Caramelized onions are a low-calorie way to add flavor and richness to many foods. They traditionally require considerable fussing on the stove top. Not too long ago, our local newspaper had an article explaining this method for caramelizing onions in a Crock Pot, and I had to try it. Couldn't be easier. Seriously. You slice a bunch of onions, add them to a slow cooker, drizzle on a little olive oil, put the lid on, and let them do their thing. Forget about them for 12 hours, and when you lift the lid, you'll be amazed. The sugars in the onions brown (caramelize) during the slow cooking process, and they are ready to eat without any additional preparation. The flavor and texture are some kinda wonderful.
Ways to use caramelized onions. I'll be sharing some recipes soon, but here are quick and easy ways to jazz up foods with caramelized onions.
as a pizza topping (mushrooms and caramelized onions are a perfect pairing)
in an omelet
on a burger
in a grilled panini or hot sandwich
on a baked potato
as a topping for grilled or broiled meat
stirred into mashed potatoes
mixed into sauteed greens
tossed with pasta
as an appetizer topping (a cracker spread with soft cheese, topped with caramelized onions)
Nutritional information. These are a low-calorie way to add a big flavor boost to your food. For 1/4 cup serving: 28 calories, 1.6g fat, 3.4g carbs, .6g fiber, 1.6g sugar, .4g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 1
Step-by-step photos for making Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
Step 2. Cut off the two ends (poles) of the onions; cut them in half through the poles; remove the skins. Then half the two pieces again through the poles. Cut in quarter inch slices. (The slicing attachment of a food processor can also be used.)
Step 3. Add the sliced onions to a slow cooker, drizzle on the olive oil, give it a toss, and put on the lid.
Step 4. Cook on high for approx. 12-14 hours. Look through the lid after 10 hours, and stir them if they are burning around the edges. Don't lift the lid more than is necessary; each time you lift it, the cooking time required increases by a 1/2 hour. Slow cooker temps can vary and some cook more evenly than others, so keep an eye on your onions and cook them until they are the desired color.
You will enjoy an amazing aroma while these are cooking. Ahhhhhhhhh.
Once your onions are caramelized, you can eat them right away or save them for later.
Refrigerate or freeze. I like this Crock Pot method because it makes a big batch that I can freeze in small portions for use in future recipes. They're great to have on hand to add some quick pizzazz to many meals. I use small 4 oz. (1/2 cup) mason jars and ziploc freezer bags for freezing mine. I also keep the onion broth that remains in the bottom of the slow cooker. It has amazing flavor that is great to add to soups, sauces, and gravies.
Most often, I add these caramelized onions to sandwiches and burgers to take them to the next level.
Make it a Yummy day! Monica
Caramelized Onions in a Slow Cooker
Servings: 4 1/2 cups
6 large yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cut the peeled onions in halves and then quarters from pole to pole. Cut each quarter, pole to pole, in 1/4 inch slices. Coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Add sliced onions and olive oil to slow cooker; toss with tongs or 2 forks to separate slices and distribute olive oil. Cover and cook on high for approx. 12-14 hours, until browned to desired color. Keep an eye on them during the last few hours of cooking time; if they begin to burn around the edges, stir, recover, and continue cooking until caramelized throughout.
Cooked onions may be eaten right way or frozen in small portions for future use.
Suggestions uses for caramelized onions: --as a pizza topping (mushrooms and --caramelized onions are a perfect pairing) --in an omelette --on a burger, in a grilled panini or hot sandwich --on a baked potato --as a topping for grilled or broiled meat --stirred into mashed potatoes --mixed into sauteed greens --tossed with pasta --as an appetizer topping (a cracker spreadwith soft cheese, topped with caramelized onions) --stirred into dips --stirred into soups
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