Nutrition Articles

Slow and Easy Crockpot Cooking

You DO Have Time for Home Cooked Meals

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How often do you find yourself starving when you get home at night? And how often, as a result, do you grab anything and everything in sight? Why does it seem like we can stay true to our diets so well during the day only to derail when we get home?

A delicious and healthy ready-to-eat meal awaiting your arrival can help you stay on track (and NOT eat that box of crackers for dinner).

Cooking in the Crockpot (or the slow cooker) can be easy, fun and healthy. These handy kitchen appliances allow you to prepare food ahead of time and cook it without any attention. Instead of worrying all day about what to make for dinner, you know a hot meal will be ready when you get home. It's also perfect for batch cooking a healthy meal that will last 4-5 days.

A Crockpot can be a great help in preparing wholesome, nutritious meals that are veggie-rich, packed with complex carbs, and low in fat and calories. Long cooking on low heat tenderizes meat, so it is an excellent way to cook those cuts of meat that have less fat, are less tender, but are also less expensive.

Adapting Recipes
  • Brown and drain the fat from high-fat meats (like ground beef), before adding it to the Crockpot. Leaner meats such as stew beef, poultry, or pork chops do not have to be cooked beforehand.
  • Whole herbs and spices work better than crushed. If using crushed herbs, do not add them until closer to the end of the cooking time.
  • Always fill the Crockpot at least half full.
  • Reduce the liquid in your recipe to about one cup or less. The slow cooking method saves all the food's natural juices and the juices do not cook off.
  • Use canned soups, broths, wine, vegetable juice or water as the liquid in your Crockpot.
  • Add dairy products only during the final 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Vegetables take longer to cook than most meat, so put them on the bottom.
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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