You already know the slow cooker is the shining star that effortlessly tackles dinner on busy nights, but it is also the tool that can help you restock the pantry. Skip the store-bought items in favor of an afternoon of DIY projects and you might just be surprised at how easy and fun it is to make things like ketchup, granola, and apple butter when the slow cooker is involved. Here are 10 to try.
Consider fruit butter jam's more laid-back, easygoing cousin. This slow cooker version is your ticket to preserving whatever haul of fruit you have on hand — no canning equipment or heating up the stove required.
When the slow cooker is involved, making a batch of applesauce couldn't be easier. The hardest part of the job is peeling and slicing the apples.
The slow cooker is my favorite way to make big batches of granola. Thanks to one small cooking trick, it comes out just as crisp and crunchy as oven-baked, and with less mess to clean up.
Short of measuring the ingredients for you, your slow cooker takes care of all the heavy lifting for a deep, vibrant sauce that's like nothing you'll ever taste from the grocery store.
This smooth, creamy sauce was made for chip-dipping and drizzling over fries, and will remind you of the nacho cheese sauce of your youth. The slow cooker not only makes this dip, but also keeps it warm for serving all night long.
It's true that canned beans are unbelievably convenient. But when you reach for your slow cooker, turning a bag of dried beans into a batch that's tender, creamy, and ready to eat is nearly effortless.
Homemade chicken stock has a way of seeming like an ordeal, but it's really not — especially when you make it in the slow cooker.
A good fruit sauce is one of those special ingredients that really makes dessert shine. With this version, all that's required is dumping your overabundance of fruit into the slow cooker with a little water and sugar, then letting it do its thing.
If you needed an extra nudge to forgo that bakery bread and try your hand at homemade, consider yourself nudged. Because yes, you can indeed, make a loaf of fresh, warm, homemade bread in your slow cooker.
It's that time of year when all things apple have us swooning. But instead of picking up a jar of the pricey apple butter, consider pulling out your slow cooker to make your own — it's just as delicious and easier than you think.