Healthy crock pot cooking allows families to prepare their meals, have it cooked and be ready at dinner time with little effort. Once all the ingredients have been combined into a slow cooker (crock pot) you can easily set the meal to cook while away at work, or out enjoying other activities. In fact, foods cooked in a crock pot tend to have more intense flavors because of the extended cooking time. Having the ability to control all added ingredients can enhance the nutrient content of every family meal.
The first slow cooking crock pot was manufactured in the early 1970s. By the end of that decade, manufacturers had made them easier to clean. Within the first few years, hundreds of quality cookbooks dedicated to slow cooking became very popular with home chefs.
Having the ability to control every meal’s nutrient profile helps maintain a healthy family. As an example, adding organic vegetables to a recipe helps increase the nutrient content of the meal while adding more bulk and fiber from the vegetables. In fact, high-quality tougher cuts of meat turn out perfectly when the cooking time is extended at a lower temperature. Often times, these meats become fork tender without the need to add tenderizers or fat. This helps the family maintain a lower calorie content and consume leaner cuts.
Increased Nutrient Content
During any cooking process, there tends to be a breakdown and nutrients, with the exception of lycopene that often is heightened during cooking. Fortunately, a crock pot offer significant advantages over other cooking methods because of its relatively low heat an extended cooking time. The lower temperature tends not to destroy healthy nutrients, which is often the downside to boiling or steaming. Recapturing juices and sauces with the slow cooker tends to increase the results of healthy crock pot cooking.
Reduced Processed Food Consumption
One of the greatest benefits of a slow cooker is the ability to reduce the consumption of harmful processed foods. In fact, a slow cooker provides the opportunity to decrease the amount of sodium intake, while reducing calories and fat in the family’s diet. Prepackaged meals purchased from the frozen or box section of the store can now be easily prepared using the family’s slow cooker. As an example, the home chef can find a wide assortment of recipes specifically designed for the slow cooker including casseroles, roasts, soups and even baked desserts.
Aside from healthy crock pot cooking results, there are other significant benefits to using a slow cooker. These include:
• A Timesaver – Most meals prepared in the slow cooker require only the single pot. There is only minimal initial preparation required, and the slow cooker will perform all the work while the family is away.
• Reduced Energy Consumption – Slow cookers are manufactured to use substantially less electricity than through conventional ovens and stoves.
• Easy Cleanup – Manufacturers now create crock pots that are easy to clean. The pot simply lifts out of the cooker and can be placed in the dishwasher, or cleaned at the sink. With the exception of cutting utensils and a cutting board, all meals are prepared in the crock pot.
• Useful during Every Season – Because the slow cooker does not emit high levels of heat inside the kitchen, it works well for year-round cooking. There is a huge variety of recipes available including comfort foods for the wintertime, and easy to repair meals for the summer.
With the ability to use less expensive meats, cooking at lower temperatures, and controlling nutrient content, preparing meals in a slow cooker makes sense. It offers convenience, because it cooks the meals while the chef is away.