5 Life-Changing Slow-Cooker Hacks: Spaghetti Squash & More

Aug 8 2018
Question@2x Hi Lisa,
I love the convenience of my slow cooker, but I generally only use it for soups and stews in the winter. Do you have any year-round uses for the “set & forget” gadget?

Slow-Cooker Skeptic
Answer@2x Hi Slow-Cooker Skeptic,

Don’t sell your slow cooker short. Here are five unexpected (and amazing!) uses for everyone’s favorite countertop cooker. P.S. If anyone reading this doesn’t have a slow cooker, check out this super-cute find on Amazon... under $25!

Cook an Entire Spaghetti Squash The big yellow gourd makes an excellent pasta swap, but hacking into a rock-hard spaghetti squash to prepare it for baking is a serious pain in the wrist. (Literally.) There's an easier way! Just take that whole squash -- the entire thing -- and put it in the slow cooker. Add half a cup of water, cover, and let it cook on high for 2 1/2 hours. Once it's soft, you can easily slice into it, scoop out the seeds, and scrape out the strands for consumption. Game changer! Click for video proof, and get more info here.

Make Pie... Minus the Calorie-Heavy Crust We love pie as much as the next person. But the calories, fat, and carbs in those dense crusts? No thank you! Besides, who has the time or energy to break out the rolling pin and bake up an entire pie? We've got one solution to both problems. Fill your slow cooker with the ingredients for a yummy pie filling, and let time do all the work for you! Craving peach cobbler? Throw this dish in the cooker! Is it apple pie you're after? Click 'n slow cook. Can't make up your mind? Mixed berry all the way...

Make Hot Overnight Oatmeal One of the biggest obstacles to making breakfast in the morning? Time. We never feel like we have enough, whether it's because we have too much to do or because sleep is great and we want as much of it as possible. Slow-cooker oatmeal to the rescue! If you love hot cereal but not the time it takes to prepare each morning, this big pot of make-ahead fruity oats is for you. It's delicious and super satisfying.... Feed the entire family, or reheat it throughout the week!

Steam a Cabbage  We love saving carbs by sinking our teeth into foods wrapped in giant cooked cabbage leaves... They're nature's tortillas! But removing those yummy leaves from a head of cabbage can be quite the task. You either need to cook the entire thing in a pot of boiling water first or attempt to peel the stiff leaves from a raw head of cabbage, yielding countless torn and useless leaves. Not anymore! Just place half a head of cabbage in your slow cooker along with 1 cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, or until soft. Once cool, you can easily peel off the pliable leaves, and wrap 'em around whatever you want: stuffed cabbage rollsReuben-style wrapslow-carb burgers, and more...

Cook Up Super-Sized Mac 'n Cheese At the end of a long day, we frequently head home with the internal cheer of "What do we want? Cheesy pasta! When do we want it? Now!" And on days when we set up a pot of slow-cooker mac 'n cheese before work, we get what we want. It's almost like someone else cooked dinner for you, only that someone is you from the past. Our go-to slow-cooker cheesy mac gets a boost of flavor, fiber, and volume from a combo of butternut squash and cauliflower, but feel free to swap that stuff out for your veggies of choice. Sweet onion 'n broccoli mac, anyone?

Get your slow cooker on! Just so you know, we may receive compensation for some of these links.

Chew on this:

It’s August 8th, National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Surprise your neighbor with zucchini in the form of these brownies... What a treat!

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