Edible Water Pearls

Use tapioca pearls and your Instant Pot to create a version of water beads that are not only edible but eco-friendly!

article image
by David Murphy
Makes 6 cups

Water beads are so much fun to play around with, but unfortunately they’re not very eco-friendly and can be harmful if swallowed. I’ve translated this idea to the Instant Pot and we’re going to be using edible tapioca pearls. Let’s get started and have fun!


  • 4 cups warm water, divided
  • 7-cup Pyrex dish
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup large tapioca pearls
  • Trivet
  • Colander
  • 3 pint-sized mason jars with lids
  • Food coloring


  1. Add 2 cups of warm water to your Pyrex dish and add sugar. Stir well until dissolved. Then add in your tapioca pearls.
  2. Place 2 cups of warm water to your Instant Pot liner and place trivet into base. Place your Pyrex dish onto the trivet. Close and lock lid and close vent. Press the Pressure Cook button and adjust time for 7 minutes.
  3. After time has finished, NPR for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure. Remove lid and remove trivet with Pyrex dish on it. Stir contents well and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Empty your tapioca pearls into the colander and run under cold water to prevent any further “cooking” action from happening.
  5. Divide the tapioca pearls evenly across the 3 jars. Add 6 drops of food coloring to each jar and then fill with cold water. I used green, blue, and yellow food coloring. Seal the jars and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, you wake up to these gorgeous colored tapioca pearls, and your little one is going to love playing with them. You can let them eat these little water beads without any fear of them consuming anything toxic.

Note: The color of these water beads will last for about 2 days, if they are mixed with the other color beads. They will last longer in the fridge, so be sure to store them there when not in use.

More from DIY Crafts and Projects for Your Instant Pot:

Author David Murphy is a chef and food blogger whose recipes have been featured on Food & Wine, Delish, Munchies, Daily Mail, Buzzfeed, Jezebel, Today, and more. He recently went viral with his discovery of how to make wine in the Instant Pot! This led to him experimenting with all sorts of recipes that could be adapted for the appliance, and the publication of his first book, Instant Pot Magic. Then as he branched out even more, he realized the Instant Pot doesn’t have to be only for food! The revolutionary home appliance is taking DIY to a whole new level, and David Murphy is just the guy to show you how — in his newest book he’s curated an astounding collection of creative things to do with your Instant Pot.

Excerpted with permission from DIY Crafts and Projects for Your Instant Pot: Lip Balm, Tie-Dye, Candles, and Dozens of Other Amazing Ideas! by David Murphy. Copyright 2019 by Racehorse Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.