Spend Less, Eat Better: How-to Use a Slow Cooker to Your Advantage
Saving on Meat: Cooking for your family gets even better when you can shop on a budget and make healthful meals at the same time. But, it also helps to have some kitchen tools to make the cooking process even easier. Your slow cooker is the answer. From easy meals that you set and forget to stretching your budget by using inexpensive ingredients to create delicious meals, your slow cooker is a go-to for healthy eating on a budget.
When you're using a slow cooker, you're cooking at lower temperatures slowly. The advantage to this is that you can use cuts of meat that are inexpensive, and the meal still turns out great because the cooking process makes everything tender. Cooking these cuts of meat using the oven or other traditional methods doesn't yield the same tender results. Cuts of meat like flank steak are often leaner and therefore healthier, too.
Cooking in Bulk: Buy meats when they're on sale, and make larger batches of your slow cooker recipes to have one for dinner and freeze the rest for later. Many slow cookers are large enough to cook five pounds of meat at a time, some even more.
Beans and Rice: Dried beans are not only healthy, but they're also a very inexpensive ingredient. However, it takes a lot of work to cook dried beans on the stove, and the process involves several steps like soaking before cooking. When you're using a slow cooker, you can throw the beans in with water or stock and slowly cook them until they're tender. Use beans in soups and stews or mixed with rice or quinoa for a healthy side dish.
Planning and Saving: One of the best ways to eat healthily is to plan your meals. This also results in savings because you buy what you need and use it for the meals rather than throwing away spoiled food at the end of the week. It also helps you to eat homemade food rather than ordering out because you're too tired to cook.
Spending Less on Utilities: Slow cookers are actually very efficient. That means you use fewer resources like electricity and gas when cooking. Cleanup takes much less time with one-pot cooking, too, which also leads to savings on your water bill — and frees up your time in the process.
Enjoying Healthy Ingredients: You don't need oil and fats to create amazing flavor in a slow cooker. The low and slow method concentrates the flavors of the spices you add and leads to taste without the added calories. Using lean cuts of meat, spices, fresh veggies, and low-calorie broths results in healthy meals filled with flavor and packed with good nutrition.