Created on: January 07, 2013 Last Updated: January 08, 2013
People who have full-time jobs and busy personal lives often struggle to prepare fresh, healthy meals when they get home from work, simply because there is neither the time nor the inclination. However, by thinking ahead, it is possible to eat properly without turning to junk food or ready meals. You can use a slow cooker to fill your freezer with healthy meals by following some easy steps.
Cook in bulk
If you usually just cook enough for you and your family, you are really wasting time and energy. By putting all your ingredients into a slow cooker and making sure it is filled as far as it should be, you will end up with enough food to eat there and then, as well as plenty to put aside to freeze. At weekends, you could use your slow cooker to make a couple of meals specifically to freeze, which you can then defrost and eat in the week to save you cooking every day. A saucepan of pasta, rice, or potatoes are examples of all you need to accompany the meal.
Look for different recipes
When people think of slow cookers, the meals they think of are generally confined to stews, casseroles and possibly soups. However, there is a wide range of meals that can be slow cooked and then frozen, including pasta sauces, curries, tagines, chillies and even desserts. A cursory search on the Internet will come up with a range of recipes allowing you to experiment with different tastes without having to go to a huge amount of trouble. For example, Channel 4 offers a range of slow cooker recipe options to try.
Vary the ingredients
Although you can stick to a set recipe, one of the beauties of slow cooking meals to freeze is that you can adjust the meal according to the ingredients you have on hand. One day, you could prepare a chicken casserole with leeks and potatoes; another, you could add curry powder and root vegetables to the chicken and make a curry. Using different herbs and spices in different measures can also change the taste. That way, no two slow cooked meals ever have to taste the same, which means that there is much less chance of your family becoming bored. Even better, if you have family members with different preferences, they could theoretically all eat something different from the freezer on any given night.
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