Why We Should use it more often…
Why a slow cooker (crockpot)? To start with foods cooked this way generally have more flavor due to the longer cooking time and allows for better distribution of flavors in many dishes. Because the food is cooked at a fairly low heat for longer periods it generally yields higher nutrient content verses boiling or frying. And the flavor is better with the resulting juices.
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It’s rare to burn or scortch foods in a slow cooker and it saves on a lot of dishwashing several pots and pans to create a meal. A crock pot uses a lot less energy that the stove top or oven and they do not put out the heat you get from a stove top or oven either.
Foods are “tenderized” through the slow cooking process so it’s great for the less expensive or tough cuts of meat such as a roast or stew meat.
Another advantage is that the slow cooker travels well. From potlucks to parties, easily get your slow cooker meals from here to there. There are insulated bags we can purchase that keeps our food warm, so we can transport our slow cooker. Many fit different size slow cookers, from 4 to 8 quart.
Slow cookers are convenient for busy people. Fill it up in the morning and come home to a hot, ready, delicious meal.
Another PLUS in my book is reducing our consumption of processed, packaged foods that are void of nutrition and full of chemicals. It’s always a benefit to reduce our intake of sodium, fat and calories. Not to mention a big $$$$ saver.
There are so many recipes for the crockpot. From soups and stews to casseroles and baked desserts. I have even made bread pudding in my crockpot.
I started mine up this morning with a veggie stew. Turnips, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions are in there so far. I will be adding some frozen peas.
And we can’t forget the herbs. I have added sage from our garden, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, garlic, bay leaves and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.. Yes.. ACV… you must try it.
When buying a crock pot there are a few things to consider. The first is size. How big is your family? Generally speaking they run from a small 1 quart up to a big 8 quart. We use a 5 quart and with just the two of us that will make 3 meals from stews and soups. We often make a freezer meal out of left overs for another day. A note here: For best results the crockpot should be filled 1/2 to 2/3 full.
What Features do you want? They range from the simple plug in and select high, low or warming to programmable features like delayed start, temp variations and more. I highly suggest that if your buying your first crockpot to go with a simple version.
There are loads of crockpot recipes online. I have used quite a few that I found and do my own tweaking for a healthier version on some of them. Head over to the FREE resource Library for my Crock Pot Stuffing Recipe… and while your there, check out some of the other great FREE holiday recipes. If your not a member yet, please sign up and get your password to the library.
What is your favorite crockpot recipe?
Linda Carlson – Certified Nutrition & Wellness Counselor (retired) with 25+ years background.
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