Five Reasons to Use Your Slow Cooker in January
Slow cookers are great to use all year round but, they really come to the rescue during those lazy, cold, winter days when we are craving warm, comfort food dishes like soups, stews, and chilis – without a whole lot of effort. After sifting through some of my favorite dietitian and food blogger’s websites, I decided to put together a little recipe round up to get you excited about all the different (and unique!) ways you can use your slow cooker this month (and beyond).
I’ll be cooking these up all month long so stay tuned for more photos of these savory dishes as I continue to improve on my food photography/styling skills.
First up, is this steel cut slow cooker oatmeal which has such a hearty, rich texture and leaves you feeling full and satisfied (thank you, dietary fiber!) The great thing about oatmeal is that you never have to eat it the same way twice. Change up the fruit, nut, spices or other toppings you choose to add. One of my favorites is using Frozen blueberries with sliced almonds and a dash of cinnamon.
Check out The Recipe Rebel’s Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe. I made this recipe recently with just a few modifications including doubling the recipe, reducing the brown sugar by half and keeping the skin on the apples. Oh and I added a cinnamon stick because why not…
Chicken noodle soup has to be, hands-down, the go-to soup for most people when you start to feel a little cold coming on. Am I right? Instead of standing there, stirring the soup on the stovetop waiting for everything to cook up, why not throw all your ingredients into the slow cooker and then hop back in bed for a little snooze? You’ll wake up to the wonderful aromas of chicken noodle soup and feel refreshed. Here is a slow cooker chicken noodle soup recipe by Well Plated.
This is such a versatile dish. Not only can you make your traditional BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with coleslaw (and other fixings), but this protein can be added to other soups, salads, or eaten all on its own when paired with some sides like sesame-almond green beans and smashed golden potatoes. Here is a recipe by FitFoodieFinds for BBQ Pulled Chicken in the slow cooker.
This is a protein that I don’t typically include on the shopping list when meal planning. Maybe it’s because it’s a little intimidating to bring home a 5-pound piece of beef brisket. However, I feel totally confident preparing this in the slow cooker, since there is not a whole lot of work required other than getting the spices and herbs rubbed into the brisket itself. This slow cooker beef brisket recipe by Culinary Hill is worth a try.
If you have a stuffy nose during these cold, winter days, a couple spoonfuls of Jambalaya will most definitely help to clear out your sinuses. As if that wasn’t reason enough, this savory, spicy and hearty dish is exactly what we need to cozy up to this month. In my opinion, there is no other way to prepare this dish, but in the slow cooker because it allows time for all those bold and rich flavors to marinade together resulting in a flavorful bowl of goodness. Check out Crème de la Crumb’s slow cooker Jambalaya recipe.
And here are a few more bonus slow cooker recipes that I think are worth checking out:
- Beef Stew by Ambitious Kitchen
- Chicken Tacos by The Modern Proper
- Meatballs by Joy Bauer
- Chicken Fajitas by The Cooking Jar
Later this month I’ll be posting one of our all-time favorite slow cooker recipes – my husband’s turkey chili – an absolute staple on Sunday’s during football season in our house.
And let’s be honest, there is nothing like having your dinner waiting and ready for you at the end of the workday. Best of all, there is just one pot to clean when all is said and done. That may or may not be my favorite part!