How To Choose The Best Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

There has been a very high demand for healthy slow cooker recipes in recent times. More and more people have discovered that crockpots are not only a healthier cooking alternative, but they can also be used to make a number of mouthwatering dishes. They can also prove to be much more economical in terms of power consumption and the money spent on buying raw materials. However, it’s always important to remember that cooking with crockpots is different than conventional cooking. This means that healthy slow cooker dishes need to be made by following certain guidelines in order to be a success.

Understanding How It Works

Before getting into healthy recipes, it’s important to know exactly how crockpot cooking is healthier. First of all, the very style of crockpot cooking is healthier than most other cooking methods. With this, the food basically cooks in steam and soaks in its own juices over a span of a few hours. This is beneficial in two ways. One, it seals in any vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that the food has. As no evaporation takes place at any time during cooking, all these nutrients are simply reabsorbed into the food. This is an effective alternative to methods like boiling, where the most precious minerals and nutrients end up being cooked away. This slow cooking method also cuts down any risk of burning and frees up a number of hours where you can be away from the kitchen while the food cooks on its own.

Another benefit of these healthy slow cooker recipes is that you attain a rich and hearty flavor without having to resort to methods like deep-frying. A good example is a simple potato dish. Many people prefer deep-fried potatoes because they are very filling when compared to something like a potato salad. However, French fries are not a very healthy way to eat potatoes. A crockpot recipe like cream cheese potatoes can be much more filling, tastier, and far healthier than French fries. This dish basically consists of cream cheese, potatoes, and onions, but this method makes this a robust and delicious meal that is much healthier than a serving of French fries.

Some Useful Tips

When trying to choose the best healthy slow cooker recipes, it can be helpful to keep the following hints in mind when cooking. Try not to use your crockpot to thaw frozen foods or to reheat food. It’s important to know that food needs to reach certain temperatures in order for harmful bacteria to be killed, and crockpots are not always the best way to do this. Remember that slow cookers are well adapted to cooking tougher cuts of meat, so you can save a few pennies by buying some cheaper cuts. Make sure that you trim the fat and remove the skin before putting it in the cooker.

Whether you’re looking for vegetarian slow cooker recipes or nonvegetarian healthy slow cooker recipes, opt for recipes that are low in salt, fats, and carbohydrates. Many recipes call for wholesome natural ingredients rather than packaged or processed foods. These are not only healthier, but they are much more economical as well. Due to the slow cooking method of crockpots, you’ll find that even relatively simple dishes will have a rich and hearty flavor that is both satisfying and filling.

Benefits of Using the Slow Cooker and Slow Cooker Recipes

The slow cooker or crock pot has become one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen for every family. The slow cooker has gained much popularity due to the many benefits of using it. The slow cooker can help to prepare a great variety of delicious food. There are many slow cooker recipes widely available to provide more choices of the types of dishes you can prepare using the slow cooker. By simply following the recipes, you can cook many types of delicious meals for your family everyday.

The best benefit of using the slow cooker for cooking is that the dishes it prepares are nutritious. This is because mainly fresh, wholesome ingredients are used in the cooking. The ingredients are cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time, thus they become extremely tender and delicious. As there is little evaporation, the food will not dry out. The natural juices from the meats and vegetables are retained in the pot, thus, the cooked food are nutritious as well as tasty. Hence, if you are looking for healthy food, using the slow cooker to cook your meals is a way to attain it.

Although using the gas stove, electric burner or grill are fast and efficient methods to do cooking, these methods require attention and supervision. For example, if a piece of meat is left unattended on a hot grill, it will become charred. If stirring is not done regularly while simmering tomato sauce in a pot, sticking and burning will occur at the bottom of the pot. Similarly, if a tray of butter cookies is placed in a heated oven, the cookies will blacken if they are not removed on time. Hence, we see that although these methods are fast but they require monitoring and the food items need to be stirred, flipped or turned. The advantage of the slow cooker is that it is able to do the cooking without any human intervention. The cooker takes the heat and indirectly applies it to the food so that the food cooked slowly and evenly. As the slow cooker uses low heat, the food is not burned without stirring.

Due to the fact that slow cookers are safe, easy to use, and require no attention while cooking, people who use it save much time and effort in cooking their meals. Nowadays, many working adults avoid cooking because they are either too tired after a long day of work, or they have no time to do so. The slow cooker provides them with the convenience of being able to work and still can enjoy eating home-cooked food without having to spend time in the cooking process. In the morning before leaving for work, they can easily place all the food ingredients in the slow cooker and set it on low. By the time they come back from work in the evening, a tasty, nutritious, home-cooked dish will be ready for them. They can choose to add a salad or whole-grain bread to the dish and it will form a complete meal. Thus, by using the slow cooker, people can spend their time at work, in school or anywhere enjoying some recreation, and still have the opportunity to eat nutritious food.

During hot weather, when using the stove and oven for cooking may increase the heat in the surroundings, the slow cooker provides a good alternative. Furthermore, the slow cooker is an economical appliance to use for cooking. It uses as little electricity as a 75-watt light bulb and substantially less energy as compared to an electric oven.

As you can see from the above, crock pot cooking has many benefits. If you wish to enjoy fully the advantages of slow cooker cooking, it is best to equip yourself with a book of slow cooker recipes. It can provide you with a great variety of ideas so that you can prepare delicious and sumptuous meals everyday. For more information, please visit Slow Cooker and Slow Cooker Recipes []

Easy and Satisfying Slow Cooker Recipes

If the howling winds and frigid temperatures weren’t indication enough, we can certainly help confirm: winter is here folks! And while the powdery fresh snowfalls and Holiday merriment can be enjoyable, it’s safe to say that gusts of wind, sharp as whips, and early morning alarm clocks, forcing you from your warm bed, are not.

Winter can be a difficult and arduous time, and most of us are just trying to get through it. It is during these tough months that we feel ever so grateful to the kitchen companion that everyone should have by now: Slow Cookers. What can be more comforting than a warm bowl of stew waiting for you after a treacherous commute home?

So, in ode to the magnificent invention that is the crockpot, here is a list of our favorite Slow Cooker recipes:

Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli

This easy soup recipe is an Italian masterpiece! Bits of Bacon complete a flavorful, tomato-y broth that’s accompanied with tender bites of pasta and hearty cannellini beans. Here’s how you make it:

Here’s what you will need:

  1. 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 2 medium carrots, chopped
  4. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 1 can of cannellini beans (or white kidney beans)
  7. 1 can of diced tomatoes
  8. 3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes, crumbled
  9. 4 cups of water
  10. ¾ cup of ditalini or other small pasta

How to make it:

1. Crisp the bacon in a nonstick skillet, removing after cooked and reserving two tablespoons of the drippings.

2. In the grease, cook the chopped onion, carrots and celery until they’re soft.

3. Add the garlic and cook for an additional thirty seconds, before emptying the vegetables into the slow cooker.

4. Add half of the bacon and half a cup of beans (mashed with a fork) to the cooker.

5. Add the tomatoes, chicken bouillon and water and set the timer between eight to ten hours, if cooking on low, or four to six hours, if cooking on high.

6. After that time has passed, add the pasta and cook, uncovered for an additional thirty minutes. Garnish the delicious soup recipe with the remaining bacon and a flourish of Parmesan cheese. If desired, serve with crusty Italian bread.

Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

If anything is deserving of a long, slow cook time, it’s without doubt a hearty beef stew. This delicious soup recipe gets all of its flavor from a period of time that allows the individual ingredients to flavor the broth, and a slow heat that tenderizes the tasty beef chunks. A slow cooker certainly helps with this process, as you’re free to go about your day while the easy soup recipe simmers away at your stovetop!

Here’s what you will need:

  1. 3 ¼ cups boiling water
  2. 1 tub Home-Style Stock- Beef
  3. 1 ½ lbs. boneless beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  4. Ground black pepper
  5. 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  6. 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  7. 1 lb. medium potatoes, cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
  8. 4 medium carrots, sliced (about 2 cups)
  9. 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
  10. 4 cloves of garlic
  11. 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  12. 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 1 cup thawed frozen green peas

How to make it:

1. Ready your stock by adding boiling water and stirring it thoroughly.

2. Proceed by seasoning your beef with the black pepper and coating it well with two tablespoons of the flour.

3. On medium heat, brown the pieces of beef and set aside. In the slow cooker, add the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic.

4. Nestle the beef amongst the vegetables and add three cups of stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaf.

5. Cover and cook on low for eight hours, or five hours on high.

6. Blend the remaining flour with the leftover stock until smooth and then add the gravy and peas to the slow cooker. After fifteen minutes, this delicious soup recipe is ready to eat.

A slow cooker makes these easy soup recipes even simpler on the days when they’re most appreciated. The next time you’re in the mood for something ultra comforting on a busy day, try one of these dynamite slow cooker soups!