Most of us probably have a slow cooker stashed somewhere, hidden deep in the back of a cabinet that we hardly ever use or not at all. Slow cooking is much better than heating up ready to eat meals. In fact, if you are trying to switch to healthier eating, your slow cooker is surely one of the most useful and underused cookware in your kitchen.
1. Your Kitchen Won’t Heat Up
People often associate slow cookers with cold weather when they are perfect for cooking all year round. They are even better for summer as they don’t heat up the kitchen nearly as much as the oven of cooktop will. Once you realise this, you will change your summer cooking habits. Slow cookers are also energy efficient. Even if they run for long hours, sometimes up to 10 hours or more, they use only about a third of the energy that the oven would take to cook the same dish in an hour.
2. Slow Cooking is a Healthier Way to Cook Meat
Once you try cooking meat in a slow cooker, you won’t look back. The slow cooking will turn inexpensive cuts of meat into fork-tender bites. It is also important to point out that the most delicious ways to cook meat are the least healthy, such as grilling. When cooked over high, direct heat, the protein and fat in the meat interact with the heat to form harmful compounds which is why people who eat meat often have higher risks of heart disease.
With a slow cooker, you can literally eat meat more than once a week, though we do not recommend it as meat is a very rich food. Slow cooking gently cooks meat without generating harmful compounds.
3. Let Your Meals Cook Overnight or During the Day
It’s sometimes hard to think about cooking when you get back home after a long day at work. And unfortunately, eating out suddenly seems more appealing even if you have your fridge stocked with healthy ingredients. With a slow cooker, you can plan your meals better, get your recipe ready before going to bed. Take it out in the morning and turn on your slow cooker and leave for work. You will return home to a delicious, healthy, home-cooked meal without any effort after a long work-day. You can also choose to do the opposite. Let your meals cook overnight.
4. It is not Crockpot Cooking
Unfortunately people do not associate healthy meals with slow cooking. Gooey casseroles made with canned soup, heavy pot roasts or other dishes that don’t seem very nutritious were all people think of. Even when you look at the slow cooking recipes a few years back, that came with the cooker, they do not seem very appetising but things have changed.
Slow cookers have evolved. They now come in a variety of sizes and shapes, they have temperature probes and built in timers to control how long you want your meal to cook for. You will not fall short of recipes either. With so many recipe websites out there, more modern and nutritious, it will be hard not to find nice recipes to your liking.
If you are new to slow cooking, it is best to follow recipes and not try to improvise too much in the beginning. But it’s a whole new world of healthy cooking that you won’t regret looking into.