The temperature has dropped these last couple of days, so my slow cooker is seeing some action. I really love my slow cooker, I can just throw everything in while I’m drinking my morning glass of warm water, and then dinner takes care of itself. It’s ceramic and glass, but was very economical to buy, and I can use it for curries, roasts and deliciously heartwarming casseroles.
One of my favourites this time of year is my black bean casserole. Black beans are nourishing to your kidneys, and help ease you into the colder months, as does the seaweed – I use Icelandic kombu or Atlantic sea spaghetti.
The oranges and squash keep it vibrant and provide antioxidants for your eyes, reproductive organs, skin, blood vessels and more, while the cabbage or any other green leaves add a wealth of vitamins and minerals.
Onions and garlic, together with anti-inflammatory turmeric and black pepper, nourish your colon, lungs, connective tissue and immune system. It all goes in a pot with water, herbs and seasoning and slow cooks to release more antioxidants.
Season at the end of cooking with miso or tamari, and if you like, you can dd a dollop of tahini to make it a little thicker or creamier.
If you eat meat, then add a couple of chicken legs on the bone instead of the beans, and slow cook for about
6-8 hours, adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to help break down the bone and cartilage.
This releases ingredients to help you build healthy new tissue to line your digestive tract, with countless benefits for absorbing nutrients and for your immune system. In fact the same benefits as with the bone broth in my last blog, Seven top tips for improving digestion.
Serve in a wide bowl, or remove the bones and blend the whole thing into a smooth and satisfying chicken soup. You can recycle any leftovers by adding black beans and turning it into the casserole above.
Enjoy cosied up by the fire with the wind and rain lashing at your window, and a huge smile of contentment on your rosy face.