Can you smell it? Sweet apples and cinnamon combined with the savoury scent of roasted meat… It’s only mid morning and I’m already looking forward to dinner!
Pork is a pretty controversial meat and sometimes gets a bad rap. For some it is considered unclean because of religious prohibitions or unhealthy because of the what it eats and how it’s raised. On the other hand we have our bacon lovers and those who enjoy pork as “the other white meat”.
So religious convictions aside (with utmost respect), let’s briefly chat about the nutritional aspect. Pork has been a dietary staple in traditional cultures like the healthy and long-lived Okinawans and Caucasian Georgians, it has thousands of years of Asian, European, (and later, American) farming history, and is one of the oldest sources of domesticated meat, dating back to 5000 BCE.
So was pork unhealthy for all these traditional cultures?
Quite simply, no.
Pork is a great source of protein, Vitamin B12, iron and selenium, and a good source of Vitamin C, niacin, phosphorous and zinc – all important nutrients. But what about the fat (gasp)?! Lard is actually only 40% saturated fat, 10% polyunsaturated, and 50% monounsaturated fat – the same kind of fat found in olive oil! Besides, don’t we know by now that natural fats are not the enemy?
The more varied and natural the pig’s diet is (they are omnivores), the more time it spends in the sunshine, roaming it’s environment, the better nutritional profile the pork will have; that’s where the health debate comes in.
Pasture raised pork is far superior (nutritionally, environmentally, ethically) to factory farmed pork, and it’s becoming easier to find in our local communities – with just a little bit of effort in sourcing and getting to know your local farmers!
Just one side note before we jump into this delicious and simple recipe. Pork is one of the hardest proteins to digest so this recipe is for the slow cooker, which helps break down the meat fibers. If you have digestive issues, you may want to skip this recipe for now, or you can marinate it overnight before cooking to further tenderize it.
Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Pork Roast
- 3-4 lbs pork loin
- 4 apples, sliced
- 6 carrots, sliced
- 2 yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- Unrefined salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cut slits into the pork, about ¾ of the way through. Wedge half the apple slices into the slits
- Add remaining apple, carrots, and onion to the bottom of slow cooker. Lay the pork on top.
- Drizzle pork with honey and sprinkle cinnamon over everything.
- Cook loin on low for 6-8 hours.
- When cooked, slice pork and divide pork and vegetables onto plates. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
More Carbs: Serve with quinoa, sprouted brown rice, or roasted potatoes.
More Veggies: Add your choice of veggies to slow cooker, serve on a bed of wilted organic spinach, or add a side green salad.
Leftovers: Store in fridge for up to 4 days or freeze.
I hope you enjoy this fall favourite!
With love from my kitchen to yours,