This is a great guest post written by Carolyn Knight who is a reader of my blog but also concerned about health and cooking nutritious meals. I was a health major in college and while not all of my recipes can be considered healthy, I try to think about nutrition when I do my overall meal planning. If you’d like to see my recipes that I consider healthy click here.
Healthy food options are often bland, and to make them taste good takes time and practice. Who has the time to shop, prep, and bustle around in the kitchen for an hour or more cooking every night of the week? Lowering your nutritional standards is not an option either, and eating fatty foods on a regular basis can have serious health consequences. There is an inexpensive solution where healthy meals do not have to be boring or labor intensive: slow cooking! Amazingly complex flavors can be coerced from just a few ingredients in a totally unattended crock pot. Catch up on your reading or watch a movie, your slow cooker will do all the work and never rat you out.
Lose weight, ditch the messy pots and pans, save time and money, all while taking care of your nutritional needs with this practical cooking method.
1. Layers of Nutrition
Every crock pot meal is an opportunity to balance your nutrition. With the right combination of protein, spices, produce, and whole grains, all of your body’s intake needs can be met at once. Slow cooking vegetable combinations can stew together for hours, releasing flavor without burning off too much moisture. Rice and pasta will not overcook. The longer dried spices spend in moisture over heat, the richer they make the dish. Even whole chickens can be cooked throughout the afternoon to provide your dinner table with a tender bird without all the fuss of oven roasting.
2. Slow Eating
Part of losing weight is slowing your pace when you eat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that chewing for nine seconds helps you to eat less food than chewing for a couple of seconds would. A warm slow cooked meal is not as easy to wolf down as say—a slice of pizza. This gives you time to get full at the proper rate and stop eating when your body tells you it is time to quit.
3. Do It Yourself As Easy As 1-2-3
Armed with a crock pot, a knife, and a cutting board, all you need are your fresh ingredients washed and chopped and the ability to turn a knob to put together a terrific meal for your whole family. Be fearless and experiment with different pairings of spices and colorful vegetables. Yellow fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene and vitamin C, blue and purple produce give you zeaxanthin, resveratrol, and fiber. Mushrooms, onions, and peppers are also full of vitamins and minerals to help boost your immune system and fight off disease.
Whether you are hosting a couple of friends, attending a pot-luck, cooking for your family, or making something to last you the week: slow cooking is a fun, easy way to make fantastic, palate pleasing, healthy meals everyone will enjoy. Plus, there is only one pot to clean!
Thanks Carolyn! If you are interested in writing a guest post please contact me.