Sometimes it feels like our lives are always on the go and that we don’t have the time to get busy in the kitchen anymore. As a result, most people turn to fast food to satisfy both their hunger and their taste buds. Just think about it, you can even survive without cooking in your kitchen. You can just rush out of the house, grab a cup of coffee and muffin for breakfast, get a burger for lunch, and heat a ready-to-eat meal in the microwave for dinner. Sounds fast and simple, doesn’t it? However, if you go on living like this, you’ll be surprised how your health will suffer.
Fortunately, there’s a solution for this. You can cook and eat healthy without spending the whole day in the kitchen. How? Crockpot cooking! Your trusty slow cooker can be just the friend you need. Here are a few reasons why:
- Crockpot cooking allows you to cook healthy and delicious meals without staying in the kitchen the whole day. All you need to do is put all the ingredients in, set the temperature and timer and off you go.
- You’ll know what goes into your food since you’re the one preparing it. This way, you have control over the amount of ingredients you put in. You can always trim the fat, lessen the salt, cut back on the seasoning, and so much more.
- You can cook a large amount of food in just one go. Think how much time you can save with it. All you need to do is transfer the leftovers into freezer-safe plastic containers, stack them in the fridge, and just heat them up in the microwave when you need them.
But before you get busy with your trusty ol’ Crockpot, here are 10 guidelines that will guarantee slow-cooking success every time:
Crockpot cooking tip #1
When you cook with high-fat meat, always trim the fat if possible. Also, don’t put them straight into your Crockpot. Brown the meat first and drain all the excess oil before adding it.
Crockpot cooking tip #2
When your recipe calls for meat and vegetables, the cooking time depends on your heat setting. If you’re using the low setting, it usually takes 8-10 hours for the food to cook. On the other hand, if the Crockpot’s on HIGH, it only takes 4-5 hours.
Crockpot cooking tip #3
Frozen vegetables should always be thawed first and they must be added during the last part of cooking. On the other hand, fresh vegetables usually take longer to cook. It’s best if you add them early on.
Crockpot cooking tip #4
Cooked rice and pasta should only be added at the last part of cooking. This ensures that they stay firm and not mushy.
Crockpot cooking tip #5
Unless the recipe calls for stirring, don’t lift the lid off unnecessarily.
Crockpot cooking tip #6
Instead of using water in your recipes, use soups or broths for tastier dishes.
Crockpot cooking tip #7
If you’re using milk, cream and other dairy products, it’s best if you add them during the last part of cooking.
Crockpot cooking tip #8
Use softened beans in Crockpot cooking. Dried beans may not cook well if you add them directly to your Crockpot.
Crockpot cooking tip #9
It’s advisable that you use the HIGH setting for at least an hour first if you’re planning to use the LOW setting for the entire cooking process. After an hour, you can then lower the temperature.
Crockpot cooking tip #10
The Crockpot should always be at least half-full. If you’re cooking less than half the amount the Crockpot can hold, the food may not turn out right.
Even if things seem incredibly busy try to squeeze at least an hour or two to prepare a healthy meal for you and your family. If you have a slow cooker at home, dust it off and use it. Take a break from takeouts and fast food. It’s friendly both to your health and your wallet. Remember, your health should always come first.