook to help you use your Instant Pot, you’ll be out of options quickly (or making the same thing over and over, nothing wrong with it if that’s what you want).
There are two things I love about this Instant Pot vegan cookbook: it includes a photo of each dish and cooking charts at the very end to allow you to experiment on your own.
I however found the style of the writing a bit annoying. It reminds me of another bestselling cookbook, Thug Kitchen, which became famous not only for its great recipes but also for its use of raw, uncensored language. I also don’t like being referred to as a “Lazy F@ck”… I’m not lazy, I’m efficient 🙂
An Instant Pot vegan cookbook for slow cooking fans: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker
Psst! Don’t tell anyone I said this, but the Instant Pot is not just about pressure cooking, it does a fantastic job as a slow cooker as well. Joking aside, while there are times when you just want to throw something in the pressure cooker and get diner done, there are also times when you want to let dinner simmer on a low heat all day, until you come back home to a fragrant house.
I’ve had Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker for a while now, it was published in 2012, but since the ex left with the slow cooker, I haven’t been able to test the recipes as much as I usually do. It’s obvious that the slow cooker function of the Instant Pot is great for soup and stews, but I appreciate this cookbook for some of its more original recipes, such as those for condiments (chutney anyone?) and desserts (puddings, crisps and cakes). I especially love the Slow-Cooker Granola recipe, which allows me to make the granola for my yogurt without heating up the house in the Summer! And since apple-picking season is right around the corner, I’m going to try to make one of the many baked apples recipes from the book.
Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker is another cookbook with lots of content… and no photos. If you seek inspiration by looking at the pictures of dishes, this is probably not a book for you. But without photos, the author was able to cram 200 great recipes in one fantastic book for anyone looking for cruelty-free slow-cooker recipes.
Still haven’t had enough? Pre-order this Instant Pot vegan cookbook coming out in January 2017!
You read it here first!
I cannot comment on the content of this cookbook, but I will be first in line come January to test The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot and tell you all about my experience. Stay tuned!
Want to fully take advantage of your Instant Pot? Check out these great accessories!
The Instant Pot is a wonderful addition to my kitchen! A few additional accessories however are helping me make the best use of it:
- Spare silicone ring: the silicone ring inside the lid of the Instant Pot is what allows is to create a seal when pressure cooking. However, it also absorbs some of the flavors of the dishes you are cooking. Folks in the Facebook group have tried many tricks to get the smell out, to no avail. The consensus seems to be to buy a spare ring in order to have one for savory dishes, and one for sweet dishes.
- Tempered glass lid: when using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker, it’s nice to be able to see what’s happening inside the pot without having to open the lid. A glass lid allows for that, and doesn’t come by default with the Instant Pot.
- Stainless steel steamer: veggies cooked in minutes? That’s one of the perks of pressure cooking. Having a steamer on hand keeps the vegetables out of the cooking liquid, so they turn out steamed and not mushy. Buy yourself a steamer with a handle, or even a steamer basket, for easy removal of the vegetables from the pot.