Earlier this week, we discussed the value of self-reflection and a self-reflective life as we navigate life’s many changes, challenges and opportunities. Yet life’s busyness often gets in the way of our noble pursuits of being more self-aware of our own intuition, health goals, needs and desires. Live a slower life, and free up more time to do the things you love, with these healthy slow cooker recipes (we’ve curated a healthy, vegan-friendly recipe for each meal of the day!). Simply add the ingredients, set your timer, and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal that boosts your immune system, supports your vitality, and builds a strong foundation for ongoing health.
BREAKFAST: Immune-Boosting Slow Cooker Vegan Coconut Yogurt
Start your morning with this indulgent plant-based yogurt. It’s bursting with healthy probiotics, which boosts your gut health and in turn empowers your immune system’s strength and resilience.
Best of all, this yogurt is 100 percent vegan and gluten-free because it’s made from pure coconut milk. Coconut is very rich in manganese, which helps your body to better metabolize carbohydrates, protein and cholesterol, and it’s also a great source of essential minerals like iron and copper. Finally, coconut is high in phenolic compounds like p-coumaric acid and gallic acid, which have powerful antioxidant properties and may reduce your risks of various diseases.
3 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 small container plain vegan yogurt
3 tsp gelatin or agar (a seaweed-based vegan gelatin substitute)
1 tbsp of your favorite sweetener
Instant-read food thermometer
Preheat your crockpot or slow cooker to high.
Pour the coconut milk into the crockpot and heat it up until its internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reduce the temperate to 120 degrees and add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk together to thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
Wrap the crockpot in a few towels as insulation, then let it ferment overnight or for at least eight hours. Pour the resulting yogurt into a container and refrigerate it until it’s cold and has thickened up. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter
This slow cooker meal creates luxuriously sweet, rich pumpkin butter that you can spread on rice cakes or toast for an effortless lunch. It’s also delicious in smoothies, as a garnish on soups, or for any other purpose your creativity and imagination can dream up!
Pumpkin is an impressive source of immunity-boosting vitamins and minerals, including nearly three times your daily needs of vitamin A in just one cup of cooked pumpkin. The vitamin C in pumpkin also helps your body produce more white blood cells, shielding you more effectively from bacteria and viruses.
44 oz. pure organic canned pumpkin puree
1 4/5 cup honey
2 cups apple juice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of sea salt
Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker and whisk together to thoroughly combine. Set your slow cooker to its lowest heat setting and cover it for five hours. Give it one stir after three or four hours of cooking. Enjoy warm, or store it in your fridge for use later.
DINNER: Tomato Basil Slow Cooker Soup
We’re often told to drink chicken noodle soup when we’re feeling ill and need an immunity upgrade. Take that concept to the next level with this sweet-and-tangy vegan alternative. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which helps strengthen your body’s natural immune response, while the basil is high in plant compounds and antioxidants that have been shown to reduce stress, soothe away inflammation, and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. Other immune-boosting ingredients in this soup include oregano, fresh garlic, and onions, which are the secret to this soup’s layers of vibrant flavors.
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream or a plant-based cream alternative
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Add all the ingredients (with the exception of the cream) to your slow cooker. Whisk to combine well, and use the whisk to smash the tomatoes a bit. Cover the pot and cook on its lowest heat setting for eight hours (if you’re short on time, use high heat for four hours).
When the soup is finished cooking, simply blend with an immersion blender, then stir in the cream and enjoy.
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