Even though slow cookers are a convenient way to make dinner, they haven’t always been used to turn out the healthiest of meals. Many recipes from back in the day contain copious amounts of cheese, condensed soup, and other heavily processed ingredients. There’s no need to use these fillers when you use real, healthy foods because crockpots build plenty of flavor just by taking a slow approach to cooking. When you want a hearty meal that’s still nutritious, try these seven recipes.
1. Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
For days when you’re really short on time in the morning, Gimme Some Oven’s spicy black bean soup is exactly what you need. A little bit of chopping and stirring is all it takes, which means dinner is basically taken care after just 10 minutes of work. It’s sort of like a variation on chili, so you can have a lot of fun with toppings. If you typically like a dollop of sour cream on top, try substituting Greek yogurt. It’s creamy and tangy with fewer calories.
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 2 jalapeños
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Crumbled tortilla chips
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream
- Grated cheese
Directions: In a slow cooker, stir all soup ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Vegetables should be completely tender. Fish out bay leaf and discard. Serve soup as is, or partially purée using a stick blender or a food processor. Serve with desired toppings.