Healthy eating plans include taking shortcuts which make it easier to cook in advance. One easy solution is to use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker like an Insta Pot. They are an easy way to make tasty meals with minimal effort.

Healthy Eating Benefits of Using a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are a great time saver and provide many nutritional benefits as well. These are some of the benefits from Penn State Extension:

• A slow cooker eliminates the temptation to order take-out which is typically less nutritious and more expensive.
• They allow one-step preparation. Placing all the ingredients in the slow cooker saves preparation time and cuts down on cleanup.
• Slow cookers are useful throughout the year. Coming in from a cold winter day, the aroma of hot soup is welcoming. Slow cookers also work well for summertime use because they do not heat the kitchen like an oven.
• As a result of the long, low-temperature cooking, slow cookers help tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat.
• A slow cooker brings out the flavor in foods. A wide variety of foods can be cooked in a slow cooker, including one pot meals, soups, stews and casseroles.
• Plus, they use less electricity than an oven.

Healthy Eating Benefits of Using a Pressure Cooker Like an Ista Pot

Instant Pot takes advantage of pressure cooking, which cooks flavorful meal, softens the food and retains vitamins and minerals. Thanks to its micro-processor controlled cooking cycles, meals are made in a consistent fashion.

• Trapping Flavor in Food
Instant Pot cooks meals in a fully sealed environment. Nutrients and aroma stay in the ingredients instead of being dispersing around the home. The original juice of fish or meat remains within the food.

• Retaining Vitamins and Minerals
When steaming with Instant Pot, you don’t need to use much water, just add enough to keep the pressure cooker filled with steam. Because of this, vitamins and minerals don’t leach out or dissolve in water. Since steam surrounds the food, foods are not oxidized by air exposure at heat, so vegetables like asparagus and broccoli retain their bright green colors and phytochemicals.

• Tender & Tasty Meal
Meat and bones can be cooked really tender in Instant Pot. After the cooking, the bones and ribs are completed separated from the meat and become chewable, allowing calcium and other minerals to be easily absorbed.
Under pressure cooking, whole grain and bean based meals are also softer texture and taste better than cooked in other methods.

• Consistent Results
Another important feature is that pressure cookers yield consistent results because the heat is very evenly and quickly distributed. The Instant Pot’s intelligent programming ensures cooking being consistent regardless the volume of water and the amount of food.

Healthy Eating Three Bean Turkey Chili Recipe

Try this healthy eating recipe as part of your meal plan. Make this in a slow cooker or Ista-Pot. This easy slow cooker chili uses lean ground turkey and a lots of healthy beans. Top it off with your favorite chili toppings.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 10 servings)

• 1.3 lb (20 oz) 99% lean ground turkey breast
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
• 1 (4.5 oz) can chopped chilies
• 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
• 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained
• 1 (15.5 oz) can small red beans, drained
• 2 tbsp chili powder
• 1 tsp cumin

For the Topping:

• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for topping
• optional toppings: shredded cheddar or avocado


For a Slow Cooker:

1. Brown turkey and onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Transfer to the slow cooker with the beans, chilies, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.
2. Cook on high 6 to 8 hours or low 10 to 12.
3. Garnish with onions, cilantro and your favorite toppings.

For An Instant Pot:

1. Press sauté, spray with oil and brown the turkey and onion, breaking the meat up with a spoon until cooked through. Add the beans, chilies, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin, mixing well.
2. Cook on high pressure 25 minutes. Natural release.
3. Garnish with onions, cilantro and your favorite toppings.

NUTRITION: (per 1 cup serving)

Calories: 231
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 27.5g
Fiber: 8g
Protein: 19.5g

Click here for this healthy eating chili recipe.