Dust off that slow cooker and put at least part of your meal in there in the morning to have dinner ready when you walk through the door.

Slow cooking is easy

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So often I hear that eating healthy takes too much time, or at the end of a long and busy day it just is easier to pick up a meal on the ride home. But it leaves you and your family exposed to too much sugar, salt and fat, and certainly refined, processed foods – and all of that can impact family health.

So, how about dusting off that slow cooker and putting at least part of your meal in there in the morning, and let it cook slowly all day. Dinner ready when you walk in the door at night!     

Crockpot Tips:

  • Spray the inside of crockpot
  • If you lift the lid, add on 30 minutes more of cooking time 
  • Fill the crockpot at least ½ full
  • Raw meat needs 3 hours minimum on HIGH heat 
  • If you start with a frozen piece of meat, you’ll want to add 2 more hours of cooking time
  • Brown ground meat first before adding
  • Root veggies take longer
  • Add dairy in last hour
  • If there is a bit too much liquid at the end of the cooking time, you can add instant tapioca or cornstarch to thicken 
  • Since it is a longer cooking time using a slow cooker, maybe 8-10 hours, use dried herbs rather than the fresh

Additional Time Saver in the Morning

You can assemble all the ingredients in the crockpot and store in the fridge overnight. Place the cold stoneware in a cold electrical base. Do not preheat the slow cooker.


About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years, and currently works at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.