A slow cooker is associated with utmost convenience, cost-effectiveness, and energy efficiency. Apart from these obvious merits, cooking food using a crockpot comes with numerous health benefits. There is a lot more to a slow cooker than heating meatballs during holiday parties. For instance, meals containing meat are healthiest when cooked using a slow cooker rather than cooking them over scorching, direct heat. Direct interaction of the fats and proteins in the meat with heat can lead to the formation of harmful compounds. Here are more health benefits to be derived from the use of a slow cooker.
Helps One to Lose Weight
Consuming at-home prepared meals is a critical step for people who are looking to cut weight. Using a slow cooker simplifies the process of preparing meals at home, which ultimately reduces an individual’s intake of processed foods and snacks. Slow cooking meals require very little effort; a person is assured of finding a ready meal when they get home from work after tossing a few ingredients into the appliance in the morning. For example, one can use a slow cooker to prepare healthy meals like casseroles, soups, roasts, and baked desserts in place of roasted meat and sugary processed drinks like milk and shakes. Reducing the consumption of processed foods will essentially decrease the amount of sodium, fat and calories intake, thus facilitating one’s efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Meat prepared in a slow cooker becomes soft and tender thus easy to digest. Most of the slow cooker recipes encourage one to use potatoes, onions, carrots, herbs, garlic, and tomatoes. These ingredients serve to provide the body with soluble proteins, fiber, antioxidants and extra nutrients in a single meal. Also, among the key products of slow cooking is broth. This meal comes with great health benefits that include reducing joint inflammation and pain, promoting strong nails, hair and bones as well as inhibiting infection. Besides, unlike most healthy recipes, a slow-cooked meal is rich in flavor and incredibly mouth-watering.
Low Heat Preserves Nutrients
A slow cooker produces a limited amount of heat. Thus, there’s no danger of overheating the kitchen. The low temperatures also aid in preserving nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed when preparing a meal over excessive heat. When prepared appropriately, the majority of slow-cooked veggies preserve more of their vital nutrients that aid in fighting illnesses than when cooked on the stove. Some of these vegetables include tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. The nutritional value of slow cooked meals is especially pronounced when the food is taken alongside the broth or sauce.
It’s The Best Way To Cook Meat
The crockpot can be used to make a healthy meat-ridden meal despite using tough cuts of meat like an oxtail. The meat is rendered incredibly tender, and the process doesn’t eliminate minerals and vitamins that are otherwise lost when cooking meals with other vapor-evaporating methods. Ideally, chicken can be prepared with only salt and pepper put at the same time in a crockpot and left to cook for 10 hours. The resulting meal is tremendously healthy, juicy and the meat will practically be falling out of the bone. Despite the minimum hassle, slow-cooked meat also present a stronger, finger-licking flavor that stimulates appetite even among the kids.
Slow Cooked meals Don’t Burn
Some of the most common meals prepared in a slow cooker include stews and soups. These meals rarely burn since the pot is designed to simmer on the low heat for an extended period. To make the process even more effective, one should add a little water before initiating the cooking process. The low temperatures coupled with water reduce the chances of food sticking on the bottom of the pan and subsequently burning. However, a slow cooker should not be filled more than two thirds, and the lid should be kept tight throughout the process to maintain an optimal cooking condition in the container.
The Bottom Line
Slow cooking meals is a simple and healthy food preparation option with most recipes only requiring cooks to load up their ingredients and turn on the crockpot. The convenience of using this device is especially manifest from the fact that one doesn’t need to babysit the cooking process. It does not require one to stir the contents or keep checking the progress. One can thus walk away and forget about the meal for hours, in fact, opening the lid of the slow cooker while cooking can upset the quality of the food.
This implies that there’s no excuse to feed one’s family with fast foods; preparing healthy meals has never been easier. The benefits of slow cooking are not limited to enhanced bioavailability of nutrients in veggies. Cooking meat in a liquid and at reduced heat will go a long way in reducing the number of cell-damaging properties produced by broiled or grilled meat.
It, therefore, follows that every health-conscious individual should invest in this handy device. However, they should research widely and read expert opinion to buy the best slow cooker. Besides, these devices come with a low price tag, which implies that almost every household can comfortably afford them. A crockpot is a simple gadget that can be carried along to the office or even to a party, ensuring a consistent supply of nutritious and delicious meals.