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Crockpot meals can offer a welcome change of pace use some of these helpful tips when you get started

So you’ve got your brand new crockpot and are rarin’ to go get cooking.  There’s literally a whole world of recipes out there you can start trying, and creating a variety of interesting crock pot meals has never been easier. There are some cooking tips that can save you a lot of headaches later on, however.  While using your slowcooker is a breeze compared to most appliances, keep in mind these tips before you dive in.

  • Browning any meat on the stovetop before adding it to your slow cooker can give you a better taste, as well as cutting down on the fat.  Draining the meat and patting dry before adding it to the crockpot can help make the dish healthier.
  • To ensure evenly cooked vegetables (especially dense ones like potatoes and carrots), cut them no larger than in 1-inch thick, and make sure they’re placed on the bottom so they get even heat.
  • If the recipe calls for any milk or dairy product, don’t add it until the last hour of cooking.  They break down over the long cooking period.
  • Add any noodles to a recipe during the last hour as well.  They also don’t hold up well over long periods of time, and will break down.
  • Don’t ever lift the lid to slow cooker during the cooking process!  Every time you take it off, you lose heat equivalent to 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Don’t ever subject your crock to sudden changes in temperature, like pouring cold water inside right after it’s done cooking.  This can cause cracks in the ceramic dish.
  • Herbs can be tricky sometimes.  Any whole herbs, such as cloves, work best over long periods, so adding them at the beginning of the cycle is a must.  Ground or dried herbs can lose their flavor quickly over the long haul, so these must be added close to the end of the cycle for best results.

There’s no better way to save time than and create great meals by using a slow cooker.  If you keep in mind these simple tips you’ll be ensured a great dinner for you and your family!

Cooking Low-Fat Crock Pot Recipes

Cooking Low-Fat Crock Pot Recipes Is Amazingly Simple And with the wide variety of recipes, you’ll never know it’s good for you!

Many people don’t realize that cooking with a crock pot can be incredibly healthy.  Because of the “one-dish meal” stereotype, they envision calorie-laden stews, high fat casseroles, or large chunks of fatty roast.  Not any more though!  There are plenty of low-fat crock pot recipes out there that are tasty AND healthy.

Keeping these tips in mind can keep you on the road to healthy eating using your slowcooker , and aid your weight loss attempts by giving you some variety in your diet.  You can also purchase a crock pot recipe book to give you some dinner ideas.

  • Stay away from recipes that call for canned vegetables or sauces. These are usually either high in fat or high in sodium.  Substitute fresh for canned whenever possible.  Not only will your dinner be more nutrient rich, but it will taste better too!
  • If you really want to make a recipe that calls for a canned broth, refrigerate it before dumping it in.  The cold will make the fat congeal at the top, and you can skim it off before adding it to your recipe.
  • If you want to use a recipe that calls for chicken, take all the skin off before adding it to the crockpot.  Chicken skin contains loads of calories, and this will really help lighten up the dish if you take it off.
  • Use fresh vegetables instead of canned when cooking.  If you wait and add them closer to the end of the cooking cycle they’ll retain more nutrients.  Having them a little “less” done will also add some nice texture to the dish!

Having dinner waiting for you when you walk in the door will also save you calories in a different way.  How many times have you “tasted” and “snacked” while you’re cooking?  You almost can’t help it when you’re smelling all those wonderful smells.  Using a crock put will completely eliminate this type of grazing, since dinner is ready to eat the moment you walk in the door!

Look What Crock Pot Cooking Can Give You: Creativity!

Wouldn’t you love some ME time?

Many moms these days are just too busy.  Many work full or part-time, and even those that stay at home have a variety of responsibilities that take up much of their time.  Cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, errands, a spouse, and children all vie for precious time, leaving little, if any, for personal enrichment.  Utilizing the advantages of crock pot cooking, however, can give you some of that precious time back.

For those of you unfamiliar with crock pots , the time it can save you during the day is amazing.  You simply gather the ingredients together in the morning, do any chopping that’s needed, throw it in and set the time.  There is usually no need for more than half an hour of prep time, and 6-10 hours later you’ve got a hot, delicious meal waiting.

Think of the time this could save you during the day.  What could you do with all this extra time? Perhaps you could learn to paint, or start reading again.  You could join a yoga class, visit with a friend, or volunteer.  Or, for the really ambitious, you could get caught up on your laundry or organize your bedroom closet!

Crock pots do more than offer a dinner solution- they can offer a life solution as well.  They can free up some of your time to focus on YOU, which many parents today are lacking.  While it’s important that your children be enriched on a daily basis, it’s just as important for you to be as well.   Using the wonderful benefits of a crock pot can help give you free time in order to do that. Purchasing a crock pot recipe book can really help you add variety to your slow cooker meals.  There are literally thousands of different ways to cook meals in this appliance, and many are internationally flavored or heath conscious.  There’s no need to eat beef stew every night!  From Mexican to Chinese to Morrocan, there’s a crock pot meal out there for even the most picky eater.

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