Happy Crocktober everyone! I love absolutely everything about fall- the crunch of leaves beneath by stroller wheels, tall boots and pumpkin everything (NOT pumpkin spice lattes to be clear- do you know how much sugar is in those!?!). You know what else I love? MY CROCKPOT! We are going to celebrate Crocktober this month at FIT4MOM Chicago and post some of our favorite ways to use our crockpots. For busy moms, a crockpot is a great way to bring healthy, home cooked goodness to our families without a fuss- you just toss everything in and forget it leaving you free to play with your kiddos.
To start us off, let's talk about squash. My mom and I recently went to a pumpkin farm and bought a 50 pound bag of squash for $20- yes 50 pounds! That's a lot of squash I'm going to be eating. I love hard squash but there is something about the two step process of usually needing to peel it/ bake it/steam it /roast it and then maybe do something else to it that makes me loathe cooking it. I dislike any recipe that takes me longer than 20 minutes of attention. You can cook hard squash right in your crockpot! Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds (save them to roast if you are adventurous) and place in the crockpot with a little water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover and cook on high until you can stick a fork in the outside of the peel.
I used this technique to make this 5 ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie recipe the other night from PaleOMG and it was AMAZING. I put the squash in the crockpot at lunchtime, then at dinner I just sauteed the meat and onion, tossed it all together and baked it. This recipe may be one of my all time favorites EVER.
For acorn squash cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up in the crockpot and put a little dab of butter in each half- sprinkle with some cinnamon- cover and cook on high until done- roughly 2-3 hours. (Yes you could do this in the oven too and cook for less time- but I have a baby who is crawling all over, two big girls- one throwing a basketball and one dancing around in a fairy costume- they are all chasing the cat... there is enough chaos in my house without having to add opening a 400 degree door to it. )
And while we are talking about squash, I adapted my favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe from 100 Days of Real Food into a crock pot recipe. I just put all of the ingredients in to the crockpot (except the dairy and I used onion instead of leeks) and cooked it on high for 4 hours and pureed it right in the pot.
Ok, so there are three super yummy and easy recipes to get started with Crocktober! We love seeing pictures of you moms making healthy food, so snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using tags #F4MChi #Crocktober and share it with us!