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Slow Cooking

Photo by Dimitry Zub on Unsplash

Slow cooking is a method that many consigned to the past, but it is making something of a comeback now. In fact, the BBC reported that there was a slow cooker revolution occurring back in 2016.

Part of the reason that slow cooking is more popular again, is that it can be a convenient way to cook, and many people now own these types of appliances. Many by accident.

Multi-cookers such as the Instant Pot arrived about ten years ago and have since become hugely popular. One of the reasons that Instant Pots are so popular is that they cook food very quickly indeed.

However, due to the other features built into them, they can also slow cook. This is how so many people found themselves the owner of a slow cooker without looking for one.

The question is though, is slow cooking a healthy way to prepare meals, and does it use a lot of power? Also, how nutritious are the meals from it? 

Is slow-cooked food healthy?

One of the biggest worries people seem to have with slow-cooked food is whether the food that comes out will be good for them. It may be that the long cooking times lead people to believe that the food will be destroyed by the time that it is done.

However, this isn’t true. There are different types of nutrients in food, and your body needs them all. Fortunately, slow cooking protects these nutrients rather than destroys them. The long cooking process uses low heat so it destroys far fewer nutrients than say, roasting or deep frying would. 

What are the best things to cook in a slow cooker?

Many things will not work in a slow cooker. Pasta, rice, delicate vegetables, etc, will all just turn to mush over time, but slow cookers are ideal for many other ingredients.

Tough cuts of meat such as brisket work very well in slow cookers. The long cooking time will tenderize the meat and leave what is a cheap cut, moist and delicious. Chicken will cook well over a long time, and stews and soups work perfectly.

One of the biggest worries people seem to have with slow-cooked food is whether the food that comes out will be good for them.

Slow cookers were almost made for stews and soups. Having the smell of a hot, delicious meal wafting through the home as you come on a miserable winter’s day is a real heartwarmer.

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Dried beans and other sturdy ingredients all benefit from the cooker's long and gentle process. 

How do you use a slow cooker?

If you have an Instant Pot then it will have a slow cook feature on the control panel. There are many resources online, and sites such as Corrie Cooks explain how to use an Instant Pot as a slow cooker.

Fortunately, even the most inexperienced cook can use one as they are very simple. Generally, all you have to do is add all the ingredients called for in your chosen recipe, along with water or broth as necessary. Turn on the machine to either high or low, add the lid, and leave it to cook.

That’s how simple slow cooking can be. Sometimes you may need to brown meat before adding, depending on what you are cooking. 

What are the benefits of slow cooking

Because you are not using oil with this type of cooking, your meals will generally be very nutritious and healthy. Obviously, if you only use the slow cooker to prepare meat your diet won’t be so good but stews and soups can make hearty healthy meals.

Busy moms might appreciate some easy weight loss ideas, and being able to prepare a low-carb meal in the slow cooker while going about the rest of the day’s tasks could be ideal.

The modern multi-cookers have far more options than just slow cooking too. So, when slow cooking isn’t what you need, just switch to pressure cooking and whip up a fast meal for you and your family. 

Are slow cookers good for the environment?

Having an appliance plugged in for hours doesn’t sound like it would be good for the environment, but actually, they are very energy efficient.

Little heat escapes from the cooker meaning that there is less wasted energy than some other cooking methods. This makes them suitable to use in the summer as well as the winter, as they won’t heat up the kitchen too much.

Even when they are switched to pressure cooking, they still use less power than most traditional cooking appliances. 

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

Summary

A slow cooker can produce healthy food that is still packed with nutrition, with little fuss. Unlike some other cooking methods, there is no need to continually stir the food, or keep an eye on it.

The nutritional value of the food cooked this way could also be good for new moms. A lot of nutrition is needed for a new mom meal plan, and a slow cooker could provide a way of getting it with no stress.