Calgary Herald

SLOW COOKER HACKS

Think all your slow cooker is good for is cranking out pots of chili? Think again! This versatile kitchen workhorse can be put to use for all manner of things. Alison Ladman offers these suggestion­s.

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COCONUT RICE PUDDING

Combine a 15-ounce (444 mL) can coconut milk with 2 cups (500 mL) water 1/ 2 cup (125 mL) light brown sugar 1/ 2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) nutmeg A pinch of salt 1 cup (250 mL) short-grain white rice

1. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

HOT CHOCOLATE

Combine 1/ 2 gallon (2.25 L) whole milk 2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream 12 ounces (340 g) each of milk chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips Vanilla bean, split and scraped.

1. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 to 2 hours, stirring once or twice to mix the melted chocolate thoroughly with the milk and cream.

OATMEAL

Combine 2 cups (500 mL) water 2 cups (500 mL) milk 1 cup (250 mL) steel-cut oats Pinch of salt

1. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours 2. Add fruit, spices, brown sugar or maple syrup as desired.

COBBLER

Combine 2 pounds (907 g) frozen peaches or mangoes 1/3 cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cinnamon 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground ginger 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cornstarch Pinch of salt Top with canned or homemade biscuit dough

1. Cook for 2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 6 hours on low.

FRUIT SAUCE

Combine 3 pounds (1.4 kg) of cored and sliced apples (or other fruit) 1/ 2 cup (125 mL) matching fruit juice Pinch of salt 2 tablespoon­s (30 mL) butter.

1. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.

2. Purée or process with a blender, immersion blender or food processor to your desired level of smoothness.

3. Optionally, stir in 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) nutmeg or 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla extract or cognac.

4. Serve over pancakes, waffles, ice cream or oatmeal.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SNACK MIX

Combine 4 cups (1 L) Corn Chex cereal 4 cups (1 L) Cheerios 2 cups (500 mL) miniature pretzels 2 cups (500 mL) peanuts 12 ounces (340g) semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup (250 mL) smooth peanut butter.

1. Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring 1 to 2 times per hour.

2. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 ?? MATTHEW MEAD/ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Peach Cobbler cooked in the slow cooker.
MATTHEW MEAD/ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Peach Cobbler cooked in the slow cooker.

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