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For those of you that have an Instant Pot, you know what a timesaver it is to have in the kitchen. If you don’t have one I would highly recommend looking into it. You can read more about it here. Whether you are a single person or have a large family I am sure that an electric pressure cooker will be a game changer for your cooking situation. The Instant Pot seems to be the most trusted brand of electric pressure cookers and is comparably priced with similar “copycat” brands. This is the model we have and it is used almost every day-I am not exaggerating. I would have to say that by far our favorite dish to cook in the IP is beef ribs. Ribs normally take at least 3-4 hours with other cooking methods but these are on the table in a little less than 2 hours total.
We used some pretty meaty pastured beef short ribs from a meat share that we bought locally and Stubb’s BBQ sauce-either the “Spicy”, “Sweet Heat” or “Sticky Sweet” varieties. For some reason the “Original” doesn’t taste great to us. I think the “Sweet Heat” is the best personally, it isn’t too spicy but plenty sweet! It is our 5 year old’s favorite too! Stubb’s is one of those brands that is reasonably clean and widely available at most grocery stores near us.
When I say “clean” BBQ sauce the things that I am most concerned about avoiding are high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, dyes and MSG. When the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup (as most supermarket options tend to be) it is an easy and cheap option but a LOT of sugar and if you are looking for healthier options in general, condiments are an easy thing to make small changes with. Just scan the ingredient list and if it has high fructose corn syrup look for another one. Some brands actually advertise “HFCS-free” or “100% Natural” Those products can be good places to start because most of us don’t want to spend 20 minutes reading labels and we all know the condiment aisle is just a liiiiiittle intimidating!
Let’s remember it is important to make realistic and attainable goals for changing to have healthier options in the house. I always recommend using up what you have then looking for a healthier option next time! Keep in mind that even the cleanest mainstream grocery store condiment options might still have what some people consider to be “questionable ingredients”. Sometimes brands (like Stubb’s) will list certain ingredients at the bottom of the list or as “less than 0.5% of the ingredients.” Things listed like that tend to be dextrin, corn syrup, food starch, corn starch, guar gum, xanthan gum, natural flavors, etc. In my opinion, that is not a big deal. Pick your battles, people. I can think of a lot better things to be concerned about when it comes to reading labels.
With all of the brands that are offering HFCS-free condiments these days, we prefer to find a better option without being too picky. We have found that most stores carry at least one. If they don’t and we are not up for going to another store to find one, we just have to decide what is more important at that moment. Bottom line-do what works for YOU! Figure out what your priorities and options are then go with it. It is all about finding what works for your family without stressing about it too much 😎