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Friday, November 6, 2015

How to Cook Root Vegetables and Squash in a Crock Pot / Slow Cooker +MeatlessMonday

Hold the phones! You're gonna want to hear this! I recently learned that you can cook spaghetti squash in a crock pot and, after some experimentation, discovered that it's pretty much universal for ALL root veggies and most squashes!

So I thought I'd share my method with you since it's such a huge time and space saver. If you're gearing up for American Thanksgiving (or even Christmas), this will probably be a huge help! I made use of it last month for Canadian Thanksgiving as it frees up the oven for other things. You can cook your turkey, tofurky, stuffing, pies, or whatever else in the oven and just pop your veggies in the crockpot.

Using a slow cooker to cook root vegetables and squash is also great in the summertime as it doesn't heat the place up nearly as much as using the oven.

So if you've ever wondered "Can you cook beets / sweet potatoes / squash in a slow cooker", or you want some extra oven space this holiday season, you'll want to check this out.

The below instructions result in a plain, baked-style vegetable. The result is similar to putting plain beets in the oven and baking for 45min-1hr, then cooling and peeling. I don't add any seasoning or water to the cooking.

The process is really simple. So simple you might not believe me. Here it goes:

Wash your vegetables, then put them in the crockpot on medium or high heat, cover, and cook for a couple of hours.

Seriously, it's that simple.

Just in case you don't believe me, let me repeat it step by step.

Directions for cooking root vegetables in a crockpot / slow cooker

1. Scrub outer skin of root vegetable (so far I've tried sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, beets, turnips, and rutabaga). Do not cut or peel them yet.

2. Place in crockpot and cover. You DO NOT need to add water. You can if you like, but I don't, and it works just fine. Condensation builds on the lid and liquid from the root vegetables contribute to a bit of moisture in the pot.

3. Cook for 2-4 hours. This will depend on the heat you're using, the type and size of vegetable, and how many you've packed in there. Check after the first hour. When a fork or knife can be easily inserted the veggies are done. (The above pictured beets and sweet potatoes took about 2 hours on low heat.)

*Note: I have never left vegetables cooking in the crockpot overnight or while while I'm out of the house. They cook fairly quickly so if you left them more than a couple of hours I imagine they'd be wilted and soggy, or burnt.

4. Remove vegetables from crockpot and cool until easy to handle. Peel and prepare as desired.

See? Easy peasy.

How do you like your root veggies and squash?
What veggies do you like to cook in your crockpot?

Have you seen my gluten free pasta book  Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta: Pierogis, Dumplings, Desserts and More! ? Get yourself a copy and start making GF won tons, pierogis, dumplings, and orzo today :)

Meatless Monday with the Fit Foodie Mama and Running on Happy,

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