When it comes to feeding my family, these days I am all about fuss-free nutrition! For now, the days of lovingly preparing meals for hours on end are a distant memory and in its place are super easy, ‘chuck it all in’ kinda meals that can be prepared within minutes.
Cue my best friend in the kitchen, Mr Slowcooker. I’ve said it a million times over, but a slow cooker has seriously saved my butt (and my sanity) quite a few times this year! My slow cooked Lamb Shanks have made an almost weekly appearance…. But for those yet to jump on the Slow Cooking bandwagon, this is one kitchen item that I promise you WILL use. Over and over and over again.
Slow cooking ticks a bunch of our nutritional boxes. It cries out for economical, sustainable cuts of meat that benefit from a longer cooking time and preserves enzymes to create highly nutritious meals with minimal fuss. The best part about Slow cooking is that it is about real food that is economical, sustainable, and damn easy.
My good friends over at I Quit Sugar, are just as big a Slow Cooking fans as I am. So much so, that they recently released a hardcopy version of their I Quit Sugar Slow Cooker Cookbook.
Today they’ve shared some of their top Slow Cooking tips with me.
9 important things to know about slow cooking
- Less is more: Don’t add as much water as conventional slow-cooked recipes indicate. When you’re using a slow cooker the liquid doesn’t reduce in the same way that it would on a stovetop. Generally one cup of liquid is enough for most recipes unless it contains a starch like rice or pasta.
- Lid on is best: Always cook the meal with the lid on, except in the case of baking, or cooking puddings where you may need to remove the lid for a period of time.
- Keep your mitts off: Your slow cooker works best when undisturbed. You’ll need to add an additional 20 minutes on high each time you lift the lid. If you need to stir, do it in the last few hours.
- Don’t stress about cooking times: The times in this book are approximate. Timing is not critical to a dish’s success, however the longer a meal cooks the better the flavour and the more tender the meat will be.
- Some peace of mind: Even if you leave your slow cooker on for 12 hours the meat won’t burn, stick or dry up.
- Some foods don’t belong in a slow cooker: Avoid slow cooking crisp green veggies, noodles, Chinese vegetables and pasta. These ingredients are best served on the side. Check out the A Few Clever Sides chapter for some tasty options.
- Order matters: It’s generally best to put veggies in first with meat on top unless specified.
- Frozen veggies: Can be tossed straight in. No need to defrost
- The Golden Rule: Most casseroles with meat and vegetables need about eight hours on low.
Is there any tips that we’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.
Still looking for inspiration? Then check out The I Quit Sugar Slow Cooker Cookbook here.