Here's how to avoid falling into the high-fat, high-calorie slow-cooking trap.
Instead of using creamy, high-fat, high-sodium condensed soups, use fat-free evaporated milk or fat-free, sodium-free stocks.
Leave the skin on potatoes, apples, and pears for extra fiber.
Add dried fruits to hot cereals at the beginning of the cooking time for a burst of flavor and healthful fiber.
Use only lean cuts of meat.
Add beans to a dish for extra protein and fiber.
Use low-sodium versions of canned tomatoes, beans, and chiles.
Remember that brightly colored fruits and vegetables have more vitamins and nutrients than their paler counterparts.
Use nonstick cookware when browning meat to avoid adding extra fat.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season whenever possible. Not only will they be cheaper, they will be at the height of their flavor and nutritional value.
Adding just one extra serving of fruits or vegetables to each meal can have enormous health benefits.
Add spices for flavor instead of adding fat.
Use low- or reduced-fat versions of dairy products to “lighten up” meals.
Thoroughly drain the fat off any cooked, browned, or seared meat prior to adding it to the slow cooker.
Poultry skin becomes unappetizingly rubbery when cooked in the slow cooker. Remove it before or after cooking to save calories.