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    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken BBQ {Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}

    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken BBQ

    We don’t think of it as medicinal food, but barbecue can be good for the body, especially if you use grass-raised organic meat, a healthful sauce, and lots of antioxidant-rich spices!

    I make this slow cooker barbecue recipe 2-3 times every month. It’s really easy, and so good. This recipe is great for potlucks, picnics, a family dinner, or a big party at home!


    Slow Cooker Love

    Slow cookers are great! I wish slow cookers could be a part of every healthy kitchen. A few reasons that I love them are:

    • Cooking Ease: Slow cookers really do make dinner so much easier. I can’t imagine life without mine now that I have a baby to watch all day! Especially if you choose a “measure and dump” recipe. (I’m not really into the recipes where you have to do some sautéing on the stove, and baking in the oven, before putting everything into the slow cooker.)
    • Time Saver: You can make a big pot and freeze portions for leftovers on days when you won’t have time to prepare dinner.
    • No-Brainer Routine: If you want to start using your slow cooker more, try one new recipe each week until you find a handful that you like. Once you find those, you can rotate between them every week. That’s when cooking really gets easy – once you feel comfortable with what you’re making!
    • Healthier Method: Cooking “low and slow” in an airtight container helps to prevent the formation of carcinogenic compounds including lipid oxidation products (LOPs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These are the carcinogens that are formed when certain types of meat is grilled (or otherwise cooked) at high temperatures.


    Lead In Slow Cookers?

    A common concern these days is about lead in the glaze of slow cooker pot inserts! It is a valid concern, but there are solutions – see below.

    “Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health [and neurological] problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal…

    Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don”t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.” Mayo Clinic

    Please don’t get too worried or stop using your slow cooker.

    First of all, you can test your pot for lead with test “pens” that detect lead on the insert pot surface. You can even heat up the crock pot on the “warm” setting and test your insert pot while it’s warm to get a more accurate reading. You can use these test pens on almost any surface in your house. 

    If you don’t have a slow cooker yet (or you found lead in yours!) and you are in the market for a new one, here is a quick list of brands that do not contain lead…

    Lead-Free Slow Cookers

    360 Cookware Gourmet Slow Cooker
    Instant Pot Multi-Use Slow Cooker
    Vitaclay Smart Organic Clay Multi Crocks ‘N Stock Pot

    For a very thorough explanation and more information on lead in slow cookers, take a look at this great post over on Deep Roots at Home.


    Spices As Medicine

    I’ve included a bunch of healing spices and herbs into this recipe. Here are a few of them:

    Cayenne: Cayenne pepper is known for its anti inflammatory effects and high antioxidants levels. It is also an effective antimicrobial and anti parasitic. This spice is also effective to stimulate circulation and drain congested nasal passages, among many other benefits!
    Herb Mix: Italian Herb seasoning, which I’ve recommended in this recipe, contains basil, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram and rosemary. That’s a long list of immune-supportive herbs! Each of these herbs has its own health benefits, of course. They all also contain antioxidants to support overall health and disease prevention. 
    Turmeric: This medicinal root is known for its anti inflammatory properties, warming effect on the body, and its support with digestion. Some studies have shown it can reduce pain in arthritic joints and provide anti carcinogenic effects. Dr. Weil has listed a whole bunch of other benefits on his site here.


    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken BBQ

    12 oz Organic BBQ Sauce *
    2 lbs. Organic Chicken (breasts or thighs are best for this recipe)

    Optional Ingredients:
    1 Tbs. Italian Herb Mix
    ½ tsp. Himalayan or Sea Salt
    1 tsp. Smoked Paprika (omit for AIP or nightshade-free)
    1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
    Dash of Cayenne (omit for AIP or nightshade-free)
    1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
    3 Tbs. Olive Oil
    3 Tbs. Honey or Maple Syrup

    1. Combine all ingredients except the chicken into the slow cooker pot (even the optional ingredients if you are using them). 2. Mix well to combine.
    3. Put the chicken into the pot on top of the sauce, and turn the chicken pieces to coat with sauce
    4. Let cook on low for 4-6 hours, until the meat comes apart easily when shredded with two forks. If you cook on high, only cook for about 3 hours, then check for doneness.
    5. Turn heat off or to the “stay warm” setting. Shred apart all of the chicken and allow to marinate in the juices for about ten minutes. Serve on a baked sweet potato, or bread of your choice.

    * Here are some healthier BBQ Sauce options that I’ve found. These are just a few options to get you started on your search! has an enormous selection of BBQ sauces surprisingly:

    Naturally Sweetened Organic BBQ Sauce
    Paleo Chef Peach BBQ Sauce (Not Organic)
    Paleo & SCD Honey Sweetened BBQ Sauce (Not Organic)

    I hope you enjoy the recipe! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

    Keep taking back your health,

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    Take Back Your Health with Robin Shirley