Summertime means Slow Cooker time!

When it’s 90 degrees outside and the relative humidity is 80%, no one wants to stand over a hot stove or barbecue grill. Turning on the oven only heats up the kitchen, and it’s too hot to cookalready too hot out. You’re already sweating just sitting in the shade! Also, summertime means hanging out on the deck with friends, sitting in the pool, and front porch sitting. Don’t spend your evening cooking when you could be catching up with friends and family.

So what to do about dinner when going out every night isn’t an option? Pull out your slow cooker and try some of these recipes I found. You can get pulled pork, spare ribs, baked potatoes, and summer vegetables without firing up the grill or sautéing over a stove when it’s just too hot to cook. Here are 5 recipes that I have discovered that really take the heat out of preparing meals on hot days. Enjoy!

1. Slow-Cooker Country Style Pork Ribs from http://www.Bettycrocker.com.
This, by far, is my favorite slow cooker recipes. The meat is moist and falls off the bone. The sauce is easy to make out of ingredients that are probably already in your cabinet and tastes great. Ribs in, pour the sauce over them, set for 6 hours. No sweat!ribs

2. Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches from http://www.bettycrocker.com.

Savory pulled pork, topped with crisp coleslaw, add your favorite bun and a side of chips. Perfect summer bbq dish. Yum! slow cooker pulled pork

3. Slow Cooker Summer Vegetables from http://www.fitslowcookerqueen.com.

What I like about this recipe is that it calls for 3 lbs. of your favorite summer vegetable. So whatever is in your garden or in your local farmer’s market. Whether you mix in broccoli, corn, sugar snap peas, asparagus, or carrots, it’s going to be delicious and tailor-made to what is available to you or to what you enjoy.summer vegetable

4. Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes (works for Butternut Squash as well) from Robyn at http://www.addapinch.com
This is super easy. Wad up aluminum foil into balls about the size of a tennis ball and place on the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, wash potatoes (or butternut squash), sprinkle with EVOO and salt, wrap tightly in foil, place on top of foil wads and cook on high for 4 hours. That’s it! When they are done, let them cool before handling.

If you are cooking butternut squash, cut the cooked squash in half, scoop out the seeds and membrane, and discard. Then remove the squash and either serve or store.baked-potatoes

5. Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna from http://www.eatingwell.com.
I love lasagna, but never make it when it’s hot out. Slow cooker lasagna is much easier than over baked lasagna, and involves less sweating. Just chopped ingredients, layer uncooked noodles, cheese mixture, and vegetables. Then set for 4 hours. That’s it!

This recipe calls for mushrooms, which no one in my family enjoys. So, I have substituted broccoli or chopped onion or yellow squash.lasagna

I am sure that there are many more slow cooker recipes that are fantastic for summer meals. These are just my favorite recipes so far. And each one of these can be modified to suit your taste. Please, add your ingredients, set the timer, and enjoy the remaining days of summer no matter what you are doing or who you are sharing it with! I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.
References
Betty Crocker. “Slow-Cooker Country Style Pork Ribs”. 2015. Web.http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-country-style-pork-ribs/7584bead-ac7f-44fd-823f-ef43eeb8eeee

Betty Crocker. “Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches”. 2015. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-pulled-pork-sandwiches/2721afab-a5e0-4c0e-92f8-b08c67882508

EatingWell Test Kitchen. “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna”. Eating Well Magazine. November/December 2011. Web. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252492/slow-cooker-vegetarian-lasagna/

Fit SlowCooker Queen. “Slow Cooker Summer Vegetables”. June 22, 2016. Web. http://fitslowcookerqueen.com/slow-cooker-summer-vegetables/

Stone, Robyn. “Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes Recipe”. Add A Pinch. September 7, 2013. Web. http://addapinch.com/?s=slow+cooker+baked+potatoes

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