Crockpots are the perfect cooking appliance for making healthy recipes but a lot of crockpot recipes call for canned condensed soups, which are high in both fat and sodium, salad dressing mixtures and big chunks of meat, making them less healthy than some other slow cooker recipes.
A Few Healthy Slow Cooker Tips
There are certain ways to make your crockpot meals healthier without sacrificing flavor. If you are using a canned broth in crockpot soup or crockpot stew recipe, you can put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. The fat will congeal on top of the broth, making it easy to scoop off. You can use low fat and low sodium ingredients in healthy crockpot recipes and nobody will taste the difference.
Trim the fat from meat before cooking it and remove the skin from poultry. As well as making the crockpot meals healthier, they will taste better too because fatty food does not do well in the crockpot since fat cooks too fast. Less fatty cuts of meat are cheaper and they turn out better in the crockpot, meaning that using a slow cooker encourages you to eat healthier cuts of meat.
Any crockpot recipe using fresh vegetables will be healthier than one relying solely on canned or frozen produce but you can use some fresh and some canned or frozen if that is all that is available.
With some cooking methods, such as deep-frying or even sautéing, you need to use oil or butter to stop the food from sticking to the pan. With slow cooking, this is not necessary because the liquid in the pan is what cooks the food and you use water, broth, juice, wine or a combination of liquids, which is usually healthier than using pure fat.
Obviously, you do not eat all the fat your onion rings have been deep-fried in but a lot of it clings to the food. Deep-frying has never been a particularly healthy cooking method! When making crockpot recipes, you usually eat everything in the crockpot at the end of the cooking time, unless you have been cooking dried beans for example, when you would throw away the cooking water.
How to Keep Your Crockpot Recipes Healthy
It is all very well cooking herbed crockpot chicken, which is nutritious and low in fat but if you serve it with greasy French fries, it is no longer quite so healthy! You might make a pulled pork crockpot recipe but serving it on a white bun, slathered in high fat mayonnaise, makes it less healthy.
Of course, healthy eating is all about balance so there is no reason not to indulge a little but if you are seriously attempting to eat more healthily, remember that your side dishes and condiments should be as healthy as your main meal.
Some of the best crockpot recipes are also the healthiest ones. Crockpot cooking brings out the richness of flavor in every ingredient, blending them together beautifully so you get a very flavorsome meal. The more you use your crockpot the more familiar you will become with how food cooks in it and the right cooking times for various foods. Practice makes perfect so why not make some healthy crockpot recipes today and see for yourself how wonderful they taste?
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