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11 Sinfully Easy Crock Pot Recipes

11 Sinfully Easy Crock Pot Recipes

Crock pot recipes are awesome. Fill up your slow cooker, leave it going, come back later and dinner’s ready! It’s an incredibly easy way to cook. Crock pots aren’t only for savory dinners, either—you can use them to make breakfast, dessert, snacks and hot drinks, too. I’ve collected 11 of the best simple crock pot recipes that create tasty, filling dishes with little effort and little waste.

1. Moroccan Spiced Chicken

Moroccan chicken

    Warm and gently spicy, this dish goes well with couscous or rice. For an extra Moroccan-style treat, serve up hot, minted green tea as well.

    Ingredients:

    • 2.5 lb chicken thighs, skinless on the bone
    • 1 tsp cumin, ground
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
    • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mixture
    • 1.5 cups chicken broth
    • 15 oz can of tomatoes, drained and diced
    • 15 oz can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped

    Preparation:

    Put your chicken thighs, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander and pumpkin pie spice into a large resealable plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. Then throw all the other ingredients into your slow cooker, take the chicken out of its bag and put that on top of the vegetable mixture. Put the lid on the pot and cook for at least 5 hours on a low heat setting until the chicken’s completely cooked through. If you’re using the liquid as well as the chicken from this dish, skim the fat off first.

    Serves: Up to 6

    2. Root Vegetable Stew

    Root vegetable stew

      Tender and sweet, root vegetables that have stewed slowly in a crock pot are delicious. Perfect for a filling meal that doesn’t make you work for your dinner!

      Ingredients:

      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 medium onions, diced
      • pinch of salt
      • 1 tsp ginger, ground
      • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
      • 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
      • 1/4 tsp cumin, ground
      • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
      • A pinch of saffron threads
      • Black pepper, ground
      • 1 lb potatoes, diced
      • 1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
      • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and diced
      • 3 cups vegetable broth
      • 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
      • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
      • 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      • 1/2 cup sultanas
      • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
      • 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar

      Preparation:

      Put the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, then fry the onions with the salt for about 4 minutes. Add the dried herbs and spices and give it another minute to cook, then empty the frying pan into your crock pot and add the potatoes, parsnips and carrots long with the vegetable broth. Leave it to cook for at least 1.5 hours on a high heat, then add the squash, sultanas, sweet potatoes and chickpeas before leaving it to cook for another 2 hours. Stir the spinach in gently and let it wilt, then add cider vinegar to taste.

      Serves: Up to 8

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      3. Slow Beef Chili

      Slow beef chili

        This is one of my all-time favourites. The beef and beans give it plenty of body, but thanks to the crock pot it’s a juicy dish that’s easy to eat. Goes nicely with rice and a bit of grated cheese.

        Ingredients:

        • 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
        • 3/4 lb stewing beef, cubed
        • 2 tbsp chili powder
        • 1 tsp cumin
        • 2 tbsp flour
        • 1 onion, chopped
        • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
        • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
        • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
        • 16 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
        • 16 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
        • 28 oz can of tomatoes, diced
        • 1.5 cups beef broth
        • 2 tbsp barbecue sauce
        • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
        • 3/4 tsp salt
        • Sour cream for topping
        • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish (or jalapenos if you like it extra hot!)

        Preparation:

        Brown the meat for about 2 minutes in hot oil in a skillet, then add your cumin and chili powder. Let those cook for 1 minute before stirring in the flour, then leave it for another minute before emptying the skillet into your crock pot. Add all the other ingredients that aren’t toppings, then cook for up to 8 hours on a low heat, stirring once an hour and adding small amounts of extra liquid if it gets dry.

        Serves: Up to 8

        4. Sausage and Potato Pot

        Sausage and potato crock pot

          This is simple cooking at its best. There are only 5 ingredients and this crock pot recipe involves very little preparation, so you can get on with your day knowing that a hearty dinner’s on its way.

          Ingredients:

          • Drizzle of oil (or a cooking oil spray)
          • 3 lb potatoes
          • 2 lb sausage
          • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
          • 10.5 oz cream of celery soup
          • 1 oz dry ranch dressing mix

          Preparation:

          Coat the inside of your crock pot with oil. Cut the potatoes into wedges, slice the sausages into discs and put the potato and sausage into the pot. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, then stir the mixture into the sausage and potato. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on a low heat.

          Serves: Up to 6

          5. Poached Pears

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          poached pears

            Sweet poached pears in caramel sauce is a dessert that’s blissfully simple to make in a slow cooker. Serve it with Belgian waffles and ice cream if you want to go above and beyond the call of dessert duty.

            Ingredients:

            • 1.5 cups dark brown sugar
            • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
            • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
            • 6 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved

            Preparation:

            Mix your sugar, ginger and butter together in the crock pot, then add the pears and toss them in the mixture until they’re coated. Arrange the pear halves flat side down in the pot and cook on a high heat for 1 to 2 hours until the pears are tender, then dish them up and drizzle the caramel liquid over the top.

            Serves: Up to 6

            6. Cream Cheese Black Bean Chicken

            Black bean chicken

              So easy you might just forget you’re cooking anything, so set a timer to remind you when it’s ready to eat! The combination of cream cheese with chicken and black beans is smooth and creamy, delivering a huge protein boost and leaving you feeling full for hours.

              Ingredients:

              • 4  or 5 boneless chicken breasts, frozen
              • 15 oz can of black beans
              • 15 oz can of corn
              • 15 oz salsa
              • 8 oz cream cheese

              Preparation:

              Put your frozen chicken breasts straight into your crock pot and add the black beans, corn and salsa. Cook it on a high heat for at least 4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Open up the pot, plop the cream cheese on top of the other ingredients, and leave it to sit for half an hour before dishing up.

              Serves: Up to 4

              7. Apple Oatmeal

              apple oatmeal

                This overnight oatmeal crock pot recipe lets you wake up in the morning to a breakfast that’s already hot and waiting to be eaten! Not only that, but it’s easy, healthy and delicious, too.

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                Ingredients:

                • Drizzle of oil (or a cooking oil spray)
                • 2 large tart apples, chopped
                • 1.5 cups skim milk
                • 1.5 cups water
                • 1 cup whole grain oats
                • 3 tbps dark brown sugar
                • 2 tbsp butter
                • 1 tbsp cinnamon
                • 2 tbsp flaxseed, milled or ground
                • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
                • 1/4 cup fruit (fresh or dried) for topping
                • 1/4 cup chopped nuts for topping

                Preparation:

                Oil the inside of a large slow cooker and put in everything except the salt and toppings. Stir it up and cook on a low heat for at least 7 hours. Stir in the salt when you switch off the heat, and serve topped with nuts and fruit.

                Serves: Up to 4

                8. Crock Pot Roast

                Roast beef

                  Feeling lazy in the kitchen today? This recipe just needs meat, water and some ready-made condiment mixes. Serve with bread and raw vegetables for a sinfully easy dinner.

                  Ingredients:

                  • 4 to 5 lb beef roast
                  • 1.25 oz brown gravy mix, dry
                  • 1.25 oz Italian salad dressing mix, dry
                  • 1.25 oz ranch dressing mix, dry
                  • 1/2 cup water

                  Preparation:

                  Put your beef roast in the crock pot, mix the dried condiments together and sprinkle them into the pot. Pour the water in around the beef and cook on a low heat for at least 7 hours or until the meat is completely cooked through.

                  Serves: Up to 8

                  9. Pork Tenderloin

                  Pork tenderloin

                    A slow cooker is perfect for cooking up a tenderloin of pork. The meat comes out so tender it almost falls apart on your fork!

                    Ingredients:

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                    • 1 lb pork tenderloin
                    • 1 oz onion soup mix, dry
                    • 1 cup water
                    • 3/4 cup red wine
                    • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
                    • 3 tbsp soy sauce
                    • Pinch of black pepper, ground

                    Preparation:

                    Put the pork in your crock pot with the dry soup mix and pour the water, wine and soy sauce over it. Turn the meat to coat it with the mixture, then spread garlic over the pork, leaving most of it on top. Sprinkle pepper on top and cook on a low heat for 4 hours. Serve with rice and some of the cooking liquid.

                    Serves: Up to 6

                    10. Hot Apple Cider

                    Hot apple cider

                      Yes, you can use a slow cooker to make hot beverages and keep them hot! This spicy crock pot apple cider is simple to prepare and keeps you toasty warm on a cold night.

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 gallon apple cider
                      • 2 whole nutmegs
                      • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
                      • 1 orange, cut into wedges
                      • 1/2 apple, cut into wedges
                      • 20 to 25 whole cloves
                      • 3 to 4 pieces crystallized ginger
                      • 1/4 cup brown sugar
                      • You’ll also need cheesecloth and string

                      Preparation:

                      Fill a large crock pot up to 3/4 full with apple cider and add brown sugar. Push whole cloves into the skin of the fruit wedges, then put them onto your cheesecloth with the remaining ingredients. Tie the cloth around the ingredients with string and drop the bundle into the crock pot. Leave on a high heat setting for at least 2 hours to boil, then switch to low heat for another 2 hours and keep it on low until it’s served, topping up the cider if necessary.

                      Serves: Up to 15

                      11. Spiced Nuts

                      Ingredients:

                      • 1 lb nuts, mixed or any kind, shells off
                      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
                      • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
                      • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
                      • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
                      • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
                      • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
                      • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

                      Preparation:

                      Switch the crock pot on its highest heat setting and let it preheat for 15 minutes, then put the nuts and butter in and stir well. Add the sugar, stir some more, then cook at a high heat for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down low, take the lid off the pot and cook the nuts for another 2 hours, stirring every once in a while. Then move the nuts into a bowl, combine the spices together and sift them over the nuts while stirring.

                      Serves: Up to 8

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                      Sophie Lizard

                      A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                      Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                      I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                      This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                      What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                      As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                      While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                      The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                      Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                      Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                      The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                      It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                      My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                      You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                      Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                      1. Drink Plenty of Water

                      Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                      2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                      The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                      3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                      One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                      4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                      The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                      To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                      5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                      While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                      Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                      You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                      How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                      Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                      This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                      Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                      Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                      The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                      Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                      Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                      One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                      This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                      Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                      Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                      Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                      Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                      How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                      The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                      While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                      Can I Work out While Fasting?

                      Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                      The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                      Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                      Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                      First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                      Is Fasting Safe?

                      As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                      I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                      Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                      As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                      I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                      For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                      Conclusion

                      Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                      If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                      More About Intermittent Fasting

                      Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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