With every new year comes a flurry of New Year’s resolutions. If you are one of the countless people aiming to make this year healthy, wealthy or wise, why not include a slow cooker as part of your plan? The cold months are the slow cooker’s peak season—now is the time these appliances grace countertops on a weekly basis, cooking up warm and hearty stews, soups and pot roasts. Here’s how to stay on track of your New Year’s resolutions with the help of a slow cooker.
If your New Year’s resolution is to try a healthy new lifestyle, there are a few things you probably already know when it comes to food — cook at home to control the ingredients, eat balanced meals and stick to lean proteins and fresh vegetables. It’s easy to do all of this in a slow cooker, and even adapt your favorite quick meals into healthy, home-cooked favorites.
For instance, skip that frozen meal standby of stir-fry into a version with less sodium and fresh vegetables with healthy slow cooker chicken & broccoli. A slow cooker beef and vegetable soup made with fresh ingredients in your crock can be better for you than one from a can, and tastier too. You can still enjoy those quick, inexpensive noodle lunches without any guilt by making homemade slow cooker ramen soup.
If you’ve adopted a whole foods diet like Keto or Paleo, the slow cooker is perfect for creating shredded meats, like mojo pork, plant-based soups, bone broths and more.
Is your New Year’s resolution to save money? One of the easiest ways to do so is to slash your dining-out budget and commit to eating at home more. Keep the momentum going by taking a meal plan approach to your home cooking. Prepping and cooking large quantities of food is a game changer for eating at home, and the best tool for it is a slow cooker.
Here’s an example: Make a large quantity of soup for dinner, then divvy it up into individual sized containers–put a few in the fridge for lunches and dinners the rest of the week, and freeze the others for later. You can also do this same trick with shredded meats like chicken and pork.
Slow cooking can also help your wallet because it makes cooking feats that once seemed impossible–like roasting a whole chicken or soaking dried beans for a chicken and white bean soup–so easy, so time-saving and so cost-effective. You’ll want to reward yourself with some of that extra money.
Kudos to you for wanting to learn something new this year. If the something new you’re seeking is in the kitchen, start with the slow cooker. If you’re new to slow cooking, start with some favorites like slow cooker beef pot roast or a hearty gridiron chili. It’s best to just experience for yourself why these types of meals belong in a slow cooker.
If a slow cooker is already a kitchen staple, take your slow cooker skills to the next level and try a different cuisine, like the popular Indian dish, butter chicken or have some fun making slow cooker chicken pho at home. Who knows — experimenting with foods from another part of the world might inspire you to learn the language too!
As you work your New Year’s resolutions into your everyday life, don’t discount the ease of the slow cooker for creating meals that meet all of your goals. Here’s to a healthy, wealthy and wise year ahead!