Being more energy-efficient at home can be as easy as swapping out the appliance you’re cooking with. Slow cookers, for example, can be an energy-efficient option – they use just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb, according to The Centre for Sustainable Energy (, whereas the estimated average electricity usage of an electric oven is between 2-2.2kWh.

With fall officially among us and all of the season’s wonderful ingredients to choose from, cooking with a crockpot is no sacrifice. In addition to being an energy-efficient way of preparing food, other reasons to cook with a slow cooker include:

  1. Slow cookers only cost around $30-$100
  2. Preparing a meal in a slow cooker is easy –  simply layer your food into the pot and set the timer
  3. Cleanup is easy
  4. Because they allow you to cook hands-free, slow cookers save you time
  5. Slow cooked meals tend to be quite healthy because they rarely call for added oils since they use water and time to cook the food

To help you get the most out of your slow cooker, we’ve investigated the web to find the easiest healthy fall crockpot recipes. An added benefit is that all of these are meat-free so you can rest assured that in addition to saving energy, you’re also reducing your food footprint.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili – Recipe adapted from


  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 23 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans (start with 1.5 c dry beans, soak overnight)
  • 1 cup of corn, frozen and thawed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth


  1. If using cooked beans, soak 1.5 cups kidney beans overnight, rinse and pre-cook while preparing the rest of the chili
  2. Roast the corn until most pieces have a dark/charred corner
  3. Combine all ingredients in the base of your slow cooker and stir to mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup – Recipe adapted from


  • 16 oz dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place dried split peas, potatoes, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in vegetable broth. Stir in bay leaf and parsley. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed

Crockpot Red Lentil Chickpea Squash Soup (This recipe is adapted from


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 5 butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Combine the chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a crockpot
  2. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down 6 to 8 hours
  3. Stir in lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts and parsley/ cilantro

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup (adapted from


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried celery flakes, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Pepitas, optional


  1. Combine all ingredients except for pepitas. Cook, covered, on low until potatoes are tender, 5-6 hours.
  2. Puree soup using an immersion blender. Or, cool slightly and puree soup in batches in a blender; return to slow cooker and heat through. If desired, top servings with sour cream and pepitas. Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.

In addition to cutting your energy costs for cooking, preparing meals in a crockpot doesn’t require you to spend much time in the kitchen, so it also allows you to prepare healthy, delicious home-cooked meals without much time and energy.

There are many other ways to save energy in the kitchen including:

  1. Keeping your refrigerator door closed! Know exactly what it is that you’re going to get before you open the door
  2. If you use a dishwasher, skip the drying cycle and let the hot dishes air-dry by opening the door
  3. Chopping your vegetables into smaller pieces when boiling them to reduce cooking time
  4. Defrosting your freezer and keeping it stocked
  5. Allowing food to cool completely before putting it into the fridge or freezer

Saving energy is just one aspect of reducing your environmental impact and living a more sustainable lifestyle. Another great way to lessen your footprint is by choosing an energy supplier that supports renewable energy, such as Kiwi Energy.

Kiwi Energy uses a combination of carbon offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to allow you select from a variety of efficient and sustainable energy and natural gas plans that compensate for the environmental impact of your energy use. Click here to learn more about our innovative products.