A huge part of healthy eating is preparing meals that are good for you. Not only does this mean planning food and meals in advance, but also having the right appliances.
Slow cookers are one appliance that you can use to make sure the meals you get are healthy. A slow cooker keeps the nutrients in the food as it cooks compared to other methods that destroy them.
Using a slow cooker is a great way to support healthy eating and another great benefit is the time it will save. You can put your slow cooker to work while getting on with the day and serve up a wholesome meal for dinner. No need to worry at the last minute about what to eat. No need to resort to take out or fast food.
There are plenty of slow cookers available, however you’ll want to choose one based on size, convenience and safety. These will be different for everyone, so consider your individual needs before buying.
I actually own 3 slow cookers – oval 8 quart, oval 6 quart and round 4 quart. They all get used for different recipes and cuts of meat. I started with the 6 quart first, which is ideal for large meals and cuts of meat.
The smaller slow cookers are great for oats, puddings and cooking a single meat e.g. pulled pork, leg of lamb.
So let’s take a look at 3 of the best slow cookers for healthy cooking.
First up is the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker. It ticks all the boxes and is a great first slow cooker to buy.
It’s big 6 quart capacity means there is plenty of room for large meals. It allows you to cook a large roast big enough for the whole family.
Large one pot meals (curries, stews, soups) are also easy to prepare. With a large slow cooker like this, you will often have plenty of healthy leftovers to stock the fridge and freezer.
This slow cooker comes with a locking lid, which is an important safety feature. If the pot is somehow tipped, the food won’t spill over. Plus, it has a seal on the lid so that if you take the slow cooker with you, it keeps food within the pot.
A convenient feature I really like is you can program the slow cooker to count down the time the meal should cook. This feature prevents the food from overcooking. Once the food is done, the slow cooker will change the setting to warm.
Clean up is easy as the stoneware insert is easily lifted out for washing (a great feature for serving too).
If you’re looking for a slow cooker that’s bigger, then the Hamilton Beach 33182A Slow Cooker is a good choice.
You can cook a large roast (6 lbs), chicken (8 lbs) or any dish with to feed a large group of people with this size. If you want to batch cook several meals at once, this size is perfect too.
It can be set to cook on low, high or warm. The warm feature is used to prevent overcooking but keeps the food hot enough to be served.
The lid has a secure latch that keeps it secure while moving, transporting or storing the slow cooker. A great feature if you are taking food to a potluck or party.
Another feature for the lid (and my favorite) is a lid rest. This allows you to place the lid in the rest while checking on the food or serving. Much better than putting it on the bench top and making a drippy mess!
You can remove the stoneware to wash it or to take the food straight from the slow cooker to the table. This model also has a cord wrap, which keeps the cord out of your way when you store the slow cooker.
Sometimes, less is more and you don’t need a larger crockpot to eat healthy meals. You can get the Proctor-Silex 33043 4-Quart Slow Cooker to prepare some of the same dishes you could get with a larger model. The only difference is the quantity.
This one also has the low, high and warm setting for cooking and keeping food ready to eat. The stoneware is removable and can be washed in the dishwasher as well as the lid.
This model doesn’t come with the rubber seal around the lid or the top of the pot. This is not a big issue as only minimal amounts of air escape and the nutrients are still locked in. It doesn’t affect the taste or cooking of the food.
What it does affect is your ability to be able to take the slow cooker in your vehicle. You can, but the odds of having a spill are higher with this one than with other models.
A smaller slow cooker is ideal for small cuts of meat, smaller meals, oats, cakes and puddings. Sometimes a big slow cooker is just too big!
Using a slow cooker for your meals and having the food ready when you want it is a great way to cut down on grabbing unhealthy foods when you’re hungry.
Depending on your situation, there is a slow cooker for everyone! Try one of the 3 above and you’ll be on your way to healthier cooking in no time.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com