Cooking is an art that needs time and endurance to make healthy slow cooker recipes for christmas which would leave your audience wanting for more. We have to take care of the presentation, you have to take note of authenticity, being creative and you must not forget the health value of the food either.
During the holidays, you remain busy with decorating the house, picking up gifts for your loved ones and if you are a working mom, the pressure is even more. Keeping all of these in mind, going with a slow cooker in the kitchen is a really good idea.
Advantages of Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes for Christmas
Some of the advantages of using a slow cooker for Christmas are:
- Allows you do other household chores while the dish is cooking by itself.
- Makes the food extra delicious.
- Large percentage of the nutrition value remains intact.
- Any beginner level cook can make a healthy slow cooker recipe and it will still come out delicious.
During Christmas, everything is lit up, the house looks like a fairy-tale. In this special time your everyday dishes may not always grab your guest’s attention, so you must go one step further to make your loved ones feel loved.
Of course going out for dinner is one option, but the Christmas celebration is sometimes 3 days long and going outside to eat that many days straight is not a good plan. You can have one night where all of your family and friends meet up at a nice restaurant and treat yourselves for a great meal. But you must plan ahead of time how you would give your lovely family a taste of Christmas at your home.
If you are a working mom, you must plan way ahead. You need to schedule your shopping for the ingredients since many stores change their hours during the holidays. Buying gifts and wrap them before the family comes over will help you save time. If you leave everything for the last minute, TRUST me, you would be in BIG trouble.
First off, make a 3 day meal plan keeping all of your guests in mind. If you are having a large dinner or a party, then you may ask for a hand in the kitchen from family member or friend. Incorporate as many creative dishes you can think of which are not only tasty but also authentic enough for your loved ones to feel special during the holiday time.
The 3 days of meal planning can be hectic, but it is only 3 days and make sure not to repeat your meals.
If you yourself cannot do all of the cooking, then order the cookies from a catering service. Order the cake from your local store if you are not a fan of baking. Try to minimize the workload, because you do not want to end up ruining it all by trying to do all by yourself.
The reasons to use a crockpot during the holidays especially Christmas rather than the stovetop or oven is pretty simple.
The crockpot allows you tons of time to spend on your house and with your guests as opposed to standing in the kitchen and taking care of the meal.
The slow cooker would allow you to tend to your meal just once and then you can even run off to the store to buy the presents and come back 6-10 hours later and see magic taking place in the kitchen.
At a time like Christmas, you need as much time as you can possibly get to get all your chores done. Multi-tasking in essential during the holidays and healthy slow cooker recipes for Christmas are a great way to achieve that.
Doubts about Using a Slow Cooker
Now the doubts that everyone faces with crockpot are,
- Whether there would be enough versatility in the dishes
- How much water or broth should be poured?
- Will my meat get burned?
- Wouldn’t my meat get overcooked?
- How should I know when the dish is cooked?
- What timer should be set for vegetables?
- Would desserts get ruined in a crockpot?
- Can I make anything other than soups and stews in the crockpot?
The list can go on forever. The fact of the matter is, people often get frightened with the things they have not tried themselves yet. The people who have actually cooked in a crockpot would be able to answer and clarify all the miss conception regarding the device.
A Few Slow Cooker Tips
Here are a few things you should know before you start on your healthy slow cooker recipes for Christmas.
- Pick your meals correctly
When you are picking healthy slow cooker recipes for Christmas, make sure not to choose a dish that requires too much pre-prepping. The main idea of cooking in a crockpot is to save your time and do your other chores. If you pick something too complicated that requires 2 hours or pre-prepping, then it defeats the purpose of choosing the slow cooker in the first place. Be creative, but be realistic when you are choosing the dish.
- Cooking Ahead of time
As cooking in your crockpot takes a lot of time, you cannot actually cook on the event day itself, you must cook the night before and store it in the fridge. Say you want your breakfast oatmeal to prepare in the slow cooker, do it before the 24th of December and store in a plastic box or bowl, cover using plastic wrap. The taste would be the same and you would have plenty of time to spare Christmas morning.
- Saving money
In the slow cooking process, the meat really gets juicy and even if you choose to put a bunch of vegetables with he meat, the whole dish would still permeate with meaty flavors. For slow cooking, you do not need to use too much oil as the fat of the meat would extract the essential fat the dish need.
The false perception people have with the slow cooker is it only makes soups and stews, so basically you end up with only lunch and dinner items. But in reality you can make breakfasts, side dishes, other than soups and stews lunch and dinner recipes. You can also prepare desserts in crockpot. Different types of sauces can also be prepared in a crockpot.
Below are few healthy slow cooker recipes for Christmas you can prepare with a crockpot that is not only versatile but very much suitable for the Holidays.
Healthy Breakfast Slow Cooker Recipes
For breakfast, you can try Slow Cooker Fruit, Nuts, and Spice Oatmeal which is so simple and full of nutrition. Because slow cooker recipes takes longer to cook, the wise thing to do would be to make a big batch and eat it for 2 days. In the case of holidays you already have a large audience to cater to; this is the perfect “the day before Christmas breakfast”. Another breakfast item can be slow cooker overnight breakfast casserole or Frittata or even French toast Casserole.
Healthy Lunch Slow Cooker Recipes
For lunch you can try dishes like Chickpea Carrot Stew, Hungarian Pea Stew if you want to go vegetarian. However, it is Christmas and if you are not a vegan or a vegetarian yourself, then adding few meat options like Slow-Cooker Ham, Cheese and Spinach Crustless Quiche would be really good.
A quiche not only tastes good but also looks amazing on your dining table. Another authentic and amazingly impressive dish would be to prepare Stuffed Bell Pepper in Slow Cooker. You can make it in both vegetarian version and non-vegetarian version.
Healthy Dinner Slow Cooker Recipes
For the dinner, you need to up your game and try to go above and beyond. For vegetarians, try dishes like Cream of Asparagus. This dish is very healthy and filled with nutritious ingredients. The texture is just like its title, creamy and it melts in your mouth because of its light texture.
Serving a side dish with your meal would really make your guests feel comfortable. Loaded Slow-Cooker Baked Potatoes is a wonderful option for side dish, it is easy to make and is creative. Mashed potatoes are very predictable and not fancy enough to serve during the Christmas; so try this slow cooker version and blow your guest’s mind.
For non-vegetarian version, you should try Slow cooker ribs that would give your guests a restaurant feeling. Ribs are perfect for any type of celebration.
If you have a game plan for Christmas night, then this dish would work really well. You can try an authentic Moroccan dish Spiced Duck & Date Tagine. Duck is probably something your guests are probably not used to eating but there could not be a better time for trying out this poultry dish than Christmas. Also authentic dishes from different cuisines make your holidays extra special and memorable. If you are a fan of spices, this dish is perfect.
If you are going down the exotic dish road, then adding another dish from a far away cuisine like India would be another great idea. You can serve Indian Dal Makhani with rice or tortillas. You can relish this dish both for breakfast and dinner.
Dessert Slow Cooker Recipes
Of course no meal is complete without catering to your sweet tooth.
You cannot have a complete Christmas dinner without the presence of a nice dessert. Since you have tried all of your meals in the crockpot this year, why not prepare your dessert in the crockpot too.
You can make slow cooker desserts too. For Christmas you can try Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler. This is a very light dessert that does not require too much pre prepping time. Also this dessert can be served to a large audience.
While choosing dessert for the Christmas or new years’ eve you must not pick something that is served in individual glasses or cups. This is a very common mistake people end up making. You want to impress your guests but you also do not want to spend all your holiday time in the kitchen.
You need to spend quality time with your guests and give them a good meal too. Another good dessert idea is Slow Cooker Banana Upside Down Cake. This dessert would take a little bit of effort on your end, but still being a moderate level cook, you can pull it off in the holiday season. The cake looks fabulous on the dining table and it tastes amazing too. You can go one step further and add one scoop of ice cream on top of each slice or you can also serve the ice cream on the side to make it more tasty.
The possibilities are endless with slow cooker dishes. Do not forget about the time limit too. Plan your meals 2 weeks before the event. Go shopping for the ingredients at least 10 days before the actual event.
Plan when would you make the dishes and also plan how you would store them perfectly. Often time what happens during the holidays is you end up with a lot of leftovers. Make sure not to go too overboard with the quantity, plan by keeping all the potential guests but do not make 4 more servings just for the sake of it.
Christmas is a time for celebration and the celebration mainly comes with spending a good time with the family. So make sure to prepare the meal plan accordingly.