Slow cooked vegetables

    Slow cooker tips and recipes

    Nothing is better in winter than coming home to the smell of dinner. January is slow cooker month and a great time to utilize this economical, timesaving way to feed your family. Confused about the cooking rules? We can help.

    • To make cleanup easier, spray liner with nonstick spray before adding any food or liquid.
    • Slow cookers work best when they are half to three-fourths full.
    • One hour on a high setting is equal to two hours on the low setting.
    • Each time you lift the lid, you increase the needed cooking time by 20 minutes. Check progress without lifting the lid.
    • Dense veggies like potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables take the longest to cook, so place them on the bottom and cut pieces no thicker than 1 inch.
    • Tender veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and squash overcook easily, so add them during the last two hours of cooking time.
    • Anything high in fat cooks quickly, so place meats on top of vegetables when loading the slow cooker.
    • Browning meat before adding it to the slow cooker reduces fat and enhances flavor and color.
    • Soak dried beans overnight before cooking.
    • Condensed cream soups are a good substitute for milk and they don't break down during long cooking times.
    • Ground herbs and spices tend to lose their flavor, and cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce tend to become bitter after long cooking times, so add late in cooking process.

    Try some of these other slow cooker recipes soon.