Back to News & Resources
  • Eco Friendly
  • 09th May 2024

Cooking Smart: Energy-Saving Tips and an Easy Slow Cooker Recipe for Busy Families

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding time to prepare home-cooked meals can be a challenge. However, with a little planning and the right tools, it's possible to enjoy delicious homemade dishes while also saving energy. In this blog, we'll explore some energy-saving cooking tips and share a buzz-worthy slow cooker recipe perfect for busy families.

Energy-Saving Cooking Tips:

  1. Optimise appliance use: Consider using energy-efficient technology such as induction cooktops, microwaves, and slow cookers. These appliances use less energy compared to traditional ovens and stovetops.
  2. Explore energy-efficient cooking methods: Try energy-efficient food preparation methods like grilling, steaming, and low temperature cooking, which can reduce your electricity usage.
  3. Use Appropriate-sized cookware: Match the size of your cookware to the size of the heating element as using smaller pots and pans on smaller elements prevents energy waste. Try smaller appliances such as air fryers and slow cookers as there is a smaller volume to heat.
  4. Leverage residual heat: After turning off the heat source, use residual heat to finish cooking. For example, turn off the stove a few minutes before your dish is done, and let the retained heat finish the cooking process.
  5. Cover pots and pans: When boiling water or simmering dishes, cover pots and pans with lids to retain heat and reduce cooking time.
  6. Batch cooking: Cook large batches of food at once and freeze portions for later use. This reduces the need for frequent cooking sessions, saving both time and energy. Save even more by cooking these meals during off-peak energy time periods, or if you have a solar system, during your solar production period.

Plus! Save even more by using ingredients that are in season which can greatly enhance the flavour, freshness, and nutritional value of your meals, and they are usually less expensive as well. Some bee-autiful food in season this Autumn include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe: Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin (about 2 kg), peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk or heavy cream (optional, for added creaminess)
  • Fresh parsley or chives, chopped (for garnish)
  • Croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds (for garnish, optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place the cubed pumpkin, chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, and cubed potatoes into the slow cooker.
  2. Pour the vegetable or chicken broth over the vegetables until they are just covered. You may need to adjust the amount of broth depending on the size of your slow cooker.
  3. Add the ground cumin, ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Once the vegetables are cooked, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth, then return it to the slow cooker.
  6. If using coconut milk or heavy cream, stir it into the soup until well combined. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Allow the soup to heat through for another 15-30 minutes on low heat.
  8. Serve the pumpkin soup hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley or chives, and optionally topped with croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds for added texture.

This pumpkin soup is creamy, comforting, and perfect for chilly autumn evenings and super easy to prepare. By using a slow cooker, you can save time and energy while still enjoying a wholesome homemade meal with your family.

Incorporating these energy-saving cooking tips into your routine can help reduce your environmental footprint and lower your energy bills. So, get busy buzzing in the kitchen and cook up storm while saving energy along the way!

You may also like

Start your journey to renewable and clean energy today