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Use your slow cooker to your advantage

By Jeannie Nichols
MSU extension

There are many styles and sizes of slow cookers and all of them can make your life easier.
By Jeannie Nichols, Michigan State University Extension
Slow cookers are useful kitchen appliances that can make your life easier year-round. Michigan State University Extension offers these advantages of using a slow cooker:
Cool cooking – Your kitchen stays much cooler on hot days if your food is cooking in a slow cooker instead of in the oven or on top of the stove.
Meals are finished in minutes – If you choose main meal recipes, all you’ll need is bread, a salad, vegetable or fruit and something to drink, and your meal is ready in minutes.
Energy efficient – Slow cookers use very little electricity because the wattage used is very low, this keeps the cost of cooking low as well.
Versatile – Slow cookers can be used virtually anywhere that has an outlet.
No watching the clock – Crock pot meals are flexible. If you aren’t able to eat the food at the exact time you plan, the food will stay warm in the slow cooker.
Easy preparation – It’s easy to put everything in the slow cooker, put the lid on, and turn it on. If you have vegetables and meat cut up ahead of time, you can refrigerate them and have them ready to put in the slow cooker the next morning.
Moist, tasty, and nutritious meals – Slow cooking allows the juices of the food to blend and create tender, tasty dishes. Because the slow cooker cooks the food slowly, nutrients areretained.
Transportable – Carry your slow cooker along to potlucks or parties. Just wrap the slow cooker in a heavy towel to insulate it and place it in a box so that it will ride well in your car. If you have an insulated slow cooker carrier then use that to transport your slow cooker full of food. Once you arrive, it can be plugged in so that your food stays safe during the party.
Slow cookers range in size from one to six quarts. Choose the size that fits your family or potluck opportunity.
Slow cookers come with removable crocks for easy clean up after the meal.
Slow cookers are easy to use and adaptable to almost all recipes. Slow cookers aren’t just for main dishes, either. They can easily be used for side dishes, desserts, and appetizers to make your life easier.

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