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Slow and Sweet

Nourish your new mama self with these 3 slow cooker specialties from Petit Organics founder Michelle Marinis.

Slow and Sweet

There is something incredibly wholesome and healthy about feeding your family with homemade soups, stews and oatmeal. The idea of tossing a handful of ingredients into your slow cooker and a few hours later you have a restaurant-quality meal is just… well, awesome! Especially when there’s a new baby in the picture. Slow cookers should become the new “it” item on baby registries. These bad boys can save you an incredible amount of time when your new bundle of joy arrives. Completing a task as simple as taking a shower will become a major success during those first few weeks. Anything you can do to simplify your life is a welcome strategy. So be sure to buy a slow-cooker if you don’t already have one -- maybe it’s still in the box from your wedding registry? Time to bring it out! TOP FIVE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES: 1. High vs. Low: Remember that one hour on the high setting is the equivalent to two hours on the low setting. A benefit to using the low setting is that the food can cook a little longer than the recipe advises without the risk of being overcooked. 2. Layer in order: Unless the recipe specifies otherwise, you should always layer the ingredients in the order they are given – no need to stir! 3. No extra liquid: Pour liquids (water, stock, etc.) over vegetables and meats, and only use the liquids specified in the recipe with roasts and stews. Extra juices cook out of the ingredients, and less evaporation occurs than in traditional cooking methods. 4. No peeking! It might be challenging, but don’t open the slow cooker before the cooking time is complete. It takes 20-30 minutes for the heat to build back up to the previous temperature each and every time you remove the lid. Now that we have covered the basics, I will share my three favorite slow cooker recipes. Just give yourself 15-20 minutes of prep time, and 4-8 hours later you have a delicious, flavorful meal to feed your entire family. Can’t beat that! TORTILLA SOUP (pictured above) Ingredients: · 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (optional – this recipe is vegetarian without the chicken) · 6 Roma tomatoes, skin on and quartered · 4 tomatillos, leaves/stems removed and diced · 1 medium onion, chopped · 1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced · 2 cloves garlic, minced · 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced · 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced · 1 teaspoon cumin · 1 teaspoon chili powder · 1 teaspoon salt · ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (about 5-6 turns) · 1 bay leaf · 2 cups black beans (or one can, drained and rinsed) · 1 ½ cups corn kernels (or one bag frozen kernels) · 2 cups water · 2 cups (or one container) low-sodium vegetable broth · 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional) · 7 non-GMO corn tortillas · Extra-virgin olive oil Preparation: Place the first 18 ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours). 30 minutes prior to serving, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Cut the tortillas into strips and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp (approximately 10-15 minutes). Spoon servings of soup into individual bowls, sprinkle chips on top and serve. PUMPKIN & BLACK BEAN CHILI Ingredients: · 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil · 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced · 1 clove garlic, minced · 1 medium sweet onion, diced · 3 cups black beans (or two cans), rinsed and drained · 1 sugar pumpkin, rinsed, stem removed and cut into 1” cubes · 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced · 3 cups vegetable broth (or water) · 2 teaspoons fresh parsley · 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder · 2 teaspoons cumin · 1 teaspoon dried oregano (be sure to roll it in your hand to release the oils) · ½ teaspoon salt · 3 grinds freshly cracked black pepper · Cubed avocado (optional) Preparation: Place the first 14 ingredients into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour, then drop the temperature to low and cook 5-6 hours. Spoon into individual bowls and top with avocado (if desired) and serve. OVERNIGHT OATMEAL Ingredients: · 1 teaspoon coconut oil · 8 ½ cups water · 2 cups steel-cut oats · 1 ¾ cups unsweetened coconut milk · ¼ cup coconut sugar · ½ teaspoon sea salt · 1 teaspoon vanilla extract · Optional toppings: Banana, berries, nuts, coconut flakes, chia seeds, maple syrup, etc Preparation: Coat the inside of the slow cooker with the coconut oil. Add the water, oats, coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat until the oats are cooked through and creamy (approximately 7-8 hours). Stir in the vanilla and spoon into individual serving bowls. Add any desired toppings and serve warm. Bon appetit to you and your bébés!

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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