If you are anything like our family, meal times, and especially dinner-time, is a BUSY time of day!

Kids are home from school, some need help with homework, there are afterschool activities and sports and music drop-offs and pick-ups, and just general play and supervision of those little ones who need a lot of care and attention.

How is a busy mum or dad supposed to get a complete family meal prepped and cooked during this fluster of activity? It’s downright difficult!

I rely on my trusty slowcooker on days I know will be especially crazy.

Here are 5 things I love about my slowcooker:

1. You can prep your family dinner ahead of time.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mum for some time now, and I’ve learnt that it’s wise to get dinner started while the kids are at school!

My youngest is almost 6 now, but she requires a lot of assistance and 1:1 supervision, so it’s really hard to do anything in the kitchen when she’s with me!

So the slowcooker has been a lifesaver on those days that you know all the kids are busy after school and won’t be able to help with their little sister while I cook.

Or if we are going to be out of the house most of the day, I can get our meal put together, throw it in the crockpot, and put it on low, and will have little fuss to get dinner on the table when we get home.

2. There is less mess and clean up.

Slowcooker meals tend to be stews, curries, chillis, chicken and veg dishes, and such, that go well with rice or vegetable noodles.

And sometimes they are a meal in itself, pairing well with some fresh bread or salad.

I find there are definitely less pots and pans used, and hence less clean up, when I’m using my slowcooker.

3. The meat is always so tender.

One thing we always find with using the crockpot is the meat is so tender! Cooking ‘low and slow’ does wonders for tenderizing your meat.

If you are vegetarian, the same is true for your vegetables and beans.

4. The flavours seem to intensify with time over a low heat.

Cooking a chilli, bolognese, korma all taste better in a slowcooker in my opinion.

The flavours have a chance to intensify and develop over time, at a low controlled heat. And best of all, no stirring required!

5. You can fall back on your tried and tested recipes.

I’ve started to keep an inventory of the slowcooker recipes my family enjoys.

It’s so handy having a list of tried and tested recipes that you can just pull out of your hat on one of those mornings.

I also love sharing my recipes with friends, and asking them what their favourite slowcooker meals are, too.

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