Slow Cooking 101: Easy Healthy Meals For Busy Retirees
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Slow Cooking 101: Easy Healthy Meals For Busy Retirees

Slow Cooking 101: Easy Healthy Meals For Busy Retirees

Cooking for yourself can be a daunting task. It's even more difficult when you're busy and time is of the essence, or if you have dietary restrictions to keep in mind. For retirees who may have limited mobility or reduced energy, the task of cooking can become overwhelming.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution: slow cooking! Slow cooking is a great way to make delicious meals that are both healthy and convenient – perfect for busy retirees! Here's a look at what slow cooking is and its benefits along with some easy (and healthy!) recipes that all seniors should try. 

Slow Cooking: What Is It?

Slow cookers use low temperatures over an extended period to break down tougher cuts of meat into tender morsels without drying out the food too much in the process. This makes it easier for those with dental issues like dentures or reduced jaw strength to chew their food properly. Since slow-cooked meals take less attention than stovetop dishes, they require little-to-no monitoring making them ideal for elderly individuals who have limited mobility or fatigue easily from standing up too long while preparing meals. 

The Benefits of Slow Cooking 

The biggest benefit associated with using a slow cooker is convenience – just add your ingredients into the pot in the morning before leaving home and come back later that evening with dinner already cooked. Other benefits include saving money on groceries by buying cheaper cuts of meat which become incredibly tender after being cooked slowly all day, reducing waste since everything gets used, fewer dishes required because everything cooks together, healthier options due to minimal use of oil needed during preparation, and no heat added during hot summer months which would otherwise increase cooling costs significantly -all great reasons why senior citizens should consider investing in a slow cooker.

Easy (and Healthy!) Slow Cooking Recipes

When it comes to recipes that are both healthy and easy to make using a slow cooker there are plenty of options available. Here are three delicious dishes perfect for busy seniors:

Vegetarian Chili 

This hearty chili is sure to satisfy even picky eaters. Mix two 15-ounce cans of drained and rinsed red kidney beans, two 15-ounce cans of drained and rinsed black beans, one 28-ounce can of crushed, undrained tomatoes plus an additional 14 ounces of water mixed well, one onion finely chopped, four cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and chili powder, half a teaspoon of oregano and a quarter teaspoon black pepper.

You need to pour everything into your slow cooker set at high temperature for four hours or low temperature for eight hours before stirring in one cup of frozen corn and one can of diced, undrained green chilies. Serve hot with cheese, sour cream, and fresh chopped cilantro. 

Chicken Stew 

This classic comfort food is sure to be a hit. Begin by seasoning two pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper before adding them to the slow cooker.

In a separate bowl mix together one tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons minced garlic, three large peeled and cut carrots, and two large potatoes cut into cubes. You need to place the mixture on top of the chicken inside the slow cooker followed by one and a half cups of vegetable broth mixed with two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Cook on high heat for four to five hours or low heat for eight to nine hours until vegetables are tender then stir in one handful of fresh parsley leaves before serving hot it over cooked rice if desired. 

Apple Crisp 

For dessert why not try this delicious apple crisp recipe? Start by peeling and cutting five apples into thin slices then layering them evenly over the bottom of your greased slow cooker pot.

Your next step is to mix half a cup of rolled oats, three-quarter of a cup of all-purpose flour, three-quarter of a cup of packed light brown sugar plus half of a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and add six tablespoons of melted butter before sprinkling the mixture evenly over apples.

Cover with the lid securely then cook on the high setting for two and a half to three hours on the high setting or the low setting for five hours. Enjoy warm topped off with whipped cream or ice cream if desired!  

Tips for Using a Slow Cooker 

When using a slow cooker, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Avoid lifting the lid too often since doing so will reduce cooking time significantly due to the loss of heat. Instead, only check progress when absolutely necessary using either tongs or an oven mitt since lids may become extremely hot while cooking.

You need to make sure the ingredients added have similar sizes and shapes as much as possible, so they cook evenly without burning any parts more than others during longer cooks. You should always season carefully since flavors will become concentrated during extended periods in the moist environment provided by slow cookers – that way you'll enjoy tasty dishes every time!

Senior Helpers Central Texas Can Cook Dinner

A slow cooker can help seniors with limited mobility prepare their dinners in Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Georgetown, or Lakeway. If you or a senior loved one needs additional help with meal prep and other tasks Senior Helpers Central Texas can help. Reach out to us today for a helping hand!