Vegetables are an important part of a healthy, balanced nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that fruits and vegetables help control your appetite, help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Vegetables are versatile foods that come in a variety of flavors and textures and can be eaten as a main meal, a side dish and as a snack food. Mixed vegetables made with carrots, green beans and broccoli can be eaten with fish, lean beef, poultry or another protein source for a nutritious lunch or dinner. Cooking these mixed vegetables in a slow cooker is a convenient and healthful way to prepare them in time for your family's meal.
- Green beans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Spices of your choice
- Lemon juice
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Slow cooker
- Cutting board
- Paper towels
- Serving dish
To reduce the cooking time in the slow cooker, you can partially cook the broccoli, green beans and carrots by microwaving for 1 to 2 minutes or steaming them in a pot on the stove. The carrots should be sliced thin as they are harder and will take longer to cook and soften than the broccoli and green beans. Additionally, turning the slow cooker on high will cook the vegetables in half the time.
Place the slow cooker in a safe place away from flammable items such as dish towels. Vegetables cook faster than meat dishes; do not overcook them to avoid making them too soft or mushy.
Wash the broccoli, green beans and carrots in water. Place them in a sieve or on a paper towel to dry. Cut the stalk off the broccoli and trim off the florets so that you are left with large bite size pieces. Peel or scrape the carrots to remove any darkened or dirty areas and chop them into thin circular or rectangular bite-size pieces. Trim the ends of the beans and cut them in half to make them easier to eat.
Mix all the prepared vegetables with the olive or vegetable oil, salt and pepper, garlic and other spices of your choosing. Place the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker and place the lid on the pot. Turn the heat to low or medium.
Let the vegetables slowly simmer for 2 to 3 hours. You do not need to add water as the juices from the broccoli, carrots and green beans will be released and trapped in the crock pot helping to steam cook.
Remove the lid of the slow cooker and check that the vegetables are tender. If they are ready, turn the heat off and place the vegetables into a serving dish.
Sprinkle the vegetables with lemon juice, butter and additional salt or spices if desired. Serve the mixed vegetables immediately as part of a healthful, balanced meal.
Things You'll Need
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Weight: How To Use Fruits and Vegetables To Help Manage Your Weight
- Savvy Vegetarian: Easy Crockpot, Slow Cooker Recipes
- MomsWhoThink: Crock Pot Vegetables and Side Dishes
- Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Eating Plate and Healthy Eating Pyramid
Noreen Kassem is a hospital doctor and a medical writer. Her articles have been featured in "Women's Health," "Nutrition News," "Check Up" and "Alive Magazine." Kassem also covers travel, books, fitness, nutrition, cooking and green living.