Three Tips to Make Your Crockpot Meals Healthier
Pack in those veggies
Go above and beyond the amount of veggies the recipe calls for. It's a great way to get a little extra nutrition, and a lot of vegetables help fill you up by using less calories! I personally love love love vegetables, especially cooked carrots, celery and broccoli and if I can add them to my meal, I do. Some people recommend that if you add extra veggies to your meal, you'll want to increase the amount of seasoning or sauce as well. But remember, extra salt or high calorie sauce will cancel out the nutrition you are getting from all of your extra veggies.
Something I always forget, vegetables cook down A LOT. And then I'm always sad when I end up with less than I thought I had, so don't be afraid to pack the crockpot!
Use Lean Meats
Use the leanest part of the meat! Slow-cookers are WONDERFUL at tenderizing the meat, to a point where it falls apart in your hand.
I generally only eat chicken, only because I'm not a big fan of the taste of other meats. So I like to make sure I have all those lines of fat cut off and that the skin is removed, leaving me with nice cuts of meat that add protein to my meals without the extra fat and calories.
Freeze meals in advance
Prepare HEALTHY meals in advance to freeze, when it's time to make dinner just pop it in the crock-pot! But the best part of this, is you can freeze it in appropriate portions to avoid over eating!
We all know when we're tired, we don't feel like cooking and the drive-thru looks so enticing, but if you have meals just waiting to warm up, it will be a lot less tempting to go order that deep fried crap!
Making tiny lifestyle changes easily leads to a healthier lifestyle.
A Tiny Tip
When you make meals to freeze, write on the ziplock freezer bag
Make note of:
- Name of the dish
- Anything extra spices/sauces you need to add once its warm
- What it should be eaten with. (Like rice or noodles.)
Last but not Least
MAKE YOUR OWN SAUCES AND SPICES
Store bought is usually loaded with salt and preservatives. Buy the ingredients to make your own and cut down on all the unnecessary additives.
My favorite homemade seasoning
I love making chicken tacos and I think I have recently perfected my homemade taco seasoning.
Now, I don't have exact measures but I can tell you everything that I use, you kind of have to taste your meat along the way to see if you have yours where you like it.
- salt (very very little)
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
The most used seasonings are going to be the cumin and chili powder. The others are for just a little flavoring. Do your salt last to avoid adding too much.
Side note: Sometimes I add a little cayenne pepper to get a little spice. But be very light with this. It can get too spicy very quickly.
Homemade Ribs and BBQ
I know she starts by making ribs but about halfway she makes the sauce. Its a great video, I love how she even comments about not using store bought!
She even uses her own seasonings!