Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes For A Lean Physique
Colder weather doesn’t have to mean stodgy, starchy food and expanding waistlines! Dig out your slow cooker and try these healthy recipes for runners.
Also called a crock-pot, a slow-cooker is a fantastic kitchen gadget. Often dismissed as old-fashioned or just too big to be useful, really it’s one of the best bits of kitchen kit you can own if you want to master the secrets of year-round healthy eating for a lean physique. Cooking in a slow cooker is fast, easy, healthy and a great way to batch cook.
Here are our top slow-cooker recipes for healthy runners who want to stay on top of their diets throughout the winter. Enjoy!
Overnight Cinnamon And Apple Oats
All the goodness of oat porridge – ready for you when you wake up. The house will smell amazing, too!
– 2 large apples (your choice – you could even use two different sorts)
– 150g oats (the proper, raw, large-flaked kind)
– 1 tbsp brown sugar (or honey)
– 1tbsp grassfed butter or coconut oil
– 2 tbsp ground flax (or one of the Linwood’s mixes)
– a pinch of salt 350ml milk (dairy or non dairy)
– 350ml water
– dried fruit
– chopped nuts/seeds
Spray your slow cooker bowl with a little cooking spray (or wipe with butter or coconut oil)
Chop the apples
Mix the apples, oats, sugar (or honey), butter or coconut oil, ground flax (or Linwood’s mixes) and a pinch of salt.
Pour into the slow cooker.
Mix milk and water, adding cinnamon if you like it, and pour this over the mixture.
Add toppings if you like them: try dried fruit (2 tbsp will do) or chopped nuts/seeds (walnuts and almonds go well).
Put the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low overnight (at least 6-7 hours).
This should serve 4 people. Add a little extra milk and extra toppings once you’ve plated up, if you like. You could even put a portion in a tub and take it with you.
Hearty Black Bean Soup
No need to presoak your dried beans when you use this handy recipe! An ideal soup for vegan, vegetarian or simply hungry runners!
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 red onions
– 2 bell pepper (your choice of colours)
– 4 garlic cloves
– 4 tsp ground cumin
– 450g dried black beans
– 1 tbsp chopped chillis
– 2 tbsp lime juice
– 2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
– sour cream, quark or greek yogurt
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chopped vegetables and cook slowly until they start to brown.
Add the minced or chopped garlic, and cumin. Stir for a minute then pour this mixture into your slow cooker.
Add beans, chilis and 1500ml hot water.
Put the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on high until the beans are tender (this will take at least 3 hours – check at this point).
Remove half of the mixture and blend. Add the smooth mixture back into the slow cooker.
Stir in the lime juice and seasonings.
Serve up and top with sour cream, quark or greek yogurt and avocado if you like.
Slow Cooker Jacket Potatoes And Toppings
What’s that: jacket potatoes in a slow cooker? Yep!
– 4 baking potatoes
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 300g mushrooms (or a mixture of types)
– 1 head broccoli
– Salt and pepper
– 100ml hot chicken or vegetable broth
– 200g plain yoghurt
– Grated cheese.
Wrap each potato in foil, place in the slow cooker (making sure they don’t overlap) and cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours (leave them overnight). When they are ready, add the oil to a large pan and cook the chopped mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped broccoli. Cook until tender but al dente.
Add the seasonings.
Cut the potatoes in half, scoop out the flesh keeping the halved skins whole. In a bowl, mix the flesh, broth and yoghurt and then divide it up between the 8 halves of potato skin.
Top each stuffed potato with the vegetable mixture, and a little cheese if you like.
Lighter Chicken Stroganoff
Stroganoff is a gorgeous meal for a cold day, but traditional recipes are too heavy for runners. Try this lightened-up version.
– 6 chicken breasts (skin and bones removed)
– 1 can of mushroom soup
– 450g plain yogurt
– 1 onion
– 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
– 1 clove garlic (or garlic powder)
– 450g mushrooms
– White wine (up to 1/2 a glass – to taste)
– Salt and pepper
– Fresh parsley
Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker (no problem if they’re still frozen).
Chop your vegetables, crumble the stock cubes.
Mix all the ingredients except the fresh parsley and pour over the chicken.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
Serve with jacket potatoes, rice or mash, and with green vegetables. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Brown Rice Pudding
The slow cooker is a great way to make a range of desserts. Here are two of our favourites.
– 450g long grain brown rice
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 50g sugar
– 1 can of light coconut milk
– 375ml milk (dairy or non dairy)
– 50g dried fruit (if you like)
Add the rice, sugar and cinnamon to the slow cooker and stir.
Add the coconut milk and milk, stir the lot together and cover the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 3 hours (test the rice to see if it is tender, and that the pudding is your preferred consistency).
Add the vanilla and dried fruit.
Stir through and let the mixture sit in the slow cooker for 5-10 minutes, after turning it off.
– 6 apples
– 60g raisins
– 6 tsp honey
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 6 tbsp coconut oil or grassfed butter
Core the apples (this is the most labour-intensive part of the whole recipe!).
Divide all the other ingredients between the 6 apples and stuff into the hole.
Put the apples in the slow cooker, making sure they don’t overlap.
Add enough water to cover the bottom 1/2 inch of the pot.
Cook on low for 6 hours or overnight (you can enjoy these for breakfast!).
Try topping them with yoghurt, greek yoghurt, quark or sour cream.