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Heart Healthy Uses For Your Slow Cooker

Chicken tortilla soup

We spoke with Fran Burke, registered dietitian at Penn Medicine, to get tips and tricks for making the most of your slow cooker to make tasty, heart healthy meals. Find out what she had to share!

These days it’s no secret: the slow cooker, or crockpot, is one of the most loved and useful kitchen appliances. In six hours a complete meal for the entire family, plus leftovers, can be served. What’s not to love about this appliance?

There are so many recipes that are readily accessible via the internet, but it is fun to experiment sometimes! By paying attention to the ingredients you include, you can ensure that it is an easy, heart-healthy option as well.

A Simple Formula for Success

Ingredients to include:

  • One pound of protein - try a lean meat (skinless chicken breasts, ground turkey, pork loin). Or, even better, use beans and legumes!
  • Two cups of liquid - stick to a low-sodium beef or chicken broth. You can also add in a bit of red wine for flavor.
  • Vegetables - be generous! Load up on those veggies; aim for three cups. Some of the best are chopped tomatoes, celery, onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots. But be adventurous.
  • Herbs and Spices - top everything off with about two to three tablespoons of sodium-free ones. Check out these suggestions.

Cook on high (3-4 hours) or low (7-8 hours), and if you are cooking meat, make sure it is cooked fully before serving.

Favorite Heart Healthy Recipes

If you’re not up for the challenge of creating your own, we’ve taken some time to pull together our favorite heart healthy recipes.

About this Blog

The Penn Heart and Vascular blog provides the latest information on heart disease prevention, nutrition and breakthroughs in cardiovascular care.

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