5 Ways the Slow Cooker Helps Me Eat Healthier

updated May 1, 2019
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Slow Cooker Maple-Glazed Squash (Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

I absolutely love my slow cooker. I lean on it all year long for everything from convenient hands-off suppers and hearty braises to no-heat dinners and desserts during the sweltering summer months. But what I’ve come to really appreciate most about my slow cooker is all the ways it helps me eat healthier throughout the day.

5 Things I Make in My Slow Cooker to Help Me Eat Healthier

1. Vegetables (for Breakfast!)

I will always count it as a serious win when vegetables are the highlight of my breakfast. Now that summer is behind us, I’m moving from breakfast salads to a morning meal that’s a little heartier, which means sweet potatoes and kabocha squash are front and center. After hands-off cooking in the slow cooker, I top them with everything yogurt, fruit, granola, honey, or nut butter.

Make Vegetables for Breakfast in the Slow Cooker

2. Shredded Meat

The slow cooker makes poaching lean, boneless chicken breasts even easier than the stovetop methods. I add enough to get me through the week, pour in some water or broth, and in a couple hours I have a big batch of shredded chicken. I’ll use the chicken to bulk up salads and grain bowls and to make a batch of chicken salad.

3. Bone Broth

Drinking bone broth makes me feel good and really nourished. When I did my first round of Whole30 earlier this year, I experimented with making bone broth on the stovetop, in the pressure cooker, and in the slow cooker. While each method works, the slow cooker version was best for me. It’s larger than my Instant Pot so I can make a bigger batch, and not having to keep a watchful eye over a simmering pot on the stove is always a win.

4. Granola

Yes, you can make homemade granola in your slow cooker. It is delicious and, best of all, crunchy! I love making my own granola because I know exactly what’s going into it, and I can be sure it’s not loaded with sugar. It’s also easier to make extra-big batches with the slow cooker than it is in the oven.

Vegan Slow-Cooker Chickpea Tikka Masala (Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

5. Homemade Versions of Takeout Dishes

Most often the slow cooker is key for making easy, healthy-ish meals when I really don’t feel like cooking. On those days I opt for nearly effortless recipes that I know will be more satisfying and definitely more wholesome than what I would have ordered from Seamless.

My Favorite Healthy-ish Slow Cooker Recipes