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Get Cooking Healthy This Autumn With Your Slow Cooker!

Click the image for the recipe for this slow-cooker Mexican Chicken Soup from Taste of Home!

Now that Thanksgiving and Halloween are over in Canada, you’re probably thinking of how to get all your other holiday tasks done while staying healthy and keeping active. How do you keep up with all your obligations and meet your goals without succumbing to the lure of fast food? Enter the slow cooker. With a slow cooker, you can chop up your ingredients in the morning (or even the night before!), throw them in, program the cooker, and go about your day while dinner cooks for hours. Sounds like magic, and done right, it tastes like magic.

Slow cookers are hot. Literally. Years ago, blogger Stephanie O’Dea realized that she could better manage four kids and a job with help from her slow cooker, and she started A Year of Slow Cooking, a blog devoted to using her slow cooker every day to making everything from oatmeal to candy apples to pot roast. She’s kept up the habit, and has multiple cookbooks on the subject. Her store also features her favourite slow cookers.

Speaking of which, if you want to embark on a speedy journey to slow cooking, check out The Sweethome’s Best Slow Cooker review. They tested several models, and settled on the Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Programmable Set n’Forget. It’s a steal at only $49. (Hamilton Beach also took home the Best Rice Cooker review, if you want to set and forget even more of your cooking processes.)

Most people think of slow cookers as being primarily for braising meat, and while they’re great at that particular task, they can also be used for vegetarian and even vegan applications. Just check out the most popular slow cooking-oriented cookbooks at Amazon.ca. Many of them are full of vegan, vegetarian, and international recipes. Why? Because slow cookers are also great at breaking down legumes like lentils, beans, and peanuts to create protein-rich meals from plant sources.

Need more ideas? Check out this Black-eyed Pea Curry for the slow cooker! It’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, but still full of flavour.