I’m a big fan of slow-cooker meals, especially in the fall and winter. I think it’s a great way for those new to a real food diet to feel less-overwhelmed and more confident in their ability to make nutritious meals. Slow cooker freezer recipes are also ideal for working moms, homeschooling families, or really anyone who is busy (and who isn’t?).
Further, I’ve always been intrigued by moms who are able to pre-prepare a month of food (or even a couple of weeks) at one time and not have to do any other food prep during that time. Unfortunately, all the programs I’ve seen for this involved grain based foods or pre-packaged foods like onion soup mix or pre-made sauces so they weren’t a good fit for me.
A Real Food Philosophy for Real Life
What first caught my eye about this particular cookbook is its commitment to using real food ingredients. I didn’t have to worry about purchasing the cookbook and only being able to use a handful of recipes that fit our family’s diet. When asked about her nutritional philosophy, Stephanie says:
I have a friend who is a local Weston A. Price foundation chapter leader and she introduced me to Nourishing Traditions and all the concepts. As soon as I read the book, I knew I had come home. I knew deep in my belly that it was right and everything I had ever heard before was baloney.
She adopted a real food lifestyle, but quickly encountered her biggest hurdle:
Finding time to do make everything from scratch. My slow cooker freezer meals I have come up with have opened up lots of time for me, but as a working mother, it is still very hard. I would SO pay someone to make me yogurt and broth each week, so I don’t have to!
I can completely relate to the struggle of finding the time to plan, prepare and cook real food in the midst of busy motherhood, which is why I’m so thankful Stephanie created a fantastic resource of nutritious recipes that are stress-free and kid-friendly.
I guess like all inventions, it came out of my hour of need. After my daughter was born I was bound and determined to figure out a way to put healthy, real food meals on the table every night. I am not a good cook, so I need to find something that was very easy for me. I have always enjoyed using my slow cooker and one day the light bulb went off about assembling the meals into plastic bags and then freezing them. Then the day I want to cook my meal, I just dump the contents of the bag into my slow cooker and dinner is done. It takes me about two hours to chop and assemble 6 meals.
Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes Cookbook
The great news is that Stephanie has done all the hard work for us. She compiled a wonderful cookbook of meals that can be prepped ahead of time, stored in the freezer and then literally just dumped in a slow-cooker to cook during the day.
How it Works
Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes is formatted so that each recipe makes two meals (for a family of 4-6) and there are shopping lists that correspond to each recipe so shopping is easy too.
For those with special dietary concerns, the dietary information is included for each recipe, and there are even printable labels for each recipe. The recipes are completely free of grain, dairy, legumes, and corn and are all GAPS-approved.
Before a new homeschool year begins, I usually make double batches of about ten of her recipes (so 40 meals total). I’ve brought these to friends or doula clients who have just had babies (or friends who are sick) since they can be made whenever needed and can store easily if the person already has other meals planned or delivered. These are also great for days that I am out with the kids and need to have dinner ready when we get home.
What I Like
I’ve made a lot of meals from this cookbook and, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast. I also especially liked the Honey Apple Chicken Stew and it smelled great while cooking. Leek Beef Stew was also really good; and while I never would have thought to use peaches in a slow-cooker, the flavor of the Peach Pot Roast was delicious! Here are some other recipes included:
- Pork and Butternut Squash
- Sesame Honey Chicken
- Parmesan Chicken
- Chicken Chili
- Polynesian Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Beef Veggie Soup
- Cajun Shrimp
- Ginger Beef
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp
- Cumin–Cinnamon Beef Stew
- Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast
- Opa’s Empanadas
- Summer Veggie Soup
- Thai Chicken Curry
- Penelope’s Carrot-Ginger Soup
- Healing Chicken Soup
- Chicken n’ Cherries
- French Dip Beef Stew
- Orange Beef Stew
- Cranberry Chicken
- Moroccan Lamb Stew
- Italian Beef
- Flank Steak Fajitas
- Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
- Stephanie’s Goulash
- Chicken Curry
I also like that the recipes are budget-friendly. It’s easy to add extra veggies to stretch the meat if needed. The spice combinations are flavorful but easy, so there is no long list of ingredients to purchase.
Where to Find My Favorite Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes Cookbook
From Your Freezer to Your Family is available here in its most updated format. It also include two bonus cookbooks inside: From Your Garden to Your Family (a guide to growing and preserving your own food) and Gluten-Free Grain-Free Baking (for those who love to bake but don’t want to use refined sugar and white flour).
If you are a fan of slow cooker freezer recipes and need some variety, or if you are new to slow cooking and don’t know where to start, this cookbook is a great solution.
Alternative to Plastic Bags
An awesome tip I learned from this cookbook is the use of Neat-os plastic bag alternatives. We don’t really use plastic bags, but I had just stores previous recipes in other ways in the freezer, but these re-usable bags are much easier to fit in the freezer and much more eco-friendly.
Do you use a slow-cooker? Have you ever bulk prepared meals before? Share below!