Slow cookers are very easy to use and a great way to make a delicious meal too. But that is not the end of the benefits they bring along. When you are using this style of cooking, you don’t have to worry about timing yourself. But, is slow cooking healthy too?
So, what you are looking at is something that can positively be labelled ‘hands-off style’ cooking. Slow cooking is without a doubt an extremely efficient and convenient way to prepare a tasty meal.
But make no mistake, you can use this even if you are short on time. In fact, it was kind of made for those who don’t have the time for an elaborate meal.
That’s right. Here’s how that plays out.
All About Slow Cooking: What Makes It Healthy?
The beauty is in the simple fact that you just need to put all the ingredients into the slow cooker and put it away for the magic to happen while you are gone. But this style of cooking was actually, conventionally speaking, the way fast food was made.
Now, the reference to fast food brings up another question that a lot of people who do and don’t use this technique often ask—why is it healthy? Here’s all you need to know on that front.
#1 Low Temperature
Slow cooking does not and cannot happen in high temperatures because it takes place over about 4 to 5 hours. For that, the temperature is brought down, which keeps the nutrients in the food more stable when compared to any other type of cooking.
#2 No Loss Of Nutrients
Apart from being stable, the nutrients are all in a sealed container. Whether you use a casserole and cook it in the oven or use an electric slow cooker, you will not lose the ingredients to the liquid or the heat because they are eventually absorbed back into the meal you are making.
And since they are cooked for a longer time period, you will also notice that the resultant food has more flavor. This means you don’t have to use extra sauces or seasoning to make it a good dish. The food makes use of the spices and herbs it already has to make it taste the way it should.
This is also a useful way of cooking root vegetables because they get soft, which makes it easier to consume and digest them if that’s a factor.
#3 Uses Natural Ingredients
This is not a heat-intensive style of cooking like roasting and frying where a lot of additives are added for the sake of flavouring. In this type of cooking, you are more inclined to use natural ingredients like ground spices and vegetables which are better for your health.
So, consuming many if not most meals from your crockpot might just be good for your health because you will reduce the interference in terms of added ingredients that are not the healthiest choice.
Cooking in the crockpot limits the ingredients to what you can cook and that means you are less likely to develop problems that come from a bad diet. That is also because some of the ingredients that are added at a later stage when you are roasting or frying food might already be contaminated with the many different types of bacteria in their vicinity. All of that can be totally avoided with slow cooking.
And meat-eaters can also rejoice because slow cooking does a good job with tough meats. Not only does it make it tender thanks to the extra moisture and the extended cooking time but it also means you don’t need to add fat content that makes the dish climb the calorie chart.
#4 No More AGEs
If you haven’t heard of them, AGEs or advanced glycation end products are items with toxins that often get consumed with animal products, especially meats, of many different kinds.
Whether you broil or fry or grill them, the high temperature does not really kill the toxins. AGEs are popular for adding flavour to the food but they are also linked to kidney diseases, diabetes, inflammation and more.
All of this can be easily avoided by using a slow cooker which keeps the temperature low and maintains the water content which is helpful in keeping those toxins at bay.
A lot of people who haven’t yet tried using a slow cooker think they need a lot of time to get into this, but it is actually the conventional model for fast food.
Despite the opposite direction in which the name went, slow cooking was actually meant to be a way of facilitating fast food because it doesn’t need a lot of preparation.
And, if you do it at night, you will have a full meal ready for the next day. And doesn’t that sound just wonderful?