Homemade Crock Pot Beef Stew
Cut up raw ingredients
A nice bowl of homemade beef stew hits the spot
I love to whip up a batch of this beef stew in the colder months. This recipe freezes really well, but keep in mind that potatoes do not freeze very well, so they may be a bit mushy after freezing. Another option would be to buy canned potatoes and use them as you go along, i.e. only add them when you are about to eat a bowl.
I like to fill up several 3-4 cup containers (that are freezer safe) and put them in the freezer for a later time. It's nice to have a homecooked meal in your freezer waiting for you. Take the containers out of the freezer the night before to thaw a bit, and reheat in the microwave the next day. On the weekends you could reheat in an oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Add some garlic bread and butter and you have a good homemade hearty meal!
You can have it all with a beef stew: plenty of vegetables in a tomato sauce, meat, spices. You can even have variations such as chicken, or add brown rice or noodles to the stew before serving for really filling and satisfying meal.
There are many benefits to eating carrots, peas, onions, thyme, and garlic and information is provided below on those benefits. Enjoy!
Spices: The Benefits of Using Thyme
This may be a tiny herb but it packs a huge health punch because it has an antioxidant action which is in the top ten of all the herbs. The evergreen leaves of thyme have a powerful, aromatic flavor and strong antioxidant action because of their oils and plant compounds. Research on thymol oil which thyme contains found it can boost the effects of healthy omega-3 fats on the body. The oils in thyme are strongly antibacterial and can protect us against food poisoning bugs such as E.coli, bacillus, and staphylococcus. They are also rich in flavonoids, which protect us against the diseases of aging, and they are a good source of vitamin C and iron.
Thyme pairs well with bay leaves and parsley for fish soups and stews. Add thyme, mint, and parsley to an omelet for wonderful flavor and aroma. Thyme and lemon go well with chicken.
Thyme oil has been used since the Middle Ages for its antiseptic properties, and is often recommended by herbalists today as a treatment for bronchitis or a mouthwash.
The Benefits of Eating Onions
Related to garlic, the onion family includes chives, shallots, and leeks. Onions have been used in cooking and for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Traditionally they have been used as a home remedy for coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Simmering an onion in water with a little honey, then eating the onion and repeating this every 4 hours has been noted to be a remedy for coughs.
An average sized onion weights about 90g and provides about 5 percent of an adult’s daily potassium needs. They are also a rich source of quercetin. They may help to ward off heart disease if eaten 3-4 times a week. Also placing a fresh onion slice on insect bites have shown to reduce the swelling.
Tobacco smoking is one of the major causes of bladder cancer in humans. Onions contain flavonoids such as quercetin and it is believed that the quercetin are converted into substances that protect the bladder lining from carcinogens. Regular intake of onions may help prevent cancer. Of course if at all possible you should stop smoking. Tobacco smoking is a powerful addiction and it may take a few times to quit.
- 2-3 lbs Stew Beef, or pot roast, cubed
- 3 cups frozen peas
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 3 cups green beans
- 1 large Russet Potato, cubed
- 10 Stalks Carrots, 1 inch pieces
- 14.5 oz can Diced Petit tomatoes, with liquid
- 14.5 oz can Stewed Tomatoes, with liquid
- 2 cups Fresh Okra, diced
- 1 TBSP each Dried Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Parsely, Sage
- 4 Garlic pieces, minced
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
Place stew beef in a crockpot and add salt, pepper, minced garlic, and bay leaf. Wash, dry and cut all the vegetables. Place carrots, onions over the meat, then green beans, okra, potatoes, peas and corn. Add the stewed and diced tomatoes with the liquid.
Place lid on crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. After 6 hours stir the beef stew and add 1 Tablespoon of all the dried spices. Cook another 1 hour. You may need to determine, based on how fast your crockpot cooks, if another 1 hour or 2 hours is needed. Enjoy!
The Benefits of Eating Carrots
In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to stimulate the elimination of wastes and to dissolve gallstones and ancient Greeks drank carrot juice as an aphrodisiac. In the West carrot juice is known by herbalists for diuretic action and as a treatment for heartburn. Carrots are one of the richest known sources of beta carotene. This antioxidant has the ability to soak up and make harmless the dangerous by-products of metabolism and pollution known as free radicals, which are believed to be able to damage cells and start cancer.
The traditional belief that eating carrots can help you see better at night is well founded. Night blindness is usually due to a lack of the substance visual purple, which requires beta carotene for its formation. The beta carotene in carrots will help to ensure that visual purple can be produced.
Legumes contain proteins called lectins. If legumes are eaten undercooked, the lectins can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The lectins are destroyed by boiling the legumes for ten minutes.
Quick Facts on Garlic
A member of the onion family, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, colds, whooping cough, and influenza. Every clove is full of sulfurous compounds that fight infections.
Garlic is well known for its ability to help circulation and inhibit colds. Garlic’s antibacterial effects are also well documented. In World War I surgeons used garlic juice to stop wounds from becoming septic.
The Benefits of Eating Peas (Legume)
Fresh peas are part of the legume family and are a good source of vitamin C and also supply iron, carotenes, and B vitamins. Dried split peas are used in soups. The key benefits of legumes include a decrease in heart disease, helps control blood sugar levels, may lower the risk of certain cancers, and help maintain the correct levels of iron and calcium in the body.
In Chinese medicine, legumes are believed to be good for the kidneys because of their diuretic properties. Studies have revealed that when people who have high levels of blood fat and cholesterol add legumes to their diet, these levels decrease. It is therefore possible that a diet rich in legumes could help in decreasing heart disease. It is possible that the protein and fiber found in legumes help in lowering the effects of cholesterol and fat.
The insoluable fiber in legumes does not get digested in the small intestine but moves into the large intestine, or colon, where bacteria act on it and produce short-chain fatty acids. These are thought to nourish the lining of the colon and protect it from carcinogenic invaders. Insoluble fiber adds to the physical bulk of the stools, helping them to move along more quickly. This helps to prevent cancer causing substances from attaching themselves to the colon wall.
© 2012 Michelle Dee