Monday, 15 September 2014

Your Slow Cooker – Your 5:2 Diet Friend!

Slow cooking is a great way to prepare meals on the 5:2 diet, you can do all your preparation in advance and then come home at the end of the day to a delicious, perfectly portioned meal, hot and ready to be eaten.  So if you have a slow-cooker or CrockPot tucked away in one of your kitchen cupboards, pull it out, dust it down and it will definitely be your 5:2 Diet Friend this Autumn!

6 Top Tips For Successful Slow Cooking on the 5:2 Diet

  1. As with all slow-cooker recipes, your ingredients should be cut into evenly sized pieces. 
  2. When preparing meat for the slow cooker, all visible fat should be removed as should any skin.  
  3. Although it can be tempting to just bung everything into the slow cooker with no forward preparation, I would urge you to invest just 10-15mins sautéing some of the ingredients in advance before being added to the slow cooker.  This step intensifies their flavours, the caramelisation adds depth and complexity to the dish, and it also improves the finished appearance.  Many slow cookers now often a sauté function to aid this process.  
  4. Know your own cooker, guide times have been provided for each recipe but only you will know if your slow cooker cooks faster or slower in comparison.  
  5. You can often prepare the ingredients in advance the evening before, then store in the fridge overnight in a sealable, airtight container and add to the slow cooker in the morning.
  6. Care must be taken with dried beans when cooking in a slow cooker.  Make sure that the beans are soaked for at least 5 hrs in advance of use, then drain and rinse.  Put into a saucepan with fresh cold water, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 mins before adding to the slow cooker, then cook thoroughly on low for 8 hrs.  Make sure you add any salt to the dish at the end of cooking not the start.
If you are looking for low-calorie, slow cooker recipe inspiration, then perhaps you’d like to take a look at my book, The5:2 Diet  Easy Slow-Cooker Recipe Cookbook which helps make eating on your fast-day:
  • Healthy
  • Easy
  • Convenient 
  • Foolproof
This easy-to-use cookbook takes the hard work out of eating well on ‘Fast’ Days.  You will be able to enjoy over 30 fresh, tasty, Complete Meal Calorie-Counted Recipes, all under 300 calories, including:
  • Slow-Cooker Breakfast Fruit Compote 100 cals
  • Autumn Harvest Festival Soup 100 cals
  • Cauliflower & Stilton Soup 140 cals
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Blanco 259 cals
  • Slow Cooker Meatballs with Cauliflower “Cous Cous” 249 cals
  • Slow Cooker Pork & Pepper Chilli Pot 296 cals
Packed full of flavourful, natural, healthy ingredients, prepared in advance and ready and waiting for you, these delicious recipes won’t leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied after eating.

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