The Healthy Slow Cooker: More Than 100 Recipes for Health and Wellness
 
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The Healthy Slow Cooker: More Than 100 Recipes for Health and Wellness [Paperback]

Judith Finlayson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Proves the slow cooker stashed in the back of the cabinet can do more than stews and roasts... nutritional guidelines and tips for using a slow cooker to it's best advantage. (Cherry Hill Courier-Post 2006-03-15)

Information and recipes with high nutrition, reduced sodium and boosted fiber. (Sue Story Truax Omaha World-Herald 2006-03-29)

[One of the top five of] the best of my nearly 20 slow-cooker books... an artful palate and healthful bias come together in recipes. (Kathy Martin Miami Herald 2006-08-10)

One of my favorite slow-cooker cookbooks. (Amy McConnell Schaarsmith Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2006-07-13)

Focuses on intriguing dishes that will be ready once you get home... enticing soups and stews. (Linda Fradkin Galveston County Daily News 2006-02-08)

About the Author

Judith Finlayson is a food writer and the author of many cookbooks, including the bestselling 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, and 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

This is my fourth slow cooker cookbook. The more I use my slow cooker; the more ideas I have for using this versatile appliance. It fits so well with how I like to cook that I'm constantly seeing new ways to incorporate its services into my life. So perhaps not surprisingly, I became interested in finding a way to combine the burgeoning interest in health and nutrition with the convenience of using a slow cooker.

Like most people, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the important role diet plays in health. And while most of the recipes in my previous books could be described as nutritious, I gradually came to realize that they didn't maximize the advantages of all the exciting new developments occurring in the field of nutrition. Groundbreaking research is proving that food can provide much more than daily sustenance; it also has the power to prevent, and possibly even cure, many illnesses, from cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes to certain kinds of cancer. Integrating some of this information into slow cooker recipes that people can regularly use to make convenient and delicious meals seemed like an excellent idea.

The food we eat contains vitamins and minerals, plus a multitude of compounds known as phytonutrients, some of which you may be familiar with for instance, antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene, and phytoestrogens such as isoflavones and lignans. All these substances work together to keep us healthy in ways that scientists are only beginning to understand. What we do know, however, is that over the long term we can dramatically influence our health status by eating smarter to get the most out of food. Along with maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, monitoring alcohol consumption and not smoking, eating a nutritious diet plays a key role in keeping us well.

Current strategies for healthy eating emphasize consuming a wide variety of whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables and whole grains. By habitually eating an assortment of foods from all the food groups, you're making sure you get the broad mix of essential nutrients that make up a healthy diet: vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. But more than that, you're tapping into the healing power of food. Emerging evidence indicates that all the nutrients in foods work together to create synergy in the health benefits they produce. A kaleidoscope of colors on your plate signals a host of phytonutrients that team up to keep you healthy For instance, studies show that the lycopene in red tomatoes and the glucosinolates in green broccoli are far more formidable cancer fighters when combined than either component is on its own.

Making good food choices from every food group also means avoiding junk foods and those that are highly refined. Such foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead, choose foods that are "nutrient dense," those that deliver optimum nutrition for the calories they provide. These include red and orange vegetables, dark leafy greens, unrefined whole grains and deeply colored berries, among others.

Striving to achieve a balance among the intake of good fats, protein and carbohydrates is another objective. Each of these nutrients, which interact with one another in complex ways, plays an important role in helping the body stay well and defend itself against disease. Contrary to conventional wisdom and still a bit controversial, there do not appear to be any links between a low-fat diet and good health. It is the kind of fat that matters. Commercially produced trans fats, which have a well-documented adverse effect on cardiovascular health, should be avoided, and, whenever possible, saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated fats, which have numerous health benefits. To help you get the most out of this book, in addition to the total amount of fat per serving, the nutritional analysis that accompanies each recipe also specifies the quantities of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

In writing this book I've tried to do several things. As in my previous books, I've included a wide range of recipes, from hearty soups to elegant desserts, accompanied, wherever appropriate, by "Make Ahead" information to help you take full advantage of the convenience provided by a slow cooker. But this time I've also focused on making the results as nutritious as possible, without sacrificing one iota of lip-smacking taste. Although this is not a vegetarian cookbook, vegetarian and vegan recipes have been noted. Also, in keeping with the latest research, the recipes emphasize healthy servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and I've kept the proportion of animal protein relatively low. In addition, I've treated every recipe as a focal point for sharing valuable information about nutrition. Every recipe includes:

- a nutritional analysis. This lists the number of calories, and the amount of protein, fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated as well as the total amount), carbohydrates, dietary fiber; sodium and cholesterol per serving;

- an evaluation of the standard nutrients provided by a serving of the recipe. This identifies each serving as an "excellent source, "good source" or "source" of specific vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber; based on criteria defined by the USDA and Canada's Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising. For more information on how the nutritional analyses and evaluations were determined, see page 4; and

- two other sections, Mindful Morsels and Natural Wonders, which contain additional information on aspects of nutrition to help you make more informed choices about what you eat and to help you develop a pattern of healthy eating.

I hope you will find this book helpful. More importantly, I hope you will use it often to get the most out of the convenience your slow cooker provides by preparing delicious and nutritious meals that help to keep you and yours happy and well.

- Judith Finlayson

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction

This is my fourth slow cooker cookbook. The more I use my slow cooker; the more ideas I have for using this versatile appliance. It fits so well with how I like to cook that I'm constantly seeing new ways to incorporate its services into my life. So perhaps not surprisingly, I became interested in finding a way to combine the burgeoning interest in health and nutrition with the convenience of using a slow cooker.

Like most people, I'm becoming increasingly aware of the important role diet plays in health. And while most of the recipes in my previous books could be described as nutritious, I gradually came to realize that they didn't maximize the advantages of all the exciting new developments occurring in the field of nutrition. Groundbreaking research is proving that food can provide much more than daily sustenance; it also has the power to prevent, and possibly even cure, many illnesses, from cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes to certain kinds of cancer. Integrating some of this information into slow cooker recipes that people can regularly use to make convenient and delicious meals seemed like an excellent idea.

The food we eat contains vitamins and minerals, plus a multitude of compounds known as phytonutrients, some of which you may be familiar with for instance, antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene, and phytoestrogens such as isoflavones and lignans. All these substances work together to keep us healthy in ways that scientists are only beginning to understand. What we do know, however, is that over the long term we can dramatically influence our health status by eating smarter to get the most out of food. Along with maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, monitoring alcohol consumption and not smoking, eating a nutritious diet plays a key role in keeping us well.

Current strategies for healthy eating emphasize consuming a wide variety of whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables and whole grains. By habitually eating an assortment of foods from all the food groups, you're making sure you get the broad mix of essential nutrients that make up a healthy diet: vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. But more than that, you're tapping into the healing power of food. Emerging evidence indicates that all the nutrients in foods work together to create synergy in the health benefits they produce. A kaleidoscope of colors on your plate signals a host of phytonutrients that team up to keep you healthy For instance, studies show that the lycopene in red tomatoes and the glucosinolates in green broccoli are far more formidable cancer fighters when combined than either component is on its own.

Making good food choices from every food group also means avoiding junk foods and those that are highly refined. Such foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients. Instead, choose foods that are "nutrient dense," those that deliver optimum nutrition for the calories they provide. These include red and orange vegetables, dark leafy greens, unrefined whole grains and deeply colored berries, among others.

Striving to achieve a balance among the intake of good fats, protein and carbohydrates is another objective. Each of these nutrients, which interact with one another in complex ways, plays an important role in helping the body stay well and defend itself against disease. Contrary to conventional wisdom and still a bit controversial, there do not appear to be any links between a low-fat diet and good health. It is the kind of fat that matters. Commercially produced trans fats, which have a well-documented adverse effect on cardiovascular health, should be avoided, and, whenever possible, saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated fats, which have numerous health benefits. To help you get the most out of this book, in addition to the total amount of fat per serving, the nutritional analysis that accompanies each recipe also specifies the quantities of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

In writing this book I've tried to do several things. As in my previous books, I've included a wide range of recipes, from hearty soups to elegant desserts, accompanied, wherever appropriate, by "Make Ahead" information to help you take full advantage of the convenience provided by a slow cooker. But this time I've also focused on making the results as nutritious as possible, without sacrificing one iota of lip-smacking taste. Although this is not a vegetarian cookbook, vegetarian and vegan recipes have been noted. Also, in keeping with the latest research, the recipes emphasize healthy servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and I've kept the proportion of animal protein relatively low. In addition, I've treated every recipe as a focal point for sharing valuable information about nutrition. Every recipe includes:

  • a nutritional analysis. This lists the number of calories, and the amount of protein, fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated as well as the total amount), carbohydrates, dietary fiber; sodium and cholesterol per serving;
  • an evaluation of the standard nutrients provided by a serving of the recipe. This identifies each serving as an "excellent source, "good source" or "source" of specific vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber; based on criteria defined by the USDA and Canada's Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising. For more information on how the nutritional analyses and evaluations were determined, see page 4; and
  • two other sections, Mindful Morsels and Natural Wonders, which contain additional information on aspects of nutrition to help you make more informed choices about what you eat and to help you develop a pattern of healthy eating.

I hope you will find this book helpful. More importantly, I hope you will use it often to get the most out of the convenience your slow cooker provides by preparing delicious and nutritious meals that help to keep you and yours happy and well.

- Judith Finlayson

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