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Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Meals to Welcome the Summer

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There's no better way to welcome the warm weather and sunshine than with the savory smell of a slow cooked meal. There are dozens of light recipes perfect for a little porch relaxation. Here are just a few favorites you have to try. Grab your Crock-Pot® Manual Slow Cooker and get to it!

Hot Fruit Salad
Save the watermelon and grapes for another time. This fruit salad makes good use of all those other juicy fruits you're used to seeing in a cobbler and gives them a little added flavor with some slow simmering. 

Use fresh fruit to really give your hot fruit salad some flavor.Use fresh fruit to really give your hot fruit salad some flavor.

Hot fruit salad is a breeze to make. Just think of the ingredients that normally work well in pastries and go from there. All you need is a little butter, sugar and nutmeg to give the dish some more consistency. Here are a few fruits you should try tossing in the slow cooker for a midday meal:

  • Raspberries
  • Cranberries
  • Chopped apples or chunky applesauce 
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Tangerines
  • Cherries or cherry filling
  • Pineapple wedges.

Remember, the fresh stuff you've chopped yourself makes the best ingredients. However, canned fruits can work well in a pinch.

Seafood Spicy Sausage Gumbo
Nothing says the summer is here quite like a little shrimp in your gumbo. This one is a crowd pleaser, so make sure you prepare enough for the people getting seconds.

Heaven is a bowl of slow cooked shrimp.Heaven is a bowl of slow cooked shrimp.

Aside from flour, broth, protein, celery, onion and bell peppers, gumbo is a flexible dish you can get a little creative with, so feel free to add some new veggies and seasonings. It never hurts to do a little experimenting in the kitchen. Look for Cajun seasoning and add a little thyme and salt for flavor. Here are a few more suggestions for added substance:

  • Cubed boneless chicken 
  • Peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Bell peppers (any color will do)
  • Shallots
  • Celery
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Zucchini 
  • Onion (white or green)
  • Chives
  • Okra.

Before adding everything in the slow cooker, you'll want to brown your flour in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Then, it can be added straight to the slow cooker and whisked with your broth. Slice and cook the sausages through on the stovetop while you're at it.

Toss everything else into the slow cooker, set to high and you'll have a tasty meal in five hours time. 



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