Adapting Your Recipes for the Slow Cooker
Now that you’ve started using your crock pot slow cooker regularly, you’re probably wondering how you can adapt your traditional recipes to use in a crock pot. The ease of preparing a meal with a slow cooker has literally changed the lives of busy families. With the help of their slow cookers, families are eating healthier and consuming less greasy fast-food.
Here are some hints for adapting your favorite traditional recipes for crock pot cooking.
1.) Add vegetables like peas and broccoli to your recipe in the last 15 – 60 minutes. If you’re using frozen vegetables, remember to add them to your crock pot recipe during the last 30 minutes.
2.) Make sure to soak your dried beans so that they are completely softened before adding them to your recipe. If your recipe includes tomatoes, salt, or sugar, then your beans should definitely be soaked before cooking.
3.) If your recipe calls for pasta, any kind of seafood, milk or other dairy products, then only add them during the last 60 minutes of cooking, and cook pasta to just a bit tender before adding them to the cooker. Condensed cream soups are good alternatives to dairy products because they can withstand longer cooking times.
4.) When cooking a recipe with rice, add an extra ¼ cup liquid for every ¼ cup of rice.
5.) Always remember to reduce the liquid in your recipe by ½ when you’re using a traditional recipe in your crock pot.
6.) A good idea for cooking stews and soups that call for vegetables is to put the veggies on the bottom and sides of the slow cooker and then place your meat on top.
Traditional Recipe to Slow Cooker Use:
15-30 minutes traditional = 1.5–2 hours High or 4-6 hours Low in Crock pot
35-45 minutes traditional = 3-4 hours High or 6-10 hours Low in Crock pot
50 minutes - 3 hours traditional = 4-6 hours High or 8-18 hours Low in Crock pot
If you’re like most families, your slow cooker supplies lots of food per meal, so you’ll very likely have leftovers. Always remember to never reheat your leftovers in the crock pot. One of the additional rewards of slow cooking is the ability to make lots of food and freeze for future meals. Happy slow cooking!