Archive for November, 2012

Fresh Solar Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

With Thanksgiving  just around the bend, it’s time to get out your solar oven and do a little baking. Why not start with a delicious treat that young and old enjoy…peanut butter cookies? Here’s our family recipe that we’ve used for decades. In the solar oven, it’ll most likely take about 1 1/2 hours to bake them. Of course, this depends on how high a temperature you achieve and how strong the sunshine is in your neck of the woods.

The day we tried this, the temperature was 26 degrees when we set out the oven at 9:30am and 43 degrees when we brought it in at 11:10am. Our solar oven’s temperature peaked at around 242 degrees.

Hot from the Solar Oven, Peanut Butter Cookies

We didn’t add any raisins, nuts or Hersey kisses, nor did we fancily flatten them with a fork or glass. You can try that. The main thing is, they came out delicious! This is really simple to make.

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter (we used creamy)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

 

Directions:

Simply mix everything in a bowl, then scoop out with a tablespoon  or your hands and form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and set in your preheated solar oven. You should yield at least a dozen cookies. If your solar oven is preheated to at least 150 degrees, it should take less than 2 hours to have this delicious batch of cookies ready to serve. Oh, yes, you should let them cool a little after removing from the oven.

Happy Munching!

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November 19, 2012 12:59 am

A number of commercial solar ovens are now available on the market. Some cost more, some do more, but one of the best all around dependable, economical models is the SOS Solar Sport. It is manufactured here in the USA and uses mostly recycled materials.

SOS Sport in action

It only weighs about 10lbs, so it’s easy to transport wherever you’re headed.

Picnics, the Beach, Solar Cooking means Fun!

 

Use it to bake, boil or steam your favorite foods and to prepare a variety of delicious dishes.

Arroz con Pollo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Load 2, 3 qt pots in the Sport

The oven chamber holds 2, 3 quart pots. That’s large enough to make lots of food for guests, or your big family.

 

 

 

 

With its simple, well-insulated design, you can use the Sport throughout the year. It sets at either a 30 or 60 degree angle so that you can take advantage of the different sun angles year-round. Like in Summer, without reflectors…

Summer solar cooking without reflector

Or, early Spring….with reflectors

Early March, the SOS Sport is cooking!

Yes, you can set your solar oven and cook in the snow (not while it’s falling, of course!). Autumn is as great a time as any to break out the solar oven. Just  use the sun’s free energy and make a delicious meal.

Fall solar cooking

Solar cooking using the Sport is so easy, you can youngest to oldest join in this new way to cook food without open fires or fossil fuels.

Even Jr. “Preppers” can use the Sport

 

So, get out your Sport, and start creating some nutritious and delicious meals with it.

Black Bean Soup

 

Happy Sunshine makes good Solar Cooked Food

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November 15, 2012 1:06 am

On these cool November days, a great bowl of hot, delicious and nutritious soup is usually welcome for lunch or dinner.

Here’s a great sweet potato soup recipe that has wonderful results in the Solar Oven.

Sweet Potato Soup Made by Sunshine

Hot, hearty & healthy sweet potato soup

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped

4 to 5 lbs of large or medium size sweet potatoes, unpeeled and quartered

1 cup of celery stalks, chopped

5 cups of chicken broth

3 cups of carrots, chopped

2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

“dash” (or 2) of red or cayenne pepper (black if you prefer)

1/2 tsp of marjoram

1/2 tsp of oregano

1/2 tsp of thyme

“dash” of salt, per your taste preference

Directions:

Before solar cooking, prepare sweet potatoes by immersing them in water and slow boil on stove top until soft. Drain them and, after letting them cool, peel off skin. For this recipe, we divided the ingredients between our 3 qt pots that fit nicely into the solar oven. In one pot, saute the carrots, onions & celery with the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Split contents into the other pot, and then add half of the sweet potatoes and broth to each pot.

Sweet Potato Soup Made by Sunshine

Be sure your solar oven is preheated to at least 160 degrees. Place pots in the solar oven and let it boil for at least 1 hour. At that time, open the oven and stir in the spices. If the soup appears to thick, you may add a little water, but this is typically unnecessary. Let it boil for at least another 1 1/2 to 2 hours before removing from the oven. This recipe makes about 12, 1 cup servings.

It’s a comforting vegetable soup to enjoy at this time of year.

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November 13, 2012 12:24 am

Using your solar oven in Autumn can sometimes be challenging. With falling leaves and the sharper angle of the sun, keeping the cover clear can be difficult.

Of course, location has a lot to do with this. For example, if you have a large, treeless field nearby at your disposal, setting the oven out in strong sunshine may not be a much different solar cooking experience for you. However, if you’re like us and your backyard has an enormous maple tree, the lots’ edge has a tall oak and a treeline of blue spruce, you might find yourself and your solar oven trying to dodge long-shadows and falling leaves. Also, if you have a nearby two story house, as we do (on all sides actually), its shadow may play into the entire solar cooker re-positioning  needs.

But, with careful observation, it is still usually possible to cook a great meal in your sun oven on a day like this. You may have to refocus the oven a few times, and possibly relocate it a few feet or yards away.

If you are using reflectors on the oven, another challenge is to try and locate it away from a windy area (e.g. next to our forsythias).

Overcoming these factors is usually possible, but, of course, the essential ingredient is still required; a bright sun that is responsible for supplying the free energy input to your

Final move for SOS Sport in shadowed yard

solar cooker.

Leaf Rakes, Shadows and Solar Cooking from John Test on Vimeo.

So, have fun solar cooking and stay out of the shadows!

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November 8, 2012 12:47 pm