Crockpot meals: A simple, healthy way to cook
Are you tired of coming home and thinking “what am I going to make for dinner tonight??!!” Has dinner time become the most dreaded part of your day? Fret no more! Crockpot meals can be your saving grace!
What is a crockpot? It is a slow cooker that can be used every day and is useful for any kind of meal, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. Ingredients are put in a large removable bowl which sits inside of the cooker. You can cook on low heat (4-6hours) or high heat (6-8 hours) depending on your meal and cooking needs. Using a crockpot is energy efficient, salvages nutrients that can be lost in high heat temperatures, it is a meal in one dish, saves time, money, and clean-up is easy! Use a crock pot cooking bag or spray bowl with Pam to make clean up even easier!
What can I cook in it?
Meats: Choose tougher meats that would tenderize with a marinade and slow cooking. Be sure to cut away the excess fat. Some good cuts are chuck roast, beef stew meat, pork (most cuts), poultry (dark/white meats). If using ground meat in a casserole, cook and strain meat first before adding it to the slow cooker. Leaner cuts of meat are not recommended due to the long cook times. They will become dry and too tough to eat.
Vegetables: Cook root vegetables (potatoes, carrots) under the meat if cooking together. Add lighter vegetables (mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers) on top of the meat about 1 hour before cooking time is complete. The benefit of cooking vegetables in a slow cooker is keeping the nutrients within the dish!
Casseroles: Yes! You can make casseroles in a slow cooker! Save your precious sleep—put a breakfast casserole on at bedtime and have ready for friends and family in the morning.
Vegetable soup, slow-cooked in a crock pot, ready to serve.
Click below for slow-cooker safety tips:
- Prepare your meal the night before and refrigerate. Pop it in before you leave the next morning!
- Overfilling your crockpot can cause it to overflow during cooking.
- Keep the lid on, otherwise you are losing about 15mins of cooking time each time you lift it! Exception: If your meal seems to have too much liquid, cook with the lid off for about 30 minutes.