Lee Holmes: Slow cooking is the key to a healthy winter

It's time fire-up those kettles into full gear, keep the soup spoon handy and pull the fluffiest blanket out from the back of the cupboard – winter is here!

Winter is a time of hibernation, where we crave comfort foods and warming drinks. But we're usually so busy keeping warm, we tend to spend more time eating, less time cooking and even less time working out - which inevitably adds to that extra winter pudge!

But it's important to keep in mind that winter is also one of the best times of year to stock up on those essential nutrients and eat healthy.

My winter menu generally rotates between comforting soups, spicy stews, crispy stir fries, perfect porridges and spiced teas - all of which can be packed full of nutritional whole foods. Curries and stews are perfect for packing in your veggies and protein, but the misconception is that these delicious wintery meals take a lot of time to cook.

Enter your new best friend: the slow cooker!

Basically, a slow cooker does all the hard work for you, and they're easy to clean - which I know will have most home cooks cheering! If you're time-poor in the evenings, find some slow-cooker recipes - lamb shanks, curries and stews are perfect - throw the ingredients into the cooker, and it will be ready for you at dinner time. 

One of my all-time favourite slow cooker recipes to eat during winter is my Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Stew from my new book, Fast Your Way to Wellness. It’s budget-friendly, perfect for the whole family and won’t leave your body worse for wear. Chicken supplies us with protein and essential vitamins and minerals, and can be beneficial in helping us lose weight, and control our cholesterol and blood pressure.

So pop the slow cooker on in the morning, pop in the ingredients, head to work and come home to the delicious smell of a homemade stew! 

Get more slow cooker recipes here!

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