This winter has already seen its fair share of cold, snowy days. It’s the type of weather that makes me crave warm, wholesome food. At the same time, I don’t have hours every day to spend cooking complicated meals. That’s why I love my slow cooker. I can prep the ingredients when I have time, add them to the slow cooker and let the low, steady heat cook it all day long (or all night, in the case of steel-cut oats).
The slow-heat method can also be a boon to healthy foods. It’s the perfect way to tenderize lean cuts of meat, to soften whole grains, and to let the flavors and textures of vegetables mellow and merge.
Here are some healthy slow-cooker recipes that I can’t wait to try. What are your favorite slow-cooker meals?
Slow-Cooker Irish Oatmeal with Bananas and Berries
Your slow cooker isn’t just for dinner. Prepare this the night before and you’ll have creamy, fiber-rich steel-cut oats ready when you wake.
Slow-Cooker Coconut Braised Pork (pictured above)
Bold flavors, a short ingredient list and falling-off-the-bone meat will make this a new slow-cooker staple.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Make a large batch of this and stash the leftovers in the freezer for a later meal.
Slow-Cooker Pepper Pork Chops
This is a lean dinner option that’s full of flavor.
Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
Here’s a fruity toast topping that’s a fun alternative to jam. Try pairing it with almond butter on sandwiches.
Hungry Chick Chicken Soup
This super-satisfying, fiber- and protein-rich chicken soup is an amazingly easy alternative to canned soup.
Peas, peppers, chicken and rice make this a one-pot dish you won’t want to miss.
Do something more interesting than steamed carrots. These make a great side dish for fish or chicken.