One of the best parts of summer is cooling down with creamy desserts, but brownies and cakes are certainly nice too. Here are a few you may not think about making in your slow cooker, but trust me it’s the best way to make them in the summer! to the recipes →
Today we’ll look at making some yummy pasta sauces from scratch. Yes, even in the summer your slow cooker still comes through in a big way. I love the way you can take your csa or farmers market jewels and turn them into sauces for a great pasta dish.
They even freeze well for last-minute meals now or when tomato season is just a vague memory. These sauces are amazing with bread sticks and can even be the base of a grilled pizza!
It always amazes me when people tell me they’ve put away their slow cooker for the summer. It’s the hottest time of the year and perfect weather for slow cooking. Skip some of the heavy stews you make in the winter, but use it for beans, lighter meals, and even desserts – all without heating up your already too hot kitchen! to recipes →
Making beans in the slow cooker is super simple. I usually go ahead and make a pound of dried beans and freeze the extra for recipes later in the month. But sometimes I don’t want to fool with all that. All I really want is about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked beans for what I want to make that night.
This is just one more reason to have a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. If I haven’t already talked you into getting one, I’m going to try even harder this month! In the morning I throw in a cup of dried beans and 3 cups water and when I come back home my beans are ready to be used. No cans, no bpa, no soaking and they are cheap enough that you won’t bat your eyes at paying the extra money to get organic ones.
If your beans are really old (like over a year – I always find some in the back of my pantry from who knows when) you may need to soak them, cook on high, or just cook all night and then all day on low. It’s really about what works into your schedule best. You can add spices or herbs if you want. But I like to keep mine plain when I am going to use them in another recipe.
Beyond Easy Slow Cooker Beans: 1 1/2 Quart Version (Gluten-free Recipe)
**This recipe uses a smaller slow cooker that’s 1 1/2 to 2 quarts
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 to 10 hours
- 1 cup dried beans: pinto, white, garbanzos, etc.
(You can use kidney beans but boil them for a full 10 minutes on the stove before adding to the slow cooker. This is because kidney beans contain a toxic agent, Phytohaemagglutnin also known as Kidney Bean Lectin.)
- 3 cups water
In the morning: Add beans and water to slow cooker. Cook on low all day.
When you come home your beans will be ready for you to use in another recipe. You may have extra water in the beans, simply drain them in a colander if you don’t want to use the broth.