Recipes: From Your Freezer to Your Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes on 100 Days of Real FoodA couple months ago I shared a fellow blogger’s From Your Freezer To Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes eCookbookand I am not going to lie…many of you went a little crazy over this book! In reality, the concept behind this e-cookbook is a great idea. You spend one afternoon chopping, assembling and freezing “meal packs,” and then on any given day you pop one into your slow cooker and voila! – dinner is done.

Many of you had questions about how this method of cooking works exactly, so today I invited the author, Stephanie, to share all of the details with us so you can create your own “Freezer to Slow Cooker” recipes at home. Or better yet you could just pick up a copy of her book* if you’d rather someone else do all the work for you!


Guest post by Stephanie Brandt Cornais

Hiya! My name is Stephanie and I am the Founder of MamaAndBabyLove.com. I am dedicated to helping women heal, nourish and love themselves so they can nourish and love their families and live their best life.

I have been on a personal journey to learn how to be healthy and cook for over ten years now, and it’s been a loooong and arduous process. I used to watch The Food Network and get inspired to get off the couch and try a recipe, but the end result was usually something my dog wouldn’t even eat. Then about six years ago I bought a slow cooker and it changed. my. life.

Later when my daughter was born, time was of the essence so I therefore needed a really efficient way to make lots of slow cooker meals at one time. So I combined my old love of slow cooking and my new love of freezer cooking into something that was incredibly time saving, manageable and most importantly, healthy.

In about 2 hours or less, I chop all my meat and vegetables and put them in Ziploc freezer bags. Then I add my spice combinations and mix it up a bit. I get all the air out of the bag and lay it flat like a brick so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my freezer. Then the morning I want a home cooked, healthy meal, I take a bag out of my freezer and dump it into my slow cooker, totally frozen. By dinner time I have a real, healthy and nourishing meal awaiting my family and me.

Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes on 100 Days of Real Food

This way of cooking solved my problem of scrambling in the early evening to figure out what healthy, homemade meal I would serve my family. It frees up time so that I can enjoy my afternoons and evenings with my family. So instead of muttering to myself in the kitchen with resentment coming out of my ears, I am chilling with my family, most likely with a glass of red wine in hand and giving myself a little pat on the back – because the made from scratch meal I just put on the table took hardly any effort at all.

Here are some of my favorite slow cooker freezer recipes. You can find many more in my cookbook, From Your Freezer To Your Family.

 

3.2 from 6 reviews
Ginger Cranberry Pork Roast
Serves: about 6 per bag
 
Guest recipe by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
*Note this recipe makes two complete meals/bags
Ingredients
  • 2 pork roasts, left whole
  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries or 2 jars (cans have BPA in them) of whole cranberries
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced (or minced) fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rapadura sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons of quick cooking tapioca (or some other thickening agent like whole-wheat flour or arrowroot powder)

Instructions
  1. Label 2 one-gallon freezer bags.
  2. After chopping, evenly divide all ingredients into the two bags and lay flat in the freezer.
  3. Day of cooking: Pull one bag from the freezer and lay it on the counter for several minutes to slightly thaw. Peel away the bag, dump the contents into your slow cooker along with ½ cup of filtered water, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until fully cooked.

    Remember each slow cooker is different, so the first time you make a recipe, really watch it closely so you don’t over or under cook the dish.
  4. Serve with broccoli sautéed in butter. I cook frozen broccoli this way - no need to thaw, just dump frozen broccoli into a hot pan with hot butter and it is delicious.

 
3.2 from 6 reviews
Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
Serves: about 6 per bag
 
Guest recipe by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
*Note this recipe makes two complete meals/bags
Ingredients
  • 3 medium unpeeled sweet potatoes cut into ½ inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large green peppers cut into strips or cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large red pepper cut into strips or cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 zucchini chopped into circles 1 inch thick (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca (or some other thickening agent like whole-wheat flour or arrowroot powder)
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks (kept whole)
  • 2 - 15oz jars of plain tomato sauce (cans will work but may be lined with BPA)
  • 4 tablespoons rapadura sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Label 2 one-gallon freezer bags.
  2. After chopping, divide everything into the two bags. Shake them up, seal, and lay flat in the freezer.
  3. Day of cooking: Pull one bag from the freezer and lay it on the counter for several minutes to slightly thaw. Peel away the bag, dump the contents into your slow cooker, and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low 6-8 hours, depending on your specific slow cooker.
  4. Serve with a salad and a grain like brown rice (if you eat grains).

 
3.2 from 6 reviews
Orange Beef Stew
Serves: about 6 per bag
 
Guest recipe by Stephanie Brandt Cornais
*Note this recipe makes two complete meals/bags
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (I scrub them good, but leave the skins on)
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 2 cups of orange juice (fresh juice is best, organic pasteurized juice is fine too)
  • 1 tablespoon of rapadura sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (or whole-wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh is best, but not having to cut up garlic is so nice!)
  • 3 to 4 pounds of chuck roast (or any other kind of roast), chopped into cubes or two pieces
  • 2 cups of beef broth (I use homemade stock)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Label 2 one-gallon freezer bags.
  2. After chopping, divide everything evenly into the two bags. Shake them up, seal, and lay flat in the freezer.
  3. Day of cooking: Pull one bag from the freezer and lay it on the counter for several minutes to slightly thaw. Peel away the bag and dump the contents into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  4. Serve with fresh salad and homemade sourdough bread, if you have it.

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about this cooking method. My cookbook further answers any questions you would need to know about how to get started and how the assembly process works. I also have a FAQ page and sometimes host a free Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes Webinar where you can learn all about my tried and true tips and secrets and have an opportunity to ask me your questions directly. I am also really good about answering all questions on the blog or the M+BL Facebook page, so if you ever need help, just shoot me a question and I am happy to answer!

Stephanie Brandt CornaisStephanie Brandt Cornais is the Founder and Creative Director of Mama and Baby Love, a real food, natural parenting and lifestyle blog. She is the author of From Your Freezer To Your Family, Slow Cooker Freezer RecipesThe Mama and Baby Love Guide to a Conscious Childbearing Year and Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Baking-A Healthy Baking Cookbook for Mama’s Who Don’t Know How To Bake.  You can also find her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

*Stephanie’s book is no longer for sale, but not to worry – this is another favorite e-book of ours featuring real food slow cooker recipes.

 

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  • Comments

    1. Lorena |

      I’ve read that you’re not supposed to put any kind of potatoes in the fridge or freezer because it turns the starch into sugar… Is this correct?

      • MO |

        Hi my husband is also not a sweet potato person.
        At our local market when we get a potato sale, I actually bake half of the potatoes on a Sunday and use them two or three nights during that week. Store them after they cool and put a paper towel lightly on top when they are stored in the fridge.

    2. Cheri |

      I LOVE this concept! From all of these ideas, I’m going to need a bigger freezer.

    3. Crystal |

      I bought the cookbook a while back and I’ve tried 3 recipes out of it. The beef stew was soooo good and different! The second time I made it I took the cloves out, but if I think next time I’d actually tie the cloves and coriander up in some cheesecloth or something so the taste still comes through into the broth.

    4. CJ |

      We tried the Orange Beef Stew…My family didn’t like it and neither did I. The taste was all wrong, and the liquid was soupy…not impressed at all. I feel as though I just wasted some perfectly good ingredients on an absolute culinary mess!

    5. April |

      The Ginger Cranberry Pork definitely did not come out looking anything like the picture. I had no sauce to put on top. I used fresh cranberries like it said. What did I do wrong? The cranberries were still whole floating around.

      • |

        Hey April, Sorry to hear that, sometimes there is a learning curve with a slow cooker recipes. Slow cookers are all so different in the way they cook, some cook fast on low, some cook higher on high, etc. So really take the time to get to know your slow cooker settings.
        Next time, just give the cranberries a really good stir/mash about the last hour or half hour.
        Or take a look a the thickening agent you used and make sure that got really mixed in well. Sometimes it can get stuck to the side of the bag and not actually into the slow cooker, so be sure to scrap all the little bits of seasoning and thickner into the slow cooker. My cookbook goes over in mucho detail all kinds of little details like this as well as includes an audio class going over similar questions, so that your recipes come out perfectly each time!

    6. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

      Hi April. This was a guest post and I’ve not tried this recipe. Hop over to: http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/ and let her know your question. Best of luck. ~Amy

    7. KF |

      Just made the Ginger Cranberry Pork exactly as the recipe stated. I agree with April- It did not come out well at all. The ‘sauce” was gingery water with whole cranberries bobbing around in it. Disappointing- It sounds so good- but I will still be open to trying other recipes. I love the concept of assemble-ahead meals.

      • |

        Hey KF, this is what I just replied to April, but wanted you to see it too. Sorry to hear that, sometimes there is a learning curve with a slow cooker recipes. Slow cookers are all so different in the way they cook, some cook fast on low, some cook higher on high, etc. So really take the time to get to know your slow cooker settings.
        Next time, just give the cranberries a really good stir/mash about the last hour or half hour.
        Or take a look a the thickening agent you used and make sure that got really mixed in well. Sometimes it can get stuck to the side of the bag and not actually into the slow cooker, so be sure to scrap all the little bits of seasoning and thickner into the slow cooker. My cookbook goes over this in mucho detail, all kinds of little tips and tricks like this, as well as includes an audio class going over similar questions, so that your recipes come out perfectly each time!

    8. |

      Love your ideas about freezing foods and Mama BBQ Chicken idea!! This will be a BIG help on those nights when we are rushing home after kids practices and still have homework, dinner and baths to complete before bed!! Great meal ideas! Thank you, Cindra

      • |

        You are so welcome Cindra! They really are a lifesavor and I don’t know what I would do without them! Even after all these years, I love my slow cooker and my slow cooker freezer recipes for how much saner and calmer my life is! And healthier! It makes it so much easier to eat healthy, on the nights I am totally exhausted and wiped out. Lots of love to you!

    9. Michelle |

      I tried the cranberry ginger dish as well and it turned out the same as the previous comments. Taste of the pork was good though but no sauce. For the leftovers I put the “sauce” mixture in a sauce pan and added a little extra maple syrup and took out the ginger. I allowed it to simmer until it became a sauce. Then I heated up the leftover pork and served on top. It was great. The added step isn’t huge as long as you are expecting it. ;)

      • |

        Hey Michelle, thanks for sharing. I share a similar tip in my cookbook and accompaning audio class, about to adjust sauce to your families liking (some people are actually the opposite and like a thinner, more liquid sauce, because they are fans of drinking bone broth daily for good health) and spooning out the sauce to reduce it on the stove top is a great trick. Lots of love to you!

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