As you get your momentum going, staying healthy becomes easier. It’s a lifestyle change. One of the most difficult aspects, though, can be cooking. We all want to eat healthy foods, but keeping our kitchens stocked and finding the time to cook can be a problem, especially for busy people.
You can improve your overall nutrition easily by using a slow cooker like a Crock-Pot. I integrated this great kitchen tool into my life last year after receiving one as a gift (the story here), and I’ve never looked back.
Not Your Mama’s Crock-Pot
My Crock-Pot allows me to prepare healthy meals in just a few minutes, leaving the dish to cook all day while I’m at work or overnight while I’m sleeping. Here are just a few of the benefits of slow cooking:
To get you inspired, I’ll talk about each of these benefits, giving you tips and tricks from my slow cooking experiences. Trust me . . . if I can do it, you can, too!
Slow Cooking Helps Me Prepare Healthy Food
One of my favorite things about slow cooking is that I don’t need to use fats or oils to make meat tender. Slow cooking breaks down the meat slowly, bringing out its natural flavors.
When I was little, my family used to go over to my grandparents’ house for Sunday dinner. My grandmother would always make big meals for us, with so many delicious dishes. And she always made a roast or pepper steak in her Crock-Pot. The meat was so tender. It would almost melt in your mouth.
Because you don’t use oil or fats, the food you make in your slow cooker is good for you. It’s natural and low fat—perfect for getting and staying healthy.
Food Tastes Better
If you’ve ever made a dish that tastes better the next day, you can understand how slow cooking makes good food even better. There’s something about cooking low and slow that blends flavors together.
A lot of Crock-Pot cooking relies on aromatics to make this magic happen. Vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, and celery really pack a lot of flavor when it comes to slow cooking. The aromatics fuse into the meat and other vegetables, marrying the flavors in a way that stove top cooking can’t.
I Can Use Inexpensive Ingredients
How many times have you walked out of the grocery store with a huge bill because you were buying lots of fresh vegetables and lean meats? Slow cooking can help with this, too!
Lean meats often cost more, but with a slow cooker, I can buy cheaper cuts of meat, trim off the fat, and still have tasty, low-fat meals. I’ve even cut back on purchases of fresh vegetables by buying more frozen veggies. You know what that means? A lower grocery bill and fewer trips to the store.
One of the things I like to do every week is to plan my meals in advance. It makes eating healthy so much easier and saves me a ton of time. I stock up on meats and frozen veggies when there are sales. That means that I only have to think about special ingredients and aromatics when I’m planning slow cooking.
Here’s a tip: You can buy some frozen vegetables diced and recipe-ready. I try to keep two blends at all times: (1) an onion and green pepper blend; and (2) an onion, celery, and carrot blend. That way, I can still pull off great, healthy recipes without even going to the store.
Variety Is the Spice of Life When It Comes to Slow Cooking
A lot of people associate slow cooking with pot roasts. Yes, they are great for that, but they can do so much more. I use mine for all meals of the day—breakfast, lunch, or dinner—and for appetizers and desserts.
Some of my favorite Crock-Pot recipes are for soups and chilis. I’ll get some of them together to share with you. I also like to make some foods in large quantities, then freeze them so I can just reheat during the week.
My friend Angela is training for a triathlon—again. I don’t know how she does it all. She works full time, trains, and still manages to eat healthy. She tells me that she just throws whatever is in her fridge into her slow cooker. That has earned her the title of the Chuckwagon Crock-Pot Cook. A bit much for me, but it definitely illustrates the flexibility of slow cooking.
Preparing Meals Is Easier
I’m not training for a triathlon like Angela, but my time is always at a premium. I don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, slaving over a stove, which brings me to the last great benefit of slow cooking—it’s a real time-saver.
Most Crock-Pot recipes seem to take into account that this is a major advantage of slow cooking. They keep prep time to a minimum.
I don’t have much time in the morning before work, so I focus on meals that require no more than 15 minutes of my time. And if I know I have a busy day or need to get out of the house quickly, I can put everything in a large baggie, ready to go in the slow cooker first thing in the morning.
If you haven’t ventured into slow cooking, it’s time to give it a try. With all of these benefits, you’ll be glad you did.
Start your Slow Cooking Journey
I’ve crated a quick start guide to help you start your slow cooking experience. What’s in the guide
- A simple and delicious beef vegetable stew recipe with only 10 minutes of preparation time.
- Slow cooker recipes: beef, chicken, vegetables, for two persons and more healthy and simple recipes
- I guide you to find the slow cooker that best suits your needs and wallet. If you don’t want to get your now, you don’t need to and I show you how
- Basic slow cooker tips and rules to maximize your time and enjoy delicious recipes
- Questions and Answers regarding slow cooking
Start preparing delicious meals with only 10 minutes and impress your family and friends.