Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rock Your Crockpot!

October is here!  School and extra curricular activities are in full swing and eating healthy does not have to go down the tubes!  It's time to ROCK YOUR CROCKPOT!  I was in Pittsburgh last weekend for my son's hockey tournament and Owen Sound the weekend before.  My crock-pot comes with me as it keeps us eating healthy and prevents long wait times in restaurants.  I prepared a crock pot dish the night before and brought it with me to the hotel.  In the morning I just put it on warm and after the first game lunch was ready when we returned to the hotel, easy peasy!

Homemade meals can be made in a cinch and slow cooked dishes are healthier as the heat is low and cooked over time.  Any time we use high heat from a microwave etc. we are killing nutrients.  Crock pot cooking can also stretch small amounts of meal with flavorful sauces and generous portions of vegetables.  If you are following a certain style of eating like Paleo etc.  There are so many recipes that you can find.  Simply google crock pot recipes and you can find a bunch.

I love the convenience of crock pots because you only use one dish.  Just throw all the ingredients in and come home to dinner, no fuss.  I always double or triple a recipe so the kids have leftovers for school lunches.  I just put it in a thermos and they have a healthy lunch.

Most people use crock pots  for lunch and dinner but breakfast in a crock-pot is also amazing.  Oatmeal has always been know for it's stick to your ribs kind of meal that holds us over but in reality, eaten on its own, it has a high insulin potential (HELLO MUFFIN TOP!).  There are a lot of ways to buffer that insulin spike with oatmeal by adding some good fats, protein and fiber.   Of course if my boys are off to the rink in the morning I love oatmeal at least 1.5 hours before as it will give them the energy from the carbohydrates that they need.  Here is an easy recipe for crock pot oatmeal that is super festive for this time of year:

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats in the Crock-pot
Serves 6-8

  • 2 C steel cut oats
  • 3/4 C pumpkin mashed or can of pumpkin (no sugar added)
  • 1 400mL or 14oz can full fat coconut milk plus enough water to make 7C (about 5 1/4 C water)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (4 tbsp. cinnamon, 4 tsp. nutmeg, 4 tsp. ginger, 3 tsp. all spice, 1 tsp. cloves).
  • 1/2 C honey or maple syrup (or leave unsweetened and add after it's been cooked).
Put all ingredients in your crockpot. Mix well and set to cook for 5-6 hours on low.  Serve hot with almond milk or a dollop of Greek yogurt, extra honey or maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

If you have leftovers you can store in the fridge and use for a quick breakfast.  Enjoy!