Slow Cooked and Pressure Cooked Family Meals
Taking a bit of extra time to slow the pace of our busy lives and prepare a nutritious home cooked meal might be considered a luxury – but it can be very rewarding. The meals where you source quality ingredients, take time to enjoy the preparation and process and eat them mindfully will taste that extra bit better and will be so much more satisfying. And often meals that take hours to cook and stew, where flavours will develop and intensify, will only take a few minutes of preparation saving you a lot of time that can be enjoyed with the kids or with a peaceful cup of tea. Our delicious and surprisingly simple slow cooked lamb shanks, pressure-cooked pulled pork burgers and slow cooked baked beans in this feature embrace exactly this. The aromas that will be wafting from your kitchen will have you and your family feeling hungry in anticipation of the flavourful meals that will soon arrive at the table.
5 reasons to love slow cooking
- Saves time with minimal preparation of meals
- Prepare the meal in the morning to be cooked and ready for you by dinnertime
- Save money by allowing you to experiment with cheaper cuts of meat – often called for in slow cooker recipes
- You can use healthier trimmed meat as you don’t need the fat for moisture
- The long, slow cooking times allow for a wonderful release of natural flavours filling your house with a delicious aroma and making the kids hungry and eager for dinner.
Nutritional benefits of Slow Food cooking
- May make the food tastier and more flavourful encouraging your children to accept and enjoy it
- Fresh, seasonal and local produce is packed full of nutrition particularly some nutrients, such as vitamin C and folate, that are easily lost during transportation and storage
- Slow cooking breaks down parts of a food (legumes, meat, vegetables) that are otherwise not digestible
- Slow cooked meats and vegetables are often easier to chew for young children making them easier to chew and digest
- Cooking some vegetables can actually increase the bioavailability of some nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are good for our health and wellbeing
- Cooking our food kills any foodborne bacteria that may be present e.g. Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, that can cause food poisoning
- Slow food teaches us to eat more mindfully and to listen to our hunger and fullness cues
In the past, the art of slow cooking was best achieved using a traditional heavy based casserole dish that is transferred from the stovetop to the oven. These days we have an abundance of amazing appliances available that make our lives easier and slow cooking even more appealing. One appliance we tried and loved was the Breville Flavour Maker as it transfers from cooktop to slow cook bringing all the flavour with it and has a large family sized bowl (see full review below). Or, you can invest in a slow cooker/pressure cooker in one, which has the added benefit of pressure cooking – it cooks slow food fast by utilising steam and pressure. The moist cooking method ensures tender, juicy results every time (see full review below).
Note: the following recipes were tested using the Breville Fast Slow Pro Pressure Cooker and the Breville Flavour Maker slow cooker. You may need to adjust cooking times and temperature levels slightly depending on your model.
REVIEW: BREVILLE FAST SLOW PRO™
I have always been curious to find out how a pressure cooker worked. It seemed a little too good to be true to achieve my favourite style of cooking – slow cooking – in a short amount of time. The Fast Slow Pro™ is a multi cooker with pressure and slow cook menus that automatically adjust time, temperature and pressure between fast and slow cooking. What that means is you can put all the ingredients in the top, set the simple program and walk away. Occasionally you will be reminded the Fast Slow Pro™ is there as it abruptly lets off clouds of steam and delicious smells fill the air. The results? I was truly impressed and this will be an absolute gem of an appliance in my kitchen. I have made room in an easy-access shelf for my new baby to sit, and I look forward to using it multiple times a week. The added benefit of a slow cooker/pressure cooker in one also meant I could gift my old one to my sister and enjoy more room in the cupboards with only one appliance.
3 reasons I would recommend a Fast Slow Pro™
- One appliance can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, reduce, saute and sear. What more do you want.
- My husband very quickly took to it, he loved that the pressure cooker required hardly any clean up and he could watch telly while it did all the work. Plus he was excited by the pressure element and took videos of the hissing steam to send to his mates.
- It’s winter and the Fast Slow Pro will slow or pressure cook all your favourite winter warmer meals to perfection.
Want to know more? Click for full product information.
RECIPE: PRESSURE COOKED PULLED PORK BURGERS:
We have recreated this very popular meal for the whole family so the little ones can enjoy it just as much. Read more…
SLOW COOKED BAKED BEANS:
Baked beans are a popular way for kids to enjoy the nutritional goodness legumes have to offer. With a hint of spice and lots of hidden veggies this is a wonderful way to start the day. Read more…
REVIEW: BREVILLE FLAVOUR MAKER®:
I’m all for prepping meals in advance so since having children and being introduced to slow cooking I’ve quickly fallen in love with the convenience of slow cookers. Preparing a hearty, nutritious meal for the family before heading out to school drop offs or work, or in your toddler’s day sleep and letting the slow cooker do all the work for you miraculously helps minimise the craziness of ‘witching hour’ when the kids are tired and demanding of your attention. The added bonus of Breville’s the Flavour Maker, which has further cemented my love of slow cooking, is the convenience of removing the EasySear™ pan from the slow cooker to use on the stovetop to brown meats and sauté vegetables. No longer do you have to factor in time to wash additional fry pans or casserole dishes. And the delicious-ness of your meal is further intensified by retaining both nutrients and the fullness of flavour created by during the searing of meats and caramelisation of the veggies.
3 reasons why I would recommend the Flavour Maker®
- The ease and convenience of using the EasySear pan on the stovetop then transferring it to the slow cooker would have to be my number one. Who wants to wash more dishes then they have to?
- My toddler and I are ‘sensation seekers’ so we love the hearty, intensified flavours this slow cooker offers to our meals.
- It’s large, 7-litre capacity suits a wide range of meals for the whole family and caters to my love of big batch cooking. My number one meals are those where leftovers can be frozen for another time or transformed into a new meal the next night and the Flavour Maker® offers just that.
Want to know more? Click for full product information.
RECIPE: SLOW COOKER LAMB SHANKS WITH MASH POTATO:
If you’re new to slow cooking then add this hearty, nutritious and delicious family meal to the top of the list to try next. Read more…
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