Cooking School

5 surprising foods to make in your slow cooker

By: Nadine Sharon Anglin

©iStockphoto.com/LauriPatterson Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/LauriPatterson

Cooking School

5 surprising foods to make in your slow cooker

By: Nadine Sharon Anglin

Check out five surprising things you never knew you could make in your slow cooker, and read on for some of our favourite slow cooker recipes.
 
1. Baked potatoes
This is a trick that people in hot, southern climates have known for years. There's no need to heat up the entire house just to enjoy baked potatoes. Instead, simply scrub your potatoes, pat them dry and then prick them several times with a fork. Next, rub the potatoes all over with olive oil and kosher salt and then place them in your slow cooker, ensuring that you can securely close the lid.
 
Depending on the amount of potatoes you're baking and the intensity of your slow cooker, cook the potatoes on high for three to five hours or on low for six to nine hours. Consider baking a batch early in the week or on the weekend so you can use the potatoes in meals all week long.
 
2. Corn on the cob
This is a super easy way to prepare corn on the cob. Peel back the husk of the corn, but leave it attached at the end. Strip away all of the silk and wash each cob, then rewrap it in the husk. Place the corn cobs in your slow cooker and add between 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of water, depending on the size of your slow cooker. Cook on high for one to two hours.
 
3. Caramelized onions
"My family loves caramelized onions on or in just about anything," says Sandi Richard, a meal-planning expert and cookbook author.
 
She uses three pounds of onions and a 1/4 cup of butter melted on high heat. "Stir the onions until you get a good whiff of the scrumptious alliums, which means it's reacting to the heat," she explains.
 
Once you reach this stage, cover the onions, set your slow cooker to low and cook for seven to 10 hours. After the cooking time is up, reset the slow cooker to high and stir the onions occasionally until all of the water is gone. Let the onions cool and place them in freezer bags, dividing them into sections with the side of your hand for easy seperation once frozen.
4. Steel-cut oats
We all love coming home to a meal simmering away in the slow cooker, so why not try waking up to a hot pot of steaming oatmel? Steel-cut oats are the most nutritious of all the types of oats, but they take the longest to cook. Also called Irish or Scottish oats, they consist of the entire oat kernel sliced once or twice to help them cook.

Place 2 cups of steel-cut oats and 8 cups of water into your slow cooker along with fruit, such as raisins, cranberries or cubed apples. You can also flavour the oats with vanilla, cinnamon or maple syrup. Cover and cook the oats on low for seven to nine hours or overnight.

One of our fave breakfast slow cooker recipes: Help-Yourself Apple Cinnamon Porridge


5. Slow cooker cake
Have you ever had a large meal cooking with no room left to bake dessert in the oven? Next time, make your favourite cake recipe (or your favourite store-bought cake mix) in your slow cooker. Spray the dish with cooking spray, then pour the cake batter into your slow cooker. Cook on high for two to two-and-a-half hours or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Spoon the cake into dessert dishes while it is still warm and serve it with ice cream or whipped cream.

Slow cooker recipes to try: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake; Apple Spice Pudding Cake

More favourite slow cooker recipes:
Chorizo and Black Bean Chili 
Slow Cooker Lemon and Olive Chicken
Slow Cooker Lamb Hotpot
Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast
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Cooking School

5 surprising foods to make in your slow cooker