Health in a Pot

Though it may be getting warmer, you don’t have to stow away that slow–cooker. Known for their convenience, crock pots serve up a full meal with barely the flick of a switch… provided you have a day to stew the brew. Sample these ideas for simmering a nutritious dish in a single hot pot:

  • Go with fresh or frozen veggies over canned — more nutrients are lost in the canning process, and many add salt or sugar as preservatives.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat and trim the fat — the gradual heating and moisture ensure your meat stays tender without the dripping flab.
  • Insert garlic, onion, or lemon halves inside whole chicken to emanate flavor. Sprinkle herbs instead of salt over the top to reduce sodium.
  • To thicken broths, use puréed cauliflower or tomato paste instead of heavy creams. Or add beans and rice for a more robust consistency while bumping up protein and fiber.
  • Roll up aluminum foil into balls the size of your fist and place them on the floor of the pot. Then put your bird or roast atop the balls, which act as a rack to help drain juices.
  • Avoid the temptation to lift the lid and stir — lost heat could mean meats aren’t thoroughly cooked even after several hours.

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