It’s this season for pulling out the slow cooker. This handy kitchen appliance isn’t just for making creamy, not-so-healthy foods – in fact, the crockpot is a killer way to get more plant-based protein into your belly.
Although most people thing of using their slow cooker for Sunday roasts or decadent meals made with processed soups and mixes, there are so many delicious ways to use this kitchen tool to support your health.
Check out a few of our past healthy slow cooker recipes:
- Grain-Free, Vegan Lasagna, which contains no pasta – and is definitely a must-try.
- Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, a comforting meal that contains only three ingredients.
- Crockpot Cauliflower Rice will become a staple.
And now, to add one more to the menu.
Vegan Lentil Soup
Like a classic vegetable soup, this hearty slow cooker meal is savory and cozy. Lentil soup traditionally calls for meat, but we’ve perfected a plant-based version that tastes even better than the original.
Plus, the prep time on this slow cooker soup is 10 minutes flat.
A handful of dried lentils, some chopped veggies, and fresh herbs are tossed in your slow cooker to simmer all day.
Lentils make a great stand-in for meat, providing protein for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone looking to reduce meat consumption. Lentils are legumes, in the same family as beans.
I love lentils because you don’t have to soak them overnight before cooking with them. They’re highly nutritious, loaded with protein, iron, and fiber. That means they provide energy, long-lasting hunger relief, and they help maintain lean muscle.
There are many different varieties of lentils to choose from. Green and brown varieties hold their shape better after cooking than the red variety, so I recommend not using red-colored lentils for this recipe.
You can find lentils in the bulk section of most grocery stores, as well as in the grain aisle, next to the dried beans.
Be sure to sift through your lentils to make sure there are no small stones, and rinse well before using.
Spice it Up
Want a little heat in your soup? Toss in a pinch of red pepper flakes to your slow cooker.
If your taste buds crave spice, try adding ½ teaspoon coriander and ½ teaspoon cumin to the recipe. Serve as is, or drizzle with balsamic vinegar and chopped fresh herbs for a totally tasty bowl of soup.
Delicious, Healthy, Easy Meals
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.