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 add them to the crockpot about one-half hour before serving, since they are already cooked.
I like to fill up several one cup freezer-safe containers 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. You can also 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, and garlic. 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 (I prefer chuck roast), cubed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2-3 medium raw carrots, 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup raw celery (OPTIONAL), diced
- 14.5 ounces can tomato sauce
- 2 cups frozen peas, dethawed
- 2 cups frozen corn, dethawed
- 1 can green beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large Russet Potato, cubed
- 2 cups frozen okra, dethawed
- 2 tablespoons each dried thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 can stewed tomatoes (OPTIONAL)
Place 1/2 cup of chicken broth in the crockpot, then the raw carrots, raw onion, and raw celery (if using). Place stew beef on top of raw vegetables. Salt and pepper your stew meat. Add the can of tomato sauce over the meat. If you are using some stewed tomatoes, pour over the meat with liquid. Crockpot cooking times do vary. I have two crockpots - one will cook this on low in 4 hours, and the other one cooks on low in six hours. Check after four hours if the raw vegetables are soft and meat is cooked enough to your liking.
After cooking for a few hours, add the dethawed frozen vegetables, all the spices, and the minced garlic cloves and stir real good to mix it altogether. Cook for another hour. Depending on your crockpot, you may need to determine 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.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Michelle Dee