Clams are high in iron, a mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout your body.
nonstick cooking spray
4 slices low-sodium bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce cans clams, drained
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups clam juice
3 cups fat-free milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place bacon on foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes. Place bacon on paper towels to drain. Set aside.
Place butter in skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. (Vegetables will not be cooked through.) Remove skillet from heat and stir in thyme and black pepper. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add drained clams, vegetable broth and clam juice to slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
When 30 minutes of cooking time remain, add 2 1/2 cups of milk to slow cooker. Stir.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch. Add to slow cooker. Stir well and continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until mixture reaches at least 165 F.