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As we move into the crisper fall weather, it’s time to dust off your slow cooker and whip up recipes that will easily usher in the season change. And while we’re a sucker for cooking comfort classics like savory BBQ ribs and tasty cobblers in our Crock Pots, you can definitely make fulfilling meals that address health concerns like joint pain and inflammation. Although we have won’t ever give up our food vices (we’re looking at you junk food!), several foods can spike inflammation levels in the body, causing a disruption of the communication between the body’s cells and chemical signals produced.
“Inflammation in the body is caused by what our body recognizes as an invader,” explains Alix Turoff, MS, RD of Top Balance Nutrition. “Our immune system serves as our body’s defense system, protecting against injury and infection through communication between the body’s cells and chemical signals produced.” To keep inflammation under control, here’re four anti-inflammatory dishes you can easily make in your crock pot.
1. Beat Inflammation with Veggie Collagen Chili
Next time you are looking for a new Meatless Monday recipe to try, feast on this vegetarian-friendly chili, which employs collagen to help combat joint pain and ease inflammation. And in addition to working wonders against inflammation, added collagen helps lubricate the joints, and promotes healing of the skin tissue.
Recipe courtesy of Wellness Expert Charles Chen
- 1 Full Carton of Veggie Broth (Low Sodium)
- 1 Bottle of Tomato Marinara Sauce (Low Sodium)
- 1 Can of Cooked Kidney Beans
- 1 Can of Cooked Black Beans
- 3 Tablespoon of Neocell’s Collagen Powder
- 1 Bag of Veggie Ground Meat
- ½ Cup of Chopped Carrots
- ½ Cup of Chopped Yellow Onions
- 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
- 2 Tsp of Cumin and Coriander
- 2 Tablespoon of Reduced Tamari (Soy Sauce)
- One bunch of fresh Chopped Cilantro
Place ingredients in crock pot, cook veggies until they are ready to serve.
2. Get A Cleaner Gut with Anti-Inflammatory Soup
Soups are a guaranteed crock pot delight, especially since it boasts a fix-it and forget-it appeal! Perfect for your next cold and rainy day spent indoors, the added turmeric, ginger, and coconut milk inside this recipe helps soothe inflammation in your gut.
Recipe courtesy of Staci Shacter, MS, RD, LDN; Nutritionist at The Spa at Carillon Miami Beach
- 1 Cup of Coconut Milk
- 1 Tablespoon of Turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Grated Ginger
- 2 Pounds of Carrots (chopped)
- 6 cups of Bone Broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Throw all ingredients in slow cooker, and cook on low for 10 hours. Use immersion hand blender before serving, to make the soup smooth and creamy.
3. Boost Your Immunity with Spiced Crockpot Beef Roast
Craving something more savory? A yummy pot roast makes perfect entree option when you’re entertaining friends, or want something that will reap lots of leftovers. Plus, this recipe features highly anti-inflammatory veggies like garlic and celery, which helps improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Recipe courtesy of Cara Walsh, Registered Dietitian for Medifast California
- 2-½ pounds (40 oz) of Raw, Boneless Beef Chuck Clod Roast (should yield six 5-oz cooked servings)
- Crockpot Spice Blend:
- 2 Tablespoons of Water
- 1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
- 4 Teaspoons of Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Teaspoons of Dry Mustard
- ½ Teaspoon of Salt or Salt Substitute
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 6 Cups (1-¼ lbs) of Whole Mushrooms, Trimmed
- 3 Cups (7-8 large stalks) of Celery, Roughly Diced
- 3 Cups of Green Beans, Trimmed
- 2 Cups Scallions (12-14 scallions), Roughly Chopped
Trim all visible fat from roast. Rub black pepper and garlic onto roast; place in crock pot. Make several small shallow slits on top of roast. In the small bowl, combine remaining spice blend ingredients; pour over meat. Cover; cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high 4-5 hours. Add vegetables during last 30-60 minutes of roasting.
4. Fight Acne with Bone Broth
Perfect your skin from the inside with this delicious bone broth recipe, which helps strengthens the structural integrity of the skin, and helps build skin connective tissue. And in case you’re looking for another added bonus: bone broth is so versatile, (cook pasta or rice in it!) you can use it for practically anything.
Recipe courtesy of Celebrity Nutritionist & Holistic Beauty Expert Paula Simpson
- 1 Whole Chicken (or the frame of a roasted chicken) or Whole Fish Fillet Bones
- 2 Sweet Bay Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon of Black Peppercorns or Dash of Paprika
- Any Vegetable Scraps (carrots, celery, garlic work great)
- Filtered Water
To use a slow cooker, experts recommend boiling in a pot on the stove. Once boiling, skim off the film (impurities you should remove,) and transfer to slow cooker. In the slow cooker, you can cook on low for 24 hours. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.
Contributed by Courtney Leiva.
Photos by Charles Chen, Feasting At Home, Medifast California and ZSS Skincare