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Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is not just for your slow roasts – it is the ultimate tool, particularly for those who run a tight schedule. There are a hundred and one things to make in a slow cooker, and some seriously healthy (and easy) foods that could slot in to your daily routine.

There are really no excuses to not eat well these days. Everything is at our fingertips. Fresh produce, cookbooks, recipes – and amazing cooking tools to make things ridiculously easy for us. When we make our own foods we know what we are putting into our bodies. We can use wholesome ingredients and understand what it is we are consuming and how much. We are in control of our health. We can also tailor what we make to our own desires. Need more greens in your diet? Go ahead. Gluten intolerant? Leave it out. There are endless delicious and healthy things we can prepare in a slow cooker, most of which just might surprise you …

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Veg and Chickpea Curry

veg and chick pea curry

    See – not just for hunks of meat! This curry is

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    • Delicious and easy
    • high in protein
    • Full of vegetables packed with nutrients and vitamins.
    • Heat onion and carrots in oil and add curry powder, garlic, ginger and a little sugar.
    • Place this mix inside slow cooker along with chopped green beans, carrots, chickpeas and peppers – and choose between regular potato or a sweet potato if you prefer it on the sweeter side.
    • Cook for 6 hours until tender

    Poached Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lemon

    lemon salmon
      • High in Omega 3
      • High in protein
      • Make a broth in the slow-cooker out of a few cups of water, some white wine, a few slices of lemon, a shallot, a bay leaf and some sprigs of dill or your choice of herbs.
      • Leave the fish to cook for just half an hour (checking in on it) and you get a moist delicious salmon fillet in no time!

      Cuban-Style Beef

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      cuban beef
        • Low calorie
        • High in protein
        • High in B Vitamins
        • Rub a portion of beef with cumin, oregano and salt and pepper.
        • Brown roast the meat and then transfer it to a slow-cooker.
        • Cook onions, peppers, garlic, water, salt and pepper with crushed tomatoes on a low simmer for around 4 minutes and then transfer to the slow-cooker.
        • Cook for 10 hours until tender.

        Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

        54f67185df2ca_-_tternut-squash-and-white-bean-soup-recipe-wdy1014-agv2sw-s2
          • High in potassium
          • Nutrient rich
          • Packed with vitamins
          • Place squash, chickpeas, and any winter veg you desire in a slow cooker with salt, pepper and vegetable stock
          • Cook for 6 hours and serve with crusty bread and your choice of garnish. Too easy.

          Chicken Tagine

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          chicken tagone
            • Very high in protein
            • High in vitamins
            • Spices help adrenal function
            • Warms the body in winter months
            • Throw butternut squash, carrots, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, broth and raisins into a 6-quart slow-cooker.
            • Rub spices into the chicken and place on top of the veg.
            • Cover with lid and cook for 8 hours.

            Sweet Potato Soup

            10832_sweet_potato_soup
              • Packed with potassium
              • High in vitamin C
              • Calcium rich
              • Combine onions, potatoes, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, 6 cups of water and salt and pepper in a 5-6 qt slow-cooker until vegetables are very tender.
              • Puree the soup in a blender
              • Serve with yoghurt and slivered almonds.

              Chipotle Beef Chilli

              chipotle-BeefChili
                • High in iron
                • High in protein
                • High in potassium
                • High in B vitamins
                • Simply add beef, chipotle peppers, onion, chilli powder, garlic, salt, cumin, tomato puree and beef stock to the slow-cooker
                • Cover on low for 6-8 hours until beef is tender.
                • Add coriander upon serving if you wish.

                Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

                2013-04-24-carrot-pea-mint-salad-thumb-625xauto-320033
                  • High in vitamins A, C, and K
                  • High in fibre
                  • High in manganese
                  • Place chopped carrots, onions, garlic cloves, peas, butter, salt, pepper and a little water in the slow cooker.
                  • This will only take about 20 minutes, so just check to see when vegetables are tender and ready to serve.

                  Pork Tacos

                  pulledpork
                    • High in protein
                    • Contains omega 6
                    • Place the pork in the slow cooker
                    • Mix together tomato salsa, chill powder, some garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar in a separate bowl
                    • Pour the salsa over the pork.
                    • Cook on low for 8 hours and shred the pork when it is tender.
                    • Serve in flour tortillas with corn and avocado, or with whatever healthy options you desire!

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                    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                    1. Exercise Daily

                    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                    The basic nutritional advice includes:

                    • Eat unprocessed foods
                    • Eat more veggies
                    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                      5. Watch Out for Travel

                      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                      6. Start Slow

                      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                      More Tips on Getting in Shape

                      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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