Happy New Year! Yes, I know I’m ridiculously late in saying that. People have been writing to ask if I’m all right because it’s been so long since I posted, so before I write one word about cooking, I want to assure you that I am fine.
Actually, I’m more than fine. By any means of measurement, objective (blood tests, CT scans, etc.) and subjective (I feel great), I am 100% back to normal. I’m finding that once people hear that you have had cancer, every little absence from a meeting or a party or a blog makes them fear for your health. The truth is I feel so good that I’ve been busy with lots of mundane projects, such as transferring all my files from Windows to my new iMac, staining and sealing my new front entry doors, and planning some trips with my daughter later this spring (final college visits, yay).
But another reason I haven’t posted is that I’ve been in a cooking slump.
My year got off to a bad start, cooking-wise, when the black-eyed pea loaf I made for New Year’s Day was a total flop. I started off with too much liquid, so it never firmed up in the middle, making it inedible, at least to humans. The dog, however, loved it and enjoyed a little piece as a treat every day for about 3 weeks. My husband even suggested I make it again as dog food!
I’ve had a couple of other flops, such as when I tried to veganize but instead destroyed this recipe for Rumbledethumps. At least we were able to eat the Rumbledethumps, with their vegan “cheese” that was more like a nutritional yeast crust, but such failures do make me feel like I’ve somehow lost my cooking mojo. I have been having success re-cooking a lot of my old recipes, so my problem isn’t in the execution but in the ideas. Every time I think I’ve come up with a unique idea for a recipe, it turns out that I’ve already made and blogged about something similar. That’s what sharing recipes online for over 20 years will do to you.
I finally decided that the only way to get over my blogging slump is to just find something simple and blog about it. Something like my new way of baking sweet potatoes.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve baked regular potatoes and sweet potatoes in two steps: pre-cook them in the microwave and then finish them off in the toaster oven. It’s a compromise that results in pretty good potatoes that cook quickly in the microwave yet have a little of that roasted flavor that only baking can impart. I didn’t think they could taste any better until I decided to change up one of the steps and pressure cook them in my Instant Pot rather than microwaving. Though they take a little longer in the PC, they come out so much moister and creamier than microwaved potatoes. Here’s how I do it:
Perfect Baked Sweet Potatoes in the Pressure Cooker and Oven
- 1 sweet potato per person
- water boiling preferably
- Wash the sweet potatoes well. Poke each with a fork a few times.
- Put about 1 cup of hot water in your pressure cooker. (This is for a 6-quart Instant Pot; larger cookers may need more. Just make sure water covers the bottom of the pot.)
- Place a steaming rack or basket in the pot. Make sure the water is beneath the level of the rack. Place the potatoes on the rack, out of the water.
- How much time you pressure cook them will depend on the size of the sweet potatoes. For small potatoes, start with 14 minutes, medium 16 minutes, large 18 minutes. Lock your lid in place and bring to high pressure. (Instant Pot users, use the Manual setting and set the appropriate time.) It doesn’t matter how many potatoes you are cooking; set the timer according to the size of the largest potato.
- Cook at high pressure for the time listed for your size of sweet potatoes. Then remove from heat or turn your electric PC off. Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes. Quick release the pressure if necessary after 10 minutes. Check the potatoes by poking down to the center with a fork. They should be relatively soft all the way through. If they seem hard in the middle, return them to the cooker, and pressure cook them for another minute or two. Quick release the pressure and check again. They should be done, but repeat if necessary.
- While the pressure is coming down, preheat your oven to 400F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutritional info is approximate.
If you’re looking for more pressure cooker recipes or just help in using your Instant Pot, check out these resources:
My Pressure Cooking Recipes on this Blog
More Pressure Cooker Recipes on FatfreeVegan.com
Instant Pot Vegan Recipes Facebook Group
Insta-Pot Users Group (Eat to Live)
The New Fast Food, Jill Nussinow’s book and website
Vegan Pressure Cooking, by JL Fields
Thanks for putting up with me as I dip my toe back in the blogging water. I’ll be back soon with something a little more complex. But not dog food!
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May RamadanDecember 4, 2015 at 12:44 am
Unfortunately I don’t have a pressure cooker so I was wondering if I could steam over the stove and then place in the oven ??
Susan VoisinDecember 4, 2015 at 8:41 am
You definitely could, but I don’t think you would save much time. I recommend baking them until they’re done because they will have a lot more flavor.
Katie LossJanuary 14, 2016 at 5:03 am
Thanks Susan for this simple recipe. I had two sweet potatoes that we’re just waiting to get cooked in my electric PC. Here are two more resources to add to your suggestions: Plant-Powered Instant Pot People on fb and Jill Nussinow’s latest cookbook just released Jan. 2016: Vegan Under Pressure.
NinaFebruary 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Why the need to bake in the over for 15 minutes after pressure cooking?
Susan VoisinFebruary 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm
As I say in the post, baking gives them a little of the roasted flavor that pressure cooking can’t give.
Katie LJune 18, 2016 at 8:00 am
So glad you are back in health and back to creative cookery! I had never heard of Rumbledethumps. (Can you believe it took 4 tries to get Apple to accept the spelling! What a fabulous name. It would make a great title for children’s story…or perhaps a rewrite of an old classic to Rumolestilskin and the Magic Rumbledthumps.
I’m hoping you will give it another crack sometime to “Voisinize” it.
I finally, reluctantly, gave away my Instant Pot. I just couldn’t stand the smell of the silicone seal which took on each new smell. Using Onions and garlic were the worst. (So sad since I love Chef AJ’s Red Lentil Chili) I tried all kinds of different suggestions from online groups to neutralize the smell, but nothing worked, from soap and water, sending it through the dishwasher, soaking it in vinegar, in baking soda, etc. and stored it to air out too. It would stink up everything in the cupboard where I stored my IP. Even the suggestion of having two, one for savory and one for sweet, would still leave me with the stink problem in storage.
Does this happen to yours? What do you do?
JackieJune 28, 2016 at 10:58 am
Is the last oven step necessary? I like my Instant Pot because I don’t have to warm up my whole house with the oven in the summer. Can I just use the instant pot a little longer and avoid the oven?
Susan VoisinJune 28, 2016 at 12:50 pm
Yes. The oven gives it the caramelized, baked flavor, but it will still be perfectly edible cooked completely in the Instant Pot.
TracyJuly 14, 2016 at 5:17 am
Susan, thank you for sharing this. Can I cook more than one sweet potato at a time and if so, do I need to add cooking time?
Thank you so much!
Susan VoisinJuly 14, 2016 at 7:41 am
Tracy, you can do as many as will fit, and you don’t need to change the cooking time. Have fun!
Josie TalbotSeptember 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm
I read somewhere on your website that you did not like baked potatoes with salsa. Being a Texan and eating salsa on almost anything I thought it was a strange preference. But I was in Tupelo the first week of August and order a baked potato with salsa at Sweet Peppers Deli and got Rotel tomatoes right out of the can. I now see your point. Many thanks for your wonderful recipes.
Nancy A. SpeedOctober 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm
Hi Susan ~
Just found your “new” method for sweet potato cooking!! First, we love those golden taters. Second, we love finding new uses for our NEW pressure cooker. Third, Can’t Wait To Attempt This !! 😉
We, as a matter of fact, are Senior Citizen vegans.
Again, many thans
Nancy A. SpeedOctober 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm
I wanted to say Thank You for the lovely recipes, but the ads went whirring past ……..
So, thank you!!
Jennika WasilewskyOctober 30, 2016 at 12:41 pm
Should have known you were a good site to find the info I needed. Thanks I’ve been wanting to try sweet potatoes in my IP, maybe tonight if I get to feeling better. I started the morning off badly but with tea and emerge ’cause I’m improving. Did not know about your cancer. I know if 2 others on FB struggling now. Your website is wonderful. I hope you are in remission.
MJNovember 20, 2016 at 11:49 pm
The best sweet potatoes ever! Using the Instapot made them so good and it was so fast. Great idea Thanks
Patti-AnneJanuary 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm
I’ve been using your recipes since going plant based in 2005. I don’t know what I would eat without you! I love that you shared this simple recipie. So often I tend to get off track buying packaged and premade food for lack of time. More tips like this would be a huge help to me and I’m sure many other people. What good cooks may think is common knowledge is lost on someone like me who isn’t an intuitive cook at all. How about a section on your website for “cooking for dummies kind of thing?” The absolute basics that even a college student could cook? Thank you so much for all your amazing work!!!!
Magic and MayhemFebruary 15, 2017 at 9:47 am
This seems like so much time and trouble for plain cooked sweet potatoes. You suggest boiling water, bringing them up to pressure, cooking at high pressure for at least 14 minutes, letting pressure release for 10 minutes, and then baking them in an oven for 15 minutes?
Sometimes it seems like Instapot owners are trying too hard to pretend they really save any time or trouble. I have an Instant Pot but I find that it’s not really the super-gadget everybody seems to want to believe it is.
We generally just microwave them for about 6 minutes or bake them along with other things (or a big batch of them) for about an hour. They taste great and it’s quite easy. 🙂
Lita WatsonJune 25, 2017 at 8:26 pm
So tasty your dish is! Do you think we should use Aluminum Foil for these potatoes!? I see that sometimes it can seed up the cooking time!
Susan VoisinJune 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm
No, it’s not necessary in the Instant Pot.
jonathanSeptember 4, 2017 at 9:31 am
HI! This is my first time checking out this blog. Thanks for posting! We have an instant pot. I’m wondering why you need to “finish” in the oven for 10-15 minutes after pressure cooking? Is it necessary?
Susan VoisinSeptember 4, 2017 at 10:13 am
It just makes them taste better because it gives them that roasted flavor. You don’t have to bake them if you don’t want to.
JAN ROWANOctober 12, 2017 at 2:56 pm
I am excited to find your site. I live in Pontotoc, MS, northeast of you. Mississippi girls love their vegies.
CathyNovember 25, 2017 at 9:12 am
Thanks to Susan for introducing me to the Instant Pot. My son gave me one last year for Christmas, and the first thing I did was make the sweet potatoes! THE BEST! Now for my story about “The Instant Pot that Saved Thanksgiving”… Twas 2 days before Thanksgiving and all through the kitchen was heard a loud POP coming from my stovetop! Across to the range I flew like a flash, to see what had made such a horrible crash! Nothing was there, not a cup nor a knife, but I’d never seen such an awful crack in my life! Google said “don’t use it! you’ll get a bad shock!” and a new top online was “not in stock”…so I started to shop, how much would I pay? WHAT? They can’t deliver one until SUNDAY? (here’s the part where the IP saved the day…) . Shining on my counter was the Instant Pot and that nice little pot just wouldn’t stop! On string beans, on mashed potatoes, on brussels, and beets! Now mac & cheeze, and cranberry sauce and sauteed veggies for the dressing! (But wait! there’s more!) Smooth gravy and wonderful CORN ON THE COB!! Dinner was saved, tummies were full, and the food that I served was super flavorful!
I think the trick is that the flavor isn’t boiled out like it when veggies are boiled on the stovetop. Another bonus, I didn’t steam up the kitchen with all the pots boiling away on the stove.
So again, thanks for cluing me in to the IP, Susan — Happy Holidays!
Susan VoisinNovember 26, 2017 at 8:19 am
I just love this! Glad your IP could save the day and very grateful that you shared your poem/story with us.
LibbyAugust 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm
Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I’ve had it bookmarked for a long time but finally tried them today. Best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had.