Love meal prepping, but wish it were easier? A slow cooker is the kitchen appliance you need.
As we all know, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about exercise and getting your sweat on.
Equally as important is what you put into your body – but healthy eating isn’t always as easy as we’d hope, and it often feels much easier to just give up and order UberEats.
Well, that’s where meal prepping comes in. It’s a great way to get organised so that you’ve got healthy meals on hand when you need them. That said, meal prepping in and of itself can also be a time-consuming process, no matter how much time it saves in the long run!
And on that note, we’d like to introduce you to an underrated meal prepping hero: the slow cooker.
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Slow cookers for healthy meal prep
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you definitely already know what a slow cooker is – a nifty kitchen appliance that simmers your meals at a low temperature over a longer period of time, leaving you with richer flavours and a no-fuss cooking process.
It’s a set-and-forget dream come true – all you have to do is sear your meat of choice (if using), then throw it into the cooker with veggies and liquid (like stock, passata, water or even a splash of wine). A few hours later, you’ve got yourself a delicious meal that you can eat right away or store in tupperware (this is my current fave brand) so it’s ready to go for midweek lunches and dinners.
According to dietitian Melissa Meier, “slow cookers are particularly useful for creating healthy meals because you can pack them with veggies and avoid less-healthy cooking methods like frying. Plus, you’ll be less likely to opt for takeaway at the end of the day because your meal is already cooked”.
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. If you’re interested, we’ve got a guide to the best slow cookers for every type of person – just keep reading.
For the penny-pincher
Buying a new appliance doesn’t have to set you back hundreds! This one is only 3.5L (so it won’t take up too much kitchen space), and it’ll only set you back $45.
Crock-Pot Traditional One Pot Cooker, $45 at Bing Lee, eBay or Catch, $49.95 at Myer.
For the pro chef
If you’re a whiz in the kitchen and want nothing but the best, Choice voted Breville’s The Smart Temp as their top slow cooker last year. It’s got a nifty temperature sensor that avoids overheating and super-easy programmed functions.
Breville The Smart Temp 6L Slow Cooker, $109 at The Good Guys or eBay, $129 at Myer, $129.95 at Breville.
For the busy bee
Want all the goodness of a slow cooker but, well … quicker? A multi-cooker like this one has a traditional slow cooking function, but it also has options to pressure cook, which will give you that slow-cooked level of delicious healthiness in a much shorter time frame.
Tefal Fast and Delicious 6L Multi Cooker, $230.18 at eBay, $172.46 at Harris Scarfe.
For the multi-tasker
The not-so-great part of meal prep is that sometimes you get bored eating the same thing over and over – so why not give yourself a few more options? Westinghouse offers slow cookers that come with two and three pots so you can whip up a few different recipes without any time wasting. They’re also perfect for entertaining!
Westinghouse 2-Pot Slow Cooker, $98 at Catch.
Westinghouse 3-Pot Slow Cooker, $116 at Catch, $129 at Betta or Bing Lee, $124.99 at House.
For the super-prepper
Got a lot of prepping to do, or just a big household to feed? This surprisingly affordable eight-litre cooker will get the job done.
Healthy Choice 8L Slow Cooker, $50.60 at eBay, $46 at Dick Smith.