Solar Cooking 101

Solar Cooking 101

Solar Cooking 101Can you really use the sun to cook your food?  Absolutely!!

There are SO many incredible benefits to harnessing the sun to cook your food.  Being that our home is 100% solar powered, it only seemed fitting to utilize our free resource to do our cooking and baking as well.  Believe it or not, but you can cook and bake everything you can make in a conventional oven in your Sun Oven with the exception of fried foods.

I spent a good portion of last year doing a solar cooking series here on our website and also on our YouTube channel.  I also was asked to share my knowledge in an Outdoor Cooking Class at Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS.

Pros:

  • When using the sun to cook our food, we are using a free, renewable energy source.
  • Solar cooking is sustainable and betters the environment.
  • It has all the benefits of a slow cooker meal, without the need for electricity!
  • My family and I are able to work hard all day and then relax with a delicious meal just waiting for us.
  • It is simple, easy, and achieves tremendously flavorful meals.

Cons:

There aren’t any… 🙂  As long as you can see your shadow, you can cook or bake in the Sun Oven….

I’d like to share with you the Sun Oven, the convenience of this product as well as how it works and important tips and tricks.

The Sun Oven is made in the USA and is lightweight and extremely easy to transport with the built in handle.

Setup is super simple:

  1. Place your alignment leg in the back of your oven and snap it in place using the middle hole on the back of your oven.  Your Sun Oven will come with stakes that can be inserted down into the holes in the bottom of the alignment let to make your oven wind resistant.  We built our solar kitchen out of repurposed skids and I have utilized paracord to secure the alignment leg to the table.
  2. Next unsnap the strap that holds the reflectors in place, life and unfold the reflectors and use the thumbscrew in the front of the unit to secure the reflectors by inserting the thumb screw into the reflectors and turning it one-quarter turn to hold the reflectors in place.
  3. Locate the white EZ-Sun Track indicators attached to the bottom corners of the glass door.  You will want to point the front of your Sun Oven towards the sun and using the indicators you will want the sun shining through the top hole of the indicator to be nicely aligned with the hole on the bottom of the indicator.   You may need to move your oven to the left or right and you may need to adjust the alignment leg on the back to get your perfect angle.  Once your holes are lined up you are ready to proceed.  the key to consistent cooking in the Sun Oven is having the right angle with the sun and keeping your unit in line with the sun during the cooking process.

NOTE:

When using your Sun Oven for the 1st time you will want to place 3 cups of straight vinegar in an open dish and place it in your Sun Oven for 90 to 120 minutes. You will want the glass door latched down tightly so that the vinegar will steam your Sun Oven. After the oven has been pre-heated you will want to wipe the inside of your oven and the inside of the glass down with the hot vinegar. Be sure to scrub hard on the interior glass especially where the glass touches the black rubber seal. This will clean your unit and give it a good tight seal to hold your heat while cooking.

Positioning

When using a Sun Oven you want to place it in an area that will be free of shadows through the cooking process.  So you want to be sure that you place it away from large objects such as trees or buildings so that as the sun moves across the sky, shadows will not be cast on your Sun Oven.

What Was Included

My Sun Oven was part of what is called the Preparedness and Dehydrating Package from Sun Oven International.

Included in my package was:

· A leveling rack

· 3 multi-level dehydrating & baking racks with a roll of parchment paper

· 2 non-stick even heat bread pans

· 2 easy stack pots with interchangeable enamel and a glass lid

· Mutli-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)

It is important to have your leveling rack in place and place your stacking pots or baking dishes on the leveling rack to eliminate spillage while you are cooking and to keep your breads or desserts from baking unevenly.

It is also very helpful, but not necessary to preheat your oven prior to cooking.  If you are making a dish that can cook on low heat all day such as a roast or meal it wouldn’t have to be preheated, but I enjoy preheating my Sun Oven when I am on a time schedule or would like to make multiple things in the unit for the day.

Do I Need To Stir My Food

Another perk of the Sun Oven is that you do not need to stir your food or rotate your food if you do not want to.  When baking a meal I typically do not stir or reposition my food because every time you open the Sun Oven you allow your heat to escape and add roughly an additional 15 minutes to your cooking time.

Cookware

Let’s talk about the dishes that I have found to work wonderful for cooking and baking in the sun.  Thin walled, dark dishes work well, glass, pottery and cast iron.  Both the pottery and the cast iron may take a little bit more time to heat up and start cooking, but the benefit to them is when the sun goes behind the clouds they will also hold the heat and continue to cook your food.  Enamel pieces work great too.

The only disadvantage to cooking in the Sun Oven is if the weather changes and you get a lot of cloud cover.  The only time this is a real disadvantage is if you have time constraints, but if you are using the unit like a slow cooker for the day it just means it will take just a bit longer for the food to be completed.  Oh there is one more disadvantage and that is the smells do not permeate your home when you are cooking outside, but trust me your food will be amazing!

Recipes

Note:  All your recipes can be easily made in the Sun Oven.

Desserts

Fruit Crisp

Here is a simple dessert recipe that I would like to share with you that is super simple to throw together.  You can use your favorite  fruit such as peaches, apples, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

The recipe is as simple as halving the peaches, removing the pit and skin and slicing as you would for a pie or add blueberries or sliced strawberries.  Once your fruit is rinsed or sliced and ready to go all I do is add a tbsp of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour as a bit of a thickener as well as 1/3 cup of sucanat and a tbsp of water.  I then take a cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats, 1/3 cup of sucanat and a 1/2 cup of coconut oil or butter to make my crumble for the top of the crisp.  Honestly, most of the time I double the crumble recipe because my guys love the topping.  I finish it off by sprinkling the entire top of the crisp with cinnamon.  This is a quick and easy recipe and you can do this with any fruit.

I also added an almond flour pie crust on the bottom of this crisp which is totally optional, but something we enjoy.

 

Almond Flour Pie Crust

2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 egg

Mix all the ingredients together well and press dough into a 9″ pie dish or in this case into the bottom of your peach crisp pan.  If you were to use this for a pie, you would want to bake at 350ºF for 8 to 12 minutes.

Here is another family favorite that I thought you would enjoy, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake.

Videos

How To Make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake In The Sun Oven

How To Make A Gluten Free Pineapple Coconut Muffin In The Sun Oven

Baking Breads

I LOVE making breads or anything starchy.  I am truly a starch girl.  I also love baking my bread, pizza crust, English muffins, bagels, hot pretzels and rolls on or in pottery dishes as much as I possibly can and in the Sun Oven.  You will be so surprised at how wonderful they turn out in the Sun Oven.

Our Homemade Kaiser Roll is a family favorite recipe and we enjoy our Trayer Wilderness Hot Mustard to go along with our sandwiches.

Videos

How To Make Whole Wheat Bread In The Sun Oven

 

Your bread will have that nice brown crust on the outside with a nice moist soft inside.

 

For Sun Oven baking you will want to preheat your Sun Oven, set your timer for the required minutes and see how it looks.  It will all depend on the whether you have constant sun.  Constant sun will typically provide you with food cooked within 5 minutes of your timer.

 

 Meats & Meals

When cooking meat via the sun, just like when using the slow cooker, you must place your dish in the sun at an early hour, and rotate the oven every half hour to allow your meats to cook at a low heat all day long. I season my meat with minced dried garlic, dried onions, fresh basil, and homemade seasoning salt. I also add a bit of water to the bottom of the dish to create a nice meaty broth.

Videos

How To Make Chicken Breasts In The Sun Oven

 

Dehydrating Vegetables, Fruits and Meats

Yes, you can also use your Sun Oven to dehydrate which for me is awesome!   By simply leaving the cover just slightly cracked so the air can move around what you are drying you will have great success.  The Sun Oven comes with the racks and parchment paper which makes it very easy to just start doing things.  I love being able to utilize the dehydrated foods during the winter months.

 

The Sun Oven is an incredibly universal tool for your home or cabin.  I highly recommend the Sun Oven for one of your backup cooking methods in the event of an emergency, to eliminate extra heat in your home in the summer months and all your backyard and camping.  The Sun Oven quickly pays for itself, is great for the environment and utilizes a free God given resource!!

Your questions are always welcome!!

Have you used a Sun Oven yet?  Share your story or share why you would like to own one..

 

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A Collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes – Featuring Mammy’s Sour Cream Cookies

A Collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes – Featuring Mammy’s Sour Cream Cookies

A Collection of Christmas Cookie RecipesTis’ that time of year again….  WOW, where did 2014 go…  I am convinced that Idaho is in a warp time zone…

I LOVE baking and one of the special benefits for me is that my Mountain Boy enjoys spending time with me in the kitchen helping…  Most kids would be in the kitchen to be able to eat as much batter as can go undetected, but I believe my boy enjoys just spending the quality time with me in the kitchen with good music and good conversation.   Trust me – he is the 1st to sample the warm cookies, but we do really have a good time and this has become a tradition just as much as doing the summer canning together.  SO I am looking forward to a weekend of baking and memory making….

I thought I would share one of my favorite cookie recipes with you today.  This particular recipe holds a lot of special memories for me.  My Mammy would make these cookies special for me EVERY year and when I got my 1st apartment a gazillion years ago (as the Mountain Boy would say), this was the first recipe I sought after!  My Mammy is in heaven now, but I think of here ALL the time and I have special thoughts of her while baking these cookies and also while canning…  Those were some special times in my life spent with her and I am so thankful that I had that time with her and my Pap.  Be sure to create traditions with your children and grandchildren and enjoy the memory making times…

 

 

Mammy’s Sour Cream Cookies

♥  4 cups flour                                      ♥ 1 3/4 cup organic sugar or sucanat

♥  1 tsp soda                                         ♥ 1 cup thick sour cream

♥  1/2 tsp salt                                       ♥ 2 eggs

♥ 1 tsp baking powder                       ♥ 1 tsp vanilla (I use my homemade vanilla)

♥ 1 cup butter

Instructions:

Combine all dry ingredients together and mix well.  Cream together butter, sugar and unbeaten eggs.  Add sour cream and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Drop on a greased cookie sheet and add sprinkles.  Preheat oven to 425°.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

NOTE:  The cookies do not taste the same unless you use those EXACT sprinkles… 🙂  I will swear to that forever…  I don’t know what it was or why, but the cookies with those sprinkles ALWAYS tasted the BEST!!

I’d like to thank my dear friend’s for taking the time to share their wonderful recipes with me so that I can share them with you….  There are SO many wonderful recipes below and I hope that you have as much fun going through them as I did….

Viennese Whirls Sandwich Cookies Ginger Bread Cookies
 Christmas Cookies From The Pantry My Absolute Favorite Cookie Recipe
 Chunky Chocolate Pecan Currant Cookies Ginger Creams with Maple Icing
 Cookie Month Archives Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
 Molasses Cookies Raspberry Squares
 World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies  GF Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Soft Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies  Chocolate Cookies with Andes Mint Chips
 Coco Mocha Cookie & Raspberry Ribbon Cookies  Chocolate Almond Bon Bon Cookies
 Lemon Shortbread Cookies Caramel Mocha Sandwich Cookies
 Potica Cookies  Mexican Wedding Cakes
Mum’s Oatmeal and Stuff Cookies  Tie Dye Cookies
 Hot Chocolate Cookies  Chocolate Dipped SunButter Cookies
 The Best Oatmeal Cookies  Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
 Husarenkrapfen  Vanillekipferle
 Dark Chocolate Quinoa Sugar Cookies  Rob Roy Cookies
 SunButter Cookies Sesame Wafer Cookies
 Paleo Dandelion Cookies  Russian Tea Cookies
 Sprouted Wheat Welsh Cookies  Cheesecake Cookies (Grain Free)
 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars  Ultimate Earthquake Cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 The Perfect Cookie  Lemon Crinkle Cookies
 Double Chocolate Salted Cookies  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 Chocolate Almond Joyful Cookies  Brown Butter Gingerbread Cookies
 Honey Gingerbread Cookies  Ma Horton’s Sugar Cookies
 Cacao Dusted Peanut Butter Cookies  Monster Cookies
 Molasses Sugar Cookies

 What is your most fond memory from this time of year?

 What is your favorite cookie recipe?

Blessings,

Tam † ♥

Photo Credit:  A Special thank you to my dear friend Tessa Zundel from HomesteadLady.com for being so kind to share her image with me when I was in a pinch!

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Paid Endorsement Disclosure:   This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting TrayerWilderness.com and keeping us up, educating, inspiring and running!  ♥

A Collection of Cranberry Recipes – Featuring Our Trayer Wilderness Cranberry Chutney

A Collection of Cranberry Recipes – Featuring Our Trayer Wilderness Cranberry Chutney

A Collection of Cranberry RecipesMany of you know we love anything pumpkin, but along with pumpkin for me in anything cranberry!  Cranberries are SO good for you in SO many ways!

The health benefits are incredible.  They are high in vitamin C  and other vitamins, minerals and fiber they are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

They are great to have on hand for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, immune support, cardiovascular benefits, digestive tract benefits and more.

Beyond all the health benefits, they taste incredible and can be used in SO many dishes.

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner would not be the same without a Cranberry Chutney or Cranberry Sauce to which we often enjoy both.

Today, I thought I would share our Cranberry Chutney recipe.

Trayer Wilderness Cranberry Chutney Recipe

♥ 2 apples cored and sliced

♥ 2 cups whole cranberries

♥ 1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey

♥ 3 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil

♥ jalapeno pepper or habaneros (optional to add a little heat)

Directions:

  1. Combine apples, cranberries and pepper if desired in a food processor or hand mixer.  Mix till finely chopped.
  2. In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients together and then transfer them to a wide mouth canning jar and tighten down the lid and ring.  (wide mouth is easier to utilize and clean)
  3. I leave this in the jar on my counter for a day to allow to ferment a bit.

This is a great addition to our Thanksgiving dinner table and accompanies the turkey really well.

Here are some additional recipes shared by some of my friends…. ♥

Lacto-fermented Cranberry Relish Drying Cranberries In The Slow Cooker
 Heart Healthy Cranberry Recipes Gluten Free Buckwheat Cranberry Granola
 Cranberry Sauce Brandied Cranberry Sauce

 What is your favorite cranberry dish?

Blessings,

Tam  † ♥

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Paid Endorsement Disclosure:   This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting TrayerWilderness.com and keeping us up, educating, inspiring and running!  ♥

Got Turkey Leftovers?

Got Turkey Leftovers?

Got Turkey Leftovers?Are you still eating leftover turkey?  Yeah, so are we…

It is easy to get tired of turkey sandwiches so being creative can be a bit of a help in eliminating boring meals and still providing something healthy.  There is SO much you can do with leftover turkey.

We make a turkey spread by grinding up the turkey with homemade mayonnaise and homemade pickles and adding salt and pepper to taste.  This is a family favorite and one that has been handed down from the Mountain Man’s father (aka Poppa T).

Tomorrow nights meal will be turkey corn chowder which is another favorite and this will put an end to our leftovers….

Tonight we had Gluten Free Pancakes With Turkey And Gravy.  The original gluten free pancake recipe I found at Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, but I am well know for altering recipes, so I would like to share the altered version with you below.

Trayer Wilderness Gluten Free Pancakes

♥  3/4 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour

♥  3 tbsp Teff

♥ 1 cup Better Batter Gluten Free Flour

♥ 2 eggs

♥ 1 cup almond milk

Mix together well and add to a heated cast iron skillet.

Top with you turkey gravy and enjoy!

What are your favorite dishes with leftover turkey?

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Paid Endorsement Disclosure:   This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting TrayerWilderness.com and keeping us up, educating, inspiring and running!  ♥

A Collection of Pumpkin Recipes – Featuring our Immune Boosting Pumpkin Smoothie

A Collection of Pumpkin Recipes – Featuring our Immune Boosting Pumpkin Smoothie

A Collection Of Pumpkin RecipesAs some of you may know, ANYTHING pumpkin is a favorite of the Mountain Boy and I!   We are always looking for new recipes to add to our ever growing list.  One of our family favorites, which I just recently shared at GNOWFGLINS is our Trayer Wilderness Pumpkin Roll.   The Mountain Man finds some pretty ingenious ways to make sure that the Trayer Wilderness Pumpkin Roll‘s do not get gifted, shared or eaten out from under him! ♥  This I guess is a good thing because that indicates that I have gotten to him through his stomach… 🙂

The Mountain Boy’s other favorite is Grandma Robertson’s Spice Pumpkin Pie which is actually available in the Homemade Holiday Recipes – 80+ Recipes For Homemade Holiday Magic which was the 1st book that offered my name in print! YAY!

Another family favorite is our Trayer Wilderness Pumpkin Skillet Cake, but today I am also sharing  a collection of Pumpkin Recipes – Featuring our Immune Boosting Pumpkin Smoothie.

 

Trayer Wilderness Immune Boosting Smoothie

♥ 1 cup almond or coconut milk (or milk of choice)

♥ 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

♥ 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt

♥ 2 frozen bananas (optional)

♥ 1 tsp homemade vanilla extract

♥ 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

♥ 2 to 3 drops of Protective Blend of Essential Oils

♥ 1 cup ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Top with cinnamon.

I am very excited to announce…..

The Trayer Wilderness Cookbook - Volume 1

All of our recipes that we have shared to date on our website are compiled into The Trayer Wilderness Cookbook – Homesteading the Traditional Way – Volume 1 (wooohoooo)  which is now available as a FREE e-book for all our newsletter subscribers and is available for purchase as well.  If you have not yet subscribed to our newsletter, you can do so right here.

I’d also like to give a special thank you to all my dear friend’s who were kind enough to share ALL their delicious pumpkin recipes below!

What is your favorite way to use pumpkin?

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pancakes Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie With Crust
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds  Homemade Pumpkin Puree
 Homemade Pumpkin Butter  Pumpkin Lasagna with Sage White Sauce
 Lady Lee’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Immune Boosting Herbal Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
 Pumpkin Pie Latte  Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Filling
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Gluten Free Pumpkin Energy Muffins
 Sweet Cream Pumpkin Parfait How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds
 How To Process Pumpkin Puree  Pumpkin Maple Muffins
 Pumpkin Pie Truffles  Pumpkin Hot Chocolate
 Soft Pumpkin Cookies  Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice  Pumpkin Pie Spiced Creamer
 Paleo Pumpkin Pudding with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream  Canning Pumpkin
Pumpkin Soup Pumpkin Pound Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 
 No Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie  8 Ways to Preserve Pumpkin

 

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Paid Endorsement Disclosure:   This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting TrayerWilderness.com and keeping us up, educating, inspiring and running!  ♥

How To Make Chicken Breasts in a Sun Oven

How To Make Chicken Breasts in a Sun Oven

Chicken breasts in the all american sun ovenHere in the wilderness our meals consist mostly of venison, elk and this year we were blessed with moose,  but occasionally we are blessed with chicken, turkey and pork.

I found some hormone free chicken breasts on sale and I love being able to cook them long and slow on low heat.  Today that is exactly what I did, only in the All American Sun Oven.

Being able to utilize the sun as a slower cooker is just amazing to me.  It allows me to work on other things that are important this time of year while at the same time dinner is cooking in the sun.  Doesn’t get any sweeter than that!!

Today, I did things very simply by just adding garlic, our homemade season salt and a little bit of water to the enamelware cooking dish that comes with the Sun Oven.

Chicken Breast in the All American Sun Oven
Stay tuned for many more recipes and experiments in the All American Sun Oven.  I intend to be dehydrating celery this week as well as other vegetables and fruit.Blessings and thanks so much for joining us! ♥What is something you would like to make in a sun oven?
Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my time spent blogging and educating, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.