You can celebrate by preparing a heart-healthy meal in a slow cooker and save money in the process.
Ever since slow cookers were introduced in 1971 under the “Crock-Pot” brand name, they have been celebrated as savers of time and electricity. Plus, slow-cooker meals are nutritious because they are cooked at low temperatures for long periods, allowing fresh meats and vegetables to retain their natural juices.
Here are five reasons to dust off your slow cooker this month and use it to make soups, stews and entrées.
- Although it takes all day for a slow cooker to cook a meal, you don’t have to do anything except toss in the ingredients and turn it on at the appropriate level of heat. Once you prep the pot, you can walk away until the food is done.
- An electric slow cooker uses less energy than a conventional oven. Use one in the winter to create hot, hearty meals. Later in the year, when it’s warm outside, use it instead of the stove or oven, and keep your kitchen cooler while you cook.
- A slow cooker meal requires little cleanup. Aside from a cutting board and a knife, all you’ll need to wash is the pot itself.
- When you’re invited to a potluck supper, prepare your contribution in the slow cooker. Once the food is ready, leave it in the pot, let the outside cool enough to handle, and bring the whole thing to the party.
- You’ll eat fewer processed foods if you get used to cooking with a slow cooker. That means you’ll eat less salt, fat and calories.
Look for slow-cooker recipes for everything from casseroles to desserts, and remember that you’re saving energy and money with every use.