When it comes to making healthy meals for my family they have to be wholesome, nourishing and delicious. My philosophy means that meals should never skimp on flavour just because they are healthier and always lean towards balance. One night I may serve a heavy pasta dish and the next night a baked salmon dish that is packed full of vegetables and whole grains, all in the hope to prove that healthy living doesn’t have to be boring. Serving up beautiful fresh and vibrant food to my family brings so much joy and today I’m going to share how I do this using a slow cooker.
A few weeks ago, I picked up a gorgeous Crock Pot in the mid-season sale and I’ve been in love with it ever since. It’s has a 3.5-litre capacity, which just works perfectly for our little family of 3 and is great for batch cooking and filling the freezer. I’ve found that since buying my slow cooker, making meals healthy and delicious has become even easier. By no means am I about to tell you to invest in a slow cooker and start a new faddy diet craze, because that just not my style. However, I do want to share how a slow cooker can help you live a healthier life both practically and holistically. Investing in a slow cooker is perhaps one of the best things that I have done to create healthy, nutritious and delicious meals this autumn and it’s so easy!
You can easily bulk up the veggie content of your meals
Slow cooking is the perfect time to up your one pot wonder game by adding in lots of fresh leafy greens and bulk out your meals with vegetables. You can add extra peppers to your fajitas, throw in some extra root vegetables into your casseroles and add more dark leafy greens to your curries and soups. Sneaking in those extra veggies will make any meal more nutritious and packed full of more vitamins and minerals, especially if you have a picky husband and kids!
Healthy meals can be on hand all year round
Using your slow cooker to batch cook is a great way to have healthy meals already prepared all year round. Plan ahead and cook a couple of meals specifically to store in the freezer. My favourite things to batch cook are a vegetarian chilli, soups and casseroles, but honestly the possibilities are endless. Stocking up the freezer will also help you stop reaching for those takeaway menus when you can’t be bothered to cook too.
An easy way to create balance meals
A well-balanced meal often focuses on good carbs, healthy fats, protein and a decent portion of vegetables. One pot cooking makes this so easy to achieve. You can practically throw anything in from lean meat, legumes, beans, whole grains, rice and pack meals out with lots of vegetables to make them more nutritionally dense.
Leaner and cheaper cuts of meat taste delicious
Cooking leaner cuts of meat that contain less fat or even cheaper cuts of meat that benefit from slow cooking makes them taste delicious. Sometimes, leaner meats can easily dry out, but in the slower cooker, they keep their moisture, a whole chicken tends to just fall off the bone after being slow cooked. Also, buying cheaper cuts of meat can save you money compared to buying premium cuts.
Makes cooking easy for those who hate to cook
Let’s face it, not everybody enjoys cooking and slow cooking is such an easy way to create a tasty meal. My husband rarely cooks, but he does love using the slow cooker. Home cooked food is far healthier than shop bought and takeaway meals because you are in total control of the ingredients.
Here are some delicious healthy slow cooker recipes that you may like to try:
- via Baking Queen 74
- via Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Jerk Black Bean & Potato Curry via Celery & Cupcakes
- via Tin and Thyme
- via Fab Food 4 All
- via Recipes From A Pantry