Why Make Slow Cooker Healthy Meals?

Why Make Slow Cooker Healthy Meals?

slow cooker healthy meals

 

Pssst! Before You Reach For The Phone To Order Home Delivered Food Read This Post…….

Making sure a healthy dinner is ready every evening is not easy. Nowadays life seems so rushed, there’s always more to do, a seemingly never ending list of tasks that you need to get done.

When you arrive home at the end of the day tired and hungry, it’s all too easy to ring for home delivered food but unfortunately some of those takeout choices are not that good for you. This is just one great reason why you should make slow cooker healthy meals.

Nothing feels better after a busy work day than coming home to find a flavorful casserole or beautiful stew all ready for you, with nothing more to do than dish it up and enjoy. The welcoming aroma of hearty home cooking greets you as you open your front door.

It’s hardly surprising then, that slow cookers have become a common feature in many homes especially with the hectic schedules most people have nowadays, juggling work, kids and the various activities we all try to cram into our increasingly busy lives.

So….. What is a Slow Cooker?

Introduced as a Crock-Pot in the 1970s by manufacturers Rival, slow cookers continue to be one of the must-have kitchen gadgets for the savvy and busy cook. The Crock Pot brand name became so familiar that slow cookers are still often referred to as ‘crock pots’.

slow cooker healthy mealsOften made of ceramic with a glass top and metal housing a slow cooker simply plugs into an electrical outlet. Different heat and time settings allow cooking at low or high temperatures. Many models also come with a keep warm feature too which is pretty useful to keep the food at serving temperature if you’re running late.

The slow cooker was designed to allow for moist-heat cooking, producing condensed steam on the glass lid which returns to the pot, making it ideal for preparing soups, stews, and casseroles. Extended cooking time and slow/low energy cooking allows for optimum distribution of flavors throughout the dish.

The slow cooker I use isn’t a ‘Crockpot’ brand, but it’s pretty good. It’s fully programmable and has a ceramic liner rather than non-stick. It’s also good-looking enough to use for serving straight on the table. Click for more information

Health Benefits Of Slow Cooking

Food cooked at high temperature tends to lose much of its nutrient value and can make digestion a much more difficult for your gut to process.

High temperature cooking can also create harmful chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer. In fact, meats prepared at high temperature can develop PAC’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) which can cause cancer and even alter DNA.

slow cooker healthy mealsOn the other hand, long and slow cooking ensures nutrients like vitamins and minerals are retained in the food. One of the key advantages of slow cooking is its ability to make stock or broth preparation very easily.

Stock and bone broth are typically made with meat, poultry or fish bones which must be cooked slowly over many hours to extract the vitamins, minerals and other nutritious qualities from the bones into the broth.

Bone broth has amazing health benefits: it inhibits infection, reduces joint pain, promotes good digestion as well as healthy hair and nails. Probably its most well-known property is its ability to heal a leaky gut. For an easy and healthy chicken bone broth recipe click here

Meals can be made using a combination of ingredients along with meat or poultry such as onions, carrots, garlic, potatoes, herbs, and tomatoes. You can easily mix things up and enjoy a protein-rich, soluble fiber meal with micro nutrients and antioxidants, all in the one pot.

You Too Can Save Money By Using A Slow Cooker

Since slow cookers make delicious dishes out of cheaper and less desirable cuts of meat, they literally save you a lot of money. These cheaper cuts of meat are turned succulent, tender and full of flavor by slow cooking.

There’s lots of choice too, some of the most delicious slow cooker recipes include pork belly, pork shoulder, brisket, flank steak, skirt steak, oxtail, pork shank, top rump, and lamb shank.

slow cooker healthy mealsSlow cookers save money in another way too due to their energy saving abilities, especially when compared to the energy consumption rate of an electric oven. While a standard oven consumes around 4,000 watts of power per hour, a slow cooker uses only 300 watts.

Yeah but you’ve got to cook your meat for hours, that definitely can’t be cheaper? That’s wrong.

Let’s say you have a hunk of meat that would normally take up to 2 hours to roast in a standard oven but 6 hours with a slow cooker. A slow cooker will only consume 1,800 watts of power even with the extended cooking time while your standard oven will use up to 8,000 watts of power.

Since power usage determines the price you pay on your electricity bills, a slow cooker represents a cheaper and greener option.

Some Other Great Benefits Of Using A Slow Cooker

It’s a great tool for novice cooks

slow cooker healthy mealsEveryone can master meal preparation with a slow cooker since all the ingredients needed for the recipe are added at about the same time. For some recipes you might have to do some initial browning and combining herbs and flavorings.

However, once all the ingredients are placed into the slow cooker you only have to place the lid on the pot and allow it to cook in all the moisture and flavor.

Safe and Easy to Use

Slow cookers are typically designed to be left unattended under heat. They are very safe to use whether you are away or asleep – unless you’re using an ancient model with a worn-out cord or you’ve done some rookie electrical work in the home.

With a slow cooker, burning your food is a near impossibility too. Since the cooker is tightly covered, it is unlikely that your food can dry out or even burn – a factor that is always a concern when using a stove top or an oven for cooking.

Less Heat

Slow cookers give off much less heat when compared to a standard oven. This means your kitchen won’t become over heated in the same way – a real bonus on a hot summer day! Now you can make your summer stew or soup with butternut squash, sweet corn, beans and the kale from your garden without getting hot and bothered.

I live in a tropical climate, so this is a consideration for me. Particularly when I make my bone broths which can be cooking for about 20 hours.

Less Clean-up Time

slow cooker healthy mealsYou won’t have to spend time scrubbing different pans and pots after using a slow cooker. In most cases, you’ll only need to wash the slow cooker and a few utensils used for meal preparation. Many slow cookers are often dishwasher-safe, further cutting down your clean up time.

Saves Space

A slow cooker eliminates the need for a stove-top or an oven, which is especially convenient for college students residing in dorms. And even if you must have an oven, having a slow cooker relieves you of the hassle of juggling several pans and pots in your oven and on your hob. You can either use a slow cooker for your main course or as a side cooking tool. It’s also a great choice for special occasions and large gatherings.

Great for Busy Households

With increasingly busy lifestyles often family members rushing in and out, eat at different times, which makes a slow cooker ideal if you have anyone getting home late and needing a healthy meal after everyone else has eaten. Once the slow cooker is set to warm, it keeps the food gently heated until it is needed.

Putting it all together

A slow cooker is an amazing piece of kitchen equipment – very easy and convenient to use and it can save you lots of money on both your electricity bills and the cuts of meat you buy.

There is a wide variety of food types and recipes that can be made using a slow cooker. With the added benefit of providing a healthy form of cooking you can hardly go wrong owning a slow cooker.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error

22 Comments

  • Drian Baker September 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Hmm slow cooker. Definitely worth giving a try. I was beginning to get worried about electricity consumption just before you mentioned that it actually consumes less power than the oven. It definitely has a lot of pros, but you didn’t really mention any cons. Can it also prepare meals fast?
    Oh and if you could write another article containing recipes you can make over slow cookers, it will be much appreciated.

    • Ann September 11, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Drian

      Thanks for commenting. Your query about, can it cook meals fast? Well you can use it on high heat which speeds the cooking time but the strength of a slow cooker is it’s ability to cook slowly for all of the reasons mentioned in my post.

      I do have a recipe on my site already for Osso Bucco which you might want to check out. I’ll be adding more slow cooker recipes in future. 

  • Steven September 20, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I was introduced to slow cooking by my partner.

    Before I met her I was a takeaway kind of guy or used microwave/oven for everything.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short the slow cooker has helped me out with meal preparation.

    Now, as a personal trainer, I recommend slow cookers to all my clients for weight loss.

    I never knew or even realized it will save you money in the long run

    • Ann September 20, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Steven thanks for your comments. It’s great how you’ve changed the way you eat and cooking methods. I’m sure you’ve found the positive health benefits too.

  • Shane Black November 10, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Ann, 

    Another great article of yours… always educational. 

    I actually cooked a meal in out slow cooker the other day, simply because my wife and I were low on time so I just threw a whole heap of ingredients into the slow cooker and let it cook for 24 hours. I had no idea of the health benefits that cooking in a slow cooker offers, I guess you learn something new every day!

    What are some of your favourite recipes for cooking using a slow cooker?

    Thanks again Ann. 

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    • Ann November 11, 2018 at 1:48 am

      Hi Shane thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Great to hear you already found the time saving benefits of using a slow cooker. I love to make osso bucco or any type of stew using the cheaper cuts of meat. I’m yet to find a good chicken dish that I could make, need to do some research. 

  • Rachelle November 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    I love my slow cooker or “CrockPot”. To me they are all the same.
    The New best thing I have found about them is now you can buy a liner for them too!! It is awesome!! It looks like a big plastic bag that you put in the bottom of your pot before adding any food. Then pull over the sides of the pot before putting the lid on. This now makes the slow cooker even easier to use because now you don’t even have to wash it up. Years ago the pot never came out of the heat container and was always hard to wash. Not any more!! Just throw the bag away and you are done. Rinse the lid and wash the outside with a dish cloth and all cleaned up!!!

    • Ann November 24, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Hi Rachelle I agree that those bags might save a little time on washing up, but not sure about the health ramifications of cooking food in plastic.

  • Rokio.C November 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Aha, I totally agree with you on using slow cooker to cook some of my meals. Turns out nowadays slow cooker are just too convenient to use that you throw all ingredients inside it and switch the cook button, easy as that. But do not get the wrong idea here because normally, those applies only on cooking soup ( for me of course), definitely save my time to work on preparing other dishes.

    Technically, slow cooker is easy to clean ( Hassle free) and simple to use – features with ” word” written on the button. Sometimes, I really don’t understand when people say, I don’t have the time to cook. I bet they didn’t even take the initiative to learn to cook with the slow cooker. Well, at least I am not one of them.

    Anyways, great article on slow cooker makes healthy meals and keep on creating great article in the future. 

    • Ann November 11, 2018 at 1:40 am

      Hi Rokio thanks for your comments about how easy it is to use a slow cooker I’m glad you’v Already started feeling the benefits.

  • Babsie Wagner November 13, 2018 at 2:45 am

    I always knew I loved the soups and stews of the slow cooker, but I never realized that you retain more of the vitamins and minerals when you use a slow cooker vs. stove top frying and cooking.  Wow, that is amazing.  I agree with you, I absolutely love the smell when you come home and open the door.  It’s like visiting Grandma’s house, where it always smelled like that every time we visited.  Yummy.  I am so glad I came upon your article.  I am going to pull out my slow cooker and use some of the recipes in my cookbook.  Thanks so much.

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hi Babsie thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Sometimes we need a reminder to use the kitchen gadgets we bought and are now sitting in the cupboard. I use my slow cooker all year round to make bone broth, but in the colder months it definitely comes into its own for soups and stews etc.

  • Suzie November 13, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Hi Ann, 

    What an interesting post! I will defiantly dust off my slow cooker now that I have read your article. I always was under the impression that because it takes so long to cook the food, that the electricity usage would be high. But thanks to your review my family and I will now be enjoying slow cooked meals more often.

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 8:00 am

      Hi Suzie thanks for your comments, yes go dust off your slow cooker. 

  • Cris November 13, 2018 at 2:51 am

    This article made me hungry, hahaha. I LOVE my slowcooker. Not only is it extremely useful for busy/long days, but great when you just want to “set it and forget it.” Ours gets a workout in the winter because it makes the best pull-apart meats and soups. Speaking of soup, I saw that you were looking for a chicken recipe, and the slowcooker makes a great chicken tortilla soup!

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Cris thanks for your comments and glad to hear your slow cooker already gets a workout. 

  • Paul November 13, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Dear Ann,

    Thanks a lot on shedding light on slow cooker and I got new insights from your informative post.

    I was shocked to read the High temperature cooking harmful effects. Losing nutrient value while cooking is not at all a good news.

    Benefits Of Using A Slow Cooker is awesome. Thanks for sharing this helpful information. You shared the problem and you provided the solution for the problem as well which is great.

    I am going to share your post with my wife and we will go for the slow cooker soon.

    Much success!

    Paul

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Hi Paul thanks for leaving a comment, I’m glad you found my article informative. This is the slow cooker I have.

  • Linda November 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Hi Ann,

    I found this post on slow cookers quite informative and intriguing. I’ve been a fan of slow cooking for many years and am well versed in the convenience aspects. But I wasn’t aware that the slow cooking process retained more vitamins and nutrients. That’s a very useful tip. I also hadn’t considered making my chicken broth in a slow cooker but it makes sense now that you’ve mentioned it. Approximately how long do you cook your chicken both for? Thanks for the great info!

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Hi Linda thanks for stopping by. I cook my bone broth for about 20 hours if I can. Sometimes I cook for less time, say around 15 hours. A slow cooker is brilliant for broth making as you don’t need to keep an eye on the water level etc., just set and forget. 

  • Shy November 13, 2018 at 3:03 am

    What a great idea!  Everyone seems to think that faster is better, just put the food in the microwave zap it and it’s done.  Slow cooking brings out the flavour more because it has been cooking in it slowly for a long period of time.  It makes the house smell great.It is just as easy to put food in a slow cooker and let it cook as putting it in the microwave, the only difference is how long until it is done.

    • Ann November 13, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Hi Shy thanks for your comments. Slow cooking is very easy as you say, a little bit of planning, place food in the cooker, set and leave.

    Leave a Reply

    Subscribe to our Mailing List

    Get the news right in your inbox!

    Who We Are

    Categories

    Popular Links

    Recent Posts

    Recent Comments

    Follow by Email
    Pinterest

    Popular Topics

    Subscribe & Follow

    Latest Posts

    Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

    Quit Chronic Fatigue is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This is at no cost to you.

    ×

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

    Close