Stay Healthy with Slow Cooker Recipes
The greatest benefit of using a slow cooker is that you don’t need to tend to the food too often. This makes slow cooker recipes extremely convenient for people with busy schedules or has too many things to do at once. But did you know there’s a less known benefit of using a slow cooker? Keep reading for healthy slow cooker recipes.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), all food ingredients have special properties and can be divided into three broad categories. These categories are warming, neutral and cooling. This doesn’t necessarily mean foods that are hot temperature-wise. Instead, it refers to the reaction your body has to it. You can read more about the different properties of food here.
During colder months like late autumn and winter, TCM practitioners recommend eating foods that more warming to put less strain on the body. This includes food like ginger, mutton, stews and other foods with a lot of protein. See a more complete list here.
Hidden Benefit of Slow Cooker Recipes
Here is where the hidden benefit of making slow cooker recipes. Because the foods are cooked over a long period of time, the energy from the cooking unit is stored within the food. Even if the natural properties of the food are cooling, slow cooking them changes it to warming.
This is extremely beneficial during winter. As mentioned earlier, eating warming foods relieves some of the strain off the body of producing warmth.
Slow-cooked foods are also more easily digestible since they tend to be more tender and broken down. It can help your internal energy, known as qi, flow better which improves your overall health.
Slow Cooker Recipes
To take full advantage of the benefit of slow cooking, try cooking recipes that are already warming in nature. You can also try regular recipes like Chinese Braised Spare Ribs or Sesame Chicken. Check out AllRecipes’ list of the Best Slow Cooker Recipes.
Some of the following recipes do not necessarily need to be made in a slow cooker, but they definitely can be. Instead of using a regular pot as recommended in the instructions, use your slow cooker on the lowest setting.
1. Soy Sauce Braised Eggs
Eggs aren’t limited to only breakfast time. In China, soy sauce eggs are one of the most popular street foods. They make a great snack to be eaten individually or an easy meal when served with rice or noodles.
For this recipe, it recommends that you soak the eggs overnight in the marinade but you can opt to make it in a slow cooker, or just cook it longer in a pot. Just note, the longer you cook it, the more flavour the eggs will have. So be careful not to make it too salty!
2. Chinese Braised Chicken Wings
Since slow cooker recipes are recommended during the colder months, that makes this Chinese Braised Chicken Wings a great recipe for the holiday season. Serve it as finger food at your next holiday party.
You can make the sauce for the wings thicker by cooking it longer. If you wish to keep it at the same consistency, add in the rock sugar later or not at all.
3. Ginger Chicken Congee
Ginger Chicken Congee is essentially the chicken noodle soup of Chinese cuisine. It’s the go-to recipe for when you’re feeling down or unwell. This rice porridge is comforting, nourishing and most importantly, easy to make, which is what makes it is so popular. See the full recipe here.
4. Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
While congee is comforting, a hot bowl of noodle soup is a different type of comfort. This Taiwanese Spicy Beef Noodle Soup will warm you up from the inside in 3 ways. The spice will get the fire started while the slow cooking process and beef fuels it.
5. Chinese Braised Mushrooms
Although more protein is recommended during winter, getting your daily servings of vegetables is also important. Try this Chinese Braised Mushrooms recipe which features delicious shiitake mushrooms and healthy bok choy all in a savoury sauce.