Health

Why a Slow Cooker is Essential in Kitchen

| by Mitzi Dulan

Would you love to cook more and save money? Do you sometimes not know what to do with leftovers? Do you constantly throw out veggies that have sat in your fridge and gone bad? Do you want to prepare healthy home-cooked meals quickly?

If you’ve answered YES to any of the above questions don’t worry – there’s a solution: a SLOW COOKER! With this kitchen essential you can have fun creating dishes that are flavor-packed and nutrient-rich – all while on a budget and with minimal time and effort. No matter if you’re vegetarian, a meat lover, pescaterian, or vegan, the Slow Cooker is right for you – the possibilities for healthy and delicious meals, sides, desserts, snacks (I could go on and on) are endless!

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If you’re still not convinced – Here’s why a Slow Cooker will save you time, cash, and trips to the grocery store:

More Time Slow Cooking, More Time For You: The Slow Cooker is a great time saver! Simply select and put the ingredients into the slow cooker, turn the switch on, and sit back and relax – or if you’re like me use this bonus time to do something else! Turn the slow cooker on before you head off to work and come home to a nice, warm delicious meal!

Cheaper Ingredients Taste Expensive: With a slow cooker, the lower temperature and longer heating time tenderizes meat and locks in flavors of the dish. Therefore less expensive cuts of meat can be used and less stock and/or broth are needed.

Leftovers are the Main Ingredients: After a meal are there a few handfuls of beans leftover or a small cup of veggies not eaten? It’s too little to save yet too much to dump! With a slow cooker, instead of scraping those leftovers into the trash can, throw them into the crockpot for another night’s meal! A helpful tip: keep a container in the freezer for all those little portions of leftovers. Keep adding to the container until it’s filled and use for your next Slow Cooker creation!

Store Bought Products can be Homemade: why spend money on packaged and pre-made products when you can make them yourself? Use the Slow Cooker to create your own soups, sauces, broths, stocks, – even your own yogurt and granola, which can be pricey grocery items!

Some Great Recipes to try:

With the weather getting colder, enjoy a warm, hearty, and healthy chili: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (Courtesy of Foodnetwork.com)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-cooker-chicken-chili-recipe2/index.html

Here’s a great way to wake up in the morning: Slow Cooker Fruit, Nuts, and Spice Oatmeal (Courtesy of allrecipes.com)

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-fruit-nuts-and-spice-oatmeal/Detail.aspx

Savor dessert with this perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake (Courtesy of the Healthy Apron & adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook)

http://thehealthyapron.com/2010/10/25/3-things-i-love/

Research Assistance provided by Marsi Shapiro