Do pressure cookers scare you? I know they scare a lot of people, and that keeps them from even considering using one. But pressure cookers have evolved and the best ones work well with pretty much no danger. (I’m assuming a certain level of intelligence here, like don’t run it out of water or fail to turn it down from high when it comes up to pressure.)

Believe me, I know what pressure cookers used to be like. I lived at The Farm in TN throughout the 70s with our “yay soybeans” ethos and our relentless vegan diet. I saw a Presto pressure cooker blow its safety valve more than once, throwing a geyser of water and beans onto the ceiling. And I wouldn’t buy an old one from a Goodwill. But today’s stainless steel pressure cookers with their superior steam-handling technology such as Rapida’s Splendid Pressure Cooker line are nothing like the old days.

Get one of these cookers and a fabulous bean dinner of your choice means soaking overnight and then a mere 18 minutes in the pressure cooker, yielding beans soft enough to easily mash on the roof of your mouth.

And if you really want to get your protein by eating soybeans it’s the only way to go. I don’t care how many hours you boil soybeans – do it overnight if you want – you won’t get them soft enough. And then there’s kale. I love that this hardy green that I once saw withstand a -20f freeze, is now the darling of everyone. It should be because it is so great. With a Rapida pressure cooker you can cook that kale under pressure in 3 minutes flat instead of, what, 20 minutes in a regular boil?

So lower carbon footprint, softer beans, the best greens in minutes, and little risk. If you want to eat less animal and more vegetable and prefer to cook your own food – get a pressure cooker. There’s nothing like it.

- Submitted to Cool Tools by John Coate