Crock pot or slow cooking offers plenty of benefits, regardless of whether you are on a diet or not. And if you follow a low carb plan, crock pot meals add diversity to your menu.
Benefits of Slow Cooking
Low carb diets emphasize the importance of eating foods that are high in protein and healthy fats. Thus you consume lean meat, seafood, and other protein-rich foods. Slow cooking is ideal for the purpose. Tough meats such as stew beef, steaks, and chuck roasts get tender and tastier. You can prepare venison and other meats as well. What is more, you have more space to cook other meals, which is great if you donít have enough time. You can use the stove top and oven to prepare other dishes. Another benefit of slow cooking is convenience. You can leave the meal unattended for hours. Just combine the ingredients, place them in the crock pot before going to work or the grocery store, and come home later.
Crock Pot Meals While on a Diet
There are plenty of low carb recipes to try, whether you are a vegetarian or meat eater. If you love meat, you can have pork chops, pork roast, chicken with broccoli and cheese, and more. You can cook chicken in many different ways Ė butter chicken, rotisserie chicken, stuffed chicken breasts, buffalo chicken, etc. The slow cooker is also ideal for beef. Recipes to try include Asian beef, Ropa vieja, Thai curry beef, Italian beef, and others. You can have beef taco meat, cabbage rolls, meatball stew, Mexican pot roast, and so on. There are simple slow cooker dinners that are easy to prepare. For example, you can make pork chops or chicken breasts with creamy soup. If you are a vegetarian, try some low carb veggie meals. The slow cooker is perfect for making soups, stews, and other meals. You can have French onion soup, vegetarian chili, or kale, artichoke, and spinach dip.
Tips for Slow Cooking
The crock pot is ideal for stews and roasts. The main difference between your oven and slow cooker is that moisture stays inside, i.e. the water does not evaporate. This makes it perfect for stews and soups. When preparing vegetable meals, you may want to cook them on the stove top first. This is done to remove excessive moisture. Another way to do this is to add ingredients that remove moisture or thicken the mixture. You can add a low carb thickener, dehydrated veggies, or tomato sauce. Another option is to combine the two methods. First cook on the stove top to reduce it and then add tomato sauce, wine, or another ingredient. The choice of meat also matters. The crock pot is ideal for cooking chuck roasts, beef brisket, pork shoulder, and other cuts. Add herbs and seasonings toward the end. There is a difference between oven and slow cooking. The latter may dull some seasonings and flavors because meals take longer to cook.
Keep in mind that fresh vegetables take longer to cook than canned veggies and meat. One way to shorten cooking time is to pre-cook them on the stove top. Another option is to place them under the meat in the crock pot. If you donít have enough time, you may want to use frozen vegetables. They are partially cooked and are quick to prepare. Just add them to the crock pot in the last hour (hour and a half). If your recipe includes sour cream, cream, or milk, add it toward the end or otherwise it will separate.