We are all about That Slow Cooker Life. Dump ingredients in, leave the house and return to a magnificent meal – what could be better?
But if you are using your slow cooker just for your typical beef stew, you are seriously missing out on the full capabilities of this genius appliance!
To help you get the most out of your slow cooker, here are some fun and surprising ways you can maximize its potential.
#1. Hot Towels
Source: Readers Digest
This one is so simple. Just roll some hand towels or washcloths and place them in the slow cooker. Cover them with 1-2 cups of water so that they aren't soaking, but just damp. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and heat on low for 1-2 hours. Use tongs to remove the towels and gently shake loose.
These hot towels are great for joint pain, or relaxation before bed. Some great essential oils for joint relief are lemongrass, wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus and marjoram. Others that are perfect for bed time are lavender, cedar wood and chamomile.
#2. Air Freshener
Source: Rachel Shultz on Homemaking
Use your slow cooker to fill your home with your favourite scents like citrus, rosemary, vanilla, cinnamon, warm apple or lavender. Simply fill it with water, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, essential oils, or any healing aromatherapy scents. Set it on low and as the water cooks off, feel free to top it up. You can keep the lid on, or remove it for a stronger aroma.
This is a great option for heightening holiday scents in your home or simply freshening up a stale room.
#3. Homemade Play Dough
Source: Get Crocked
Your kids are going to love this one! It takes about 2 hours to make, but it’s cheap and super easy. They can be involved in the process from beginning to end and choose their favourite colours, which can make it a fun, interactive, full afternoon affair. Here is a super easy slow cooker Play Dough recipe.
#4. DIY Lipbalm
Yep, you can make your own lip balm using your slow cooker! You can flavour it any way you like, and they make great DIY gifts. One batch makes about 12 tubes, you will need:
- 3 tbsp beeswax
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vitamin E oil
- 9 drops essential oils
Melt all ingredients, except the essential oils over low heat. Let cool for a few minutes, then add essential oils like peppermint, grapefruit, lemongrass or lavender. Use an eyedropper to fill 12 tubes or small tubs, keeping them upright while they set.
#5. Lotion Bars
Another great way to clean up your beauty regimen and avoid toxic chemicals is by making your own lotion bars. Your skin is your largest organ, so this is a great way to treat it with care and natural ingredients. You can get full instructions on how to make slow cooker lotion bars here.
Tip: If you're going to get creative with your slow cooker and experiment with some of these fun DIY's, you'll probably want these Crock Pot liners, which make clean up a whole lot easier, especially if you're dealing with beeswax and play dough.
#6. Veggie Storage
If you run out of counter space, the slow cooker makes a great place to store veggies like sweet potatoes, garlic, onions and squash. This dark, cool spot will keep your veggies fresh and out of the way until your ready to get cooking.
Lightly grease or line your slow cooker with parchment paper. Pour in the batter and set it to low. Cook until the cake has no wet spots on top and has pulled away from the sides (about 3 hours).
Slow cooker cake is especially good when served warm with some nice cream or coconut whipped cream on top.
Source: The Kitchn
Who would have thought! You can make a whole loaf of fresh bread in your slow cooker, no bread maker needed. Check out this article for full instructions.
#9. Energy Bars
If you haven't tried our Slow Cooker Energy Bars yet, now's the time. Members of That Clean Life can get the recipe and add it to your meal plan here.
Source: The Kitchn
There is no need to soak your beans when you cook them in the slow cooker on low overnight. The longer cooking time breaks down the hard-to-digest acids, sugars, and starches.
Just add 1 cup of rinsed beans to your slow-cooker, 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and cook for 8 to 12 hours. You can also add seasonings before cooking like herbs or garlic for extra flavour. Come back in the morning and they will be ready to enjoy!
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- How I Hosted A Crock Pot Party and Swapped Enough Freezer Meals for Winter