I own a slow cooker, but I must confess that I usually only think to use it in the fall/winter season. Think a warming stew, soup or chili. I'm not sure why I forget that I have it in the summer. When you think about it, it's a pretty genius kitchen device to use in the hottest times of the month when you try to keep the kitchen as cool as possible. So I gathered up some yummy recipes from breakfast to dessert, that you can use this summer to spend more time outside and less time inside cooking!
5 Ingredient Granola
About 8 servings
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups crisp brown rice cereal
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup add-ins of choice (dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, dried pineapple or mango, nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds, chocolate chips and toasted shredded coconut - mix as you like)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set aside for later.
- Coat slow cooker with cooking spray.
- In one bowl, mix oats and cereal.
- In a different bowl, whisk the egg whites and honey.
- Add egg mixture to cereal and stir until evenly coated.
- Place cereal in slow cooker and leave the lid slightly askew so that steam can escape.
- Cook on high for 2-2 1/2 hours until crunchy, gently stirring every 45 minutes so the granola closest to the edges doesn't burn.
- Once it reaches your preferred crunchy texture, remove from slow cooker and spread out on your prepared baking sheet to cool completely. Add your favourite add-ins, mix and store in an airtight jar. Use as a topper on yogurt or smoothie bowl, or enjoy a handful for a snack!
About 8 servings
1 3/4 lbs chicken breasts
3 sliced onions (optional)
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic poweder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- Add the oil to a frying pan and cook chicken until it's golden brown (this is an optional step if you like your chicken browned).
- Put sliced onions (if using) on the bottom of a 4 quart slow cooker. Add the chicken breasts on top.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened.
- Use two forks to pull and shred the chicken and mix in with sauce.
- Add about 3/4 cup of chicken mixture to each bun.
Sweet & Sour Pork
About 6 servings
1lb pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks in juice, drained
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- Combine all ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Serve over rice or noodles.
Pineapple Coconut Tapioca
About 9 servings
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup regular small pearl tapioca (not instant)
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
- Coat a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Combine sugar, tapioca and coconut milk in slow cooker and stir with a whisk. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours until tapioca is transparant (pudding will be thin)
- Whisk egg in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of hot tapioca mixture and whisk constantly. Stir egg mixture into the rest of the tapioca pudding in the slow cooker. Cover and keep cooking on low for another 30 minutes.
- Turn slow cooker off and add in pineapple. Let sit covered for another 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled, topped with toasted coconut.