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With busy life schedules, dropping kids off at school, working full time jobs, college, homework, and training; nutrition can easily be pushed to the weigh-side. Sometimes making home cooked meals doesn’t seem to fit into our schedules and with the convenience of eating out it is easy to slip from clean eating. Meal prepping is one of the best ways to stay on tract. But who has the time to spend hours on the weekend cooking meals to last for the week or month? Not to mention the terrible heat in the kitchen, “aint no one got time for that.” But, for optimal health and performance, what we fuel our bodies with is important. Although eating out may be convenient, it could mean worse food choices and it even adds up financially. Why waste that money when you could be making delicious healthy home cooked meals for much cheaper.

We all have our favorite paleo/whole 30/clean eating websites and Pinterest pages; one very useful kitchen cooking item is the crockpot. Investing in a useful crockpot could be the perfect savior you need. They are easy to use, easy to clean and can easily make bulk meals for you, your family and even to freeze for later.  Target, Walmart, Amazon, King Soopers all have great crockpot choices, ranging in size and prices usually for only around 30$.

Never used a crockpot? No worries. It could not be simpler. Does not matter if you are the worst person to enter a kitchen, the crockpot will do the cooking for you. No longer will you need to spend hours on Sunday slaving over a hot stove and oven. Cooking with a crockpot is also a great way to experiment with new recipes. Any search on google for paleo crockpot recipes will lead to hundreds of easy crockpot recipes. For majority, all you need to do is cut the fat off your choice of meat, cut some veggies, sprinkle some seasonings, throw all ingredients into the crockpot and set the cooking time (4-10hrs for most) and then leave. Yes, leave your kitchen, your house, leave for hours without worry. Take back all your fun Sunday adventures and come home to your meal done, all you need to do is pull out your favorite Tupperware containers and partition for the week or eat as dinner. If cooking ahead of time, you can sleep with ease knowing your meal will be ready the next day, most crockpots switch to a warm setting and stop cooking once the timer is done.  My crockpot even came with tips for how thick to cut certain veggies and starches, which meats work best with added broth or water if you’re making a soup or stew or chili. The cleanup could also not be simpler. Take out the bowl from the cooking base and put that with the lid into dishwasher. Don’t have a dishwasher? That’s fine, since the crockpot gets so hot and cooks for so long food doesn’t get stuck or dry, no scrubbing needed, simply wash the bowl and lid with a sponge and dish soap. With a crockpot there is no excuse to not meal prep/plan or eat a healthy home cooked meal. Why put in all that hard work at the box if you don’t feed your body properly. The handy dandy crockpot helps with our busy lives and families; it is convenient and a cheaper option for most.

Below is my favorite crockpot recipe. Being from Hawaii, Kalua pig is a staple in our diets, any traditional lu’au will have it as well as pretty much any local food restaurant. Traditionally, the pig is cooked in an underground pit and served in plaited baskets made of coconut fronds or on large banana leaves. The word kalua refers to the process of cooking in an earth oven. Hawaiians use an imu (underground pit oven) to steam the whole pig. The imu is essentially an underground steam cooker. To recreate the imu you can use a crockpot.

This recipe is adapted from nomnompaleo.com.

Ingredients

  • 5 pound butt/shoulder roast (bone-in or out—it doesn’t matter)
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1½ tablespoons coarse sea salt (Hawaiian salt would be best) -additional salt for salt water
  • Banana leaves
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves (optional)

Directions

  1. Put banana leaves covering the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Then 3 pieces of bacon.
  3. Next cut skin off pig butt (you do not have to do this but does help with the amount of fat when shredding).
  4. Rub salt on the pig (if you would like exact measurement use ¾ teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)
  5. Tuck garlic cloves into meat.
  6. Place pig on top of the banana leaves and bacon skin side up.
  7. Pour liquid smoke on the pig. Then cover with banana leaves.
  8. Cover with lid and cook for16-20hrs.
  9. Once done, take it out and shred with two forks, removing fat.
  10. Then simmer about 2 cups of salt water in a pot. (Salt water should taste salty)
  11. Pour that over the shredded meat in small portions making sure to evenly distribute. You don’t need much just enough so it stays moist but not so much that it pools underneath the meat.

That’s it! Serve with baked sweet potatoes and veggies for a healthy paleoified meal.

~Written By: Coach Brit