Judith Finlayson is a bestselling
author whose lifelong love of food and passion for cooking has
translated into sales of over 1 million cookbooks. The first edition was very successful having sold close to 95,000 copies! I am a crock pot cook. My best work comes from letting food sit and cook for hours at a time where I then come back to a tasty meal. For me that is because I am just not good at traditional cooking. Since we are trying to eat healthier as a family this new cookbook is great for our everyday meals as well as desserts and snacks too.
Definitions of healthy eating have changed quite dramatically since The Healthy Slow Cooker was first published in 2006. In those days, it was one size fits all ? low fat, low calorie and no saturated fat. Since then, there's been a shift in thinking. Many leading experts now feel that many of our modern diseases are directly associated with the consumption of wheat and advocate reducing carbohydrates. Another significant development is that the evidence against saturated fat has been gradually diminishing.
All the recipes are delicious, nutrient-dense and have a balanced approach that will suit a wide variety of people. Incredibly healthy meals prepared in a slow cooker is an unbeatable combination. Here is a recipe excerpt straight from the book.
Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce, page 325, Desserts
Nothing could be simpler than these pears poached in a simple sugar syrup enhanced with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon. The fruit is delicious on its own, but if, like me, you enjoy gilding the lily, add the chocolate sauce, which is very easy to make.
? Medium to large (31?2 to 5 quart) slow cooker
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice30 mL
6 large firm pears, such as Bosc or 6 Bartlett, peeled, cored and cut into quarters on the vertical
1?2 cup unpasteurized liquid honey 125 mL
1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) cinnamon stick 1
1 tsp vanilla extract 5 mL
1?2 cup coconut cream 125 mL
1 tbsp coconut sugar 15 mL
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped125 g
- In a large bowl, combine 4 cups (1 L) water and lemon juice. After preparing the pears immediately drop them into the lemon juice solution. (This will prevent the fruit from turning brown.)
- In slow cooker stoneware, combine 2 cups (500 mL) water, honey, cinnamon stick, vanilla and lemon zest. Stir well. Drain pears and add to stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until pears are tender. Transfer pears and liquid to a large bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly.
- Chocolate Sauce: When you?re ready to serve, combine cream, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted, or microwave on High for 11?2 minutes, then stir well.
- To serve, using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a plate and top with chocolate sauce.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approx. 11?2 to 31?2 quart) slow cooker.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Can Be Halved
Here is a picture of what it looks like when I made it. Don't judge it based on my dark picture since I am not a food stylist. Both my girls loved this dessert and I found it much easier to make than I anticipated. I would say that I like pears a lot but after cooking them from this recipe I don't ever want to serve them another way. This is by far the best way to cook and eat pears I have ever tried. This was absolutely amazing! Husband liked his too but he served his over ice cream which he said that made it the perfect complement to the dessert. There was a ton of it and we saved the leftovers and ate them the next night and they were still delicious!
Each recipe lists tips and tricks to help people, like me, to make sure we make the meal the tastiest it can be. I also tried out a spicy peanut chicken recipe straight from the book and it turned out really good too. I like that using a cookbook to come up with fresh ideas helps to make my girls more adventurous eaters. I am so glad that I have a cookbook that goes well with my crock pot skills!
You can connect with Judith Finlayson on her website.
You can purchase The Healthy Slow Cooker Second Edition for a list price of $24.95.