Hands down, the simplest way to prepare delicious, nutritious and super budget friendly meals is in the crockpot! It’s actually called a slow cooker and Crock-pot is the brand. But I grew up calling it that so it’s kinda stuck. Either way, do you have one? Then go dust it off. If you don’t, it’s time to make this small investment so you can fill your entire week with healthy meals in only a matter of minutes of your time and a few dollars at the market.
Crockpots Can Be So Clean & Colorful!
I promised to share a fresh post with you help you incorporate at least one of the four universal diet truths in my Clean and Colorful Concept. And most crockpot recipes will fit the bill and will easily help you execute on the first two principles:
- Eat Less Processed Food.
- Eat all 5 Colors Everyday.
- Swap one Snack or Meal per day with a Juice or Smoothie.
- Exercise at least 21-Minutes a Day 6 Days a Week.
6 Reasons You Should Love Your Crockpot:
1. Time saver.
This is the obvious answer. All you do us cut up your veggies and protein and put them in there with some broth and 5-8 hours later, your house smells amazing and you have home cooked meals for the week. Yes, it does take all day, but it’s about 15 minutes of total prep work on your end. You don’t need to be a clock watcher and you’re free to go about your business all day long.
2. Less dishes to wash.
On the effort note, there are no multiple of dishes to wash. You just fill up the pot, wash off your cutting board and knife and you’re done. You’ll need a few single serve containers for your leftovers and that’s it. It really can’t bet any simpler.
3. Flexibility and variety.
You can be a vegan, paleo, gluten free, southern food, carnitas, or beef stew lover and still use your crock pot. It does not discriminate. And you can make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even appetizers in it. It’s probably one of the most underutilized, versatile pieces of equipment in your kitchen.
4. Travel friendly.
Depending on the one you have (mine, not so much). But some have clamps and carrying cases so you can easily bring your healthy creation to your potluck or party. Transporting meals to parties and keeping them warm and yummy can be a challenge that the crockpot simply wipes out as an additional bonus. On our last girls cabin camping trip, this was how we made dinner. It was awesome!
5. Healthy Cooking.
Yes, you can put a lot of cheese in the crockpot for dips and such, but for the most part, it’s meat, veggies, beans and/or grains. And when you’re working with meat, veggies, beans and grains, you’re not working with a ton of processed ingredients. Your body loves it when you do this.
6. Budget Friendly.
Often we hear that cooking healthy is too expensive and/or time consuming. And for the most part, there is some truth in those statements. But the crockpot really does debunk both of them. You can get about 6 meals out of a single crock pot recipe with about 2 pounds of protein, 1-2 cups of a raw grain or beans and a pile of inexpensive veggies like potatoes, onions, tomatoes and so on. Typically you’ll spend $10-$20 to fill the entire thing.
Healthy Cooking: Easy Crockpot Recipes
Maybe you didn’t even need convincing to get out your crockpot, you just needed some inspiration? Another beauty of the crockpot is that it really does not require a recipe. You can follow the simple step selection: bean/grain*, protein, veggies, seasoning, and broth. Yup. that is all it takes.
*Grains are often added in the last two hours of cooking to keep them from absorbing too much water and getting to mushy.
8 Easy Crockpot Recipes
But if you are are a recipe follower and looking for some clear direction, well here you go! Some of these are mine and the rest some are on my list to try:
- Vegan Chili with Sweet Potatoes – Eat. Drink & be Skinny
- Metabolism Boosting Chili – Shaw Simple Swaps
- Classic Quinoa Stuffing – Eat. Drink & be Skinny
- Homemade Bone Broth – January Wellness
- Overnight Breakfast Casserole – Food Network
- Vegan Jambalaya – Connonnoisseurus Veg
- Carmel Apple Crumble – How Sweet It Is
- Mac & Cheese – Culinary Cory
Things You Might Need to Get Crockpotting:
- A 3-Quart Crockpot (this is the one I have.)
- A travel friendly Crockpot (if I had a do-over, this is the one I’d get)
- A Crockpot Cookbook (I have this and LOVE it!)
- A different Crockpot Cookbook (This is newer, 2015, and targeted “healthy”)
- Single Serve Containers (A must have to get the most of your crockpot!)
When was the last time you made your crockpot and/or what’s your favorite go-to recipe?
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