Mush Muffins

I cannot believe the number of posts I have made recently where the best description of the food is mush. I wonder if I am doing something fundamentally wrong in my cooking?

True to my word, I made a new batch of muffin batter using the banana oat recipe from the other day. I used rice flour instead of wheat flour, but otherwise the recipe was the same. I poured it into the muffin tin again, positioned it in the preheated solar oven, and waited patiently until the toothpick came out clean (which took almost an hour).

I pulled them out to cool and it was clear immediately that the insides were undercooked. However the tops were done and I didn’t feel that more time in the oven would help. I thought maybe they would solidify as they cooled…

Nope. The recipe is a complete dud. I won’t waste the space posting it here. I am sorry to say that we made wonderful banana oat compost.

I am on a muffin kick though, so seriously, if you have a favorite recipe, post it in the comments! I’ll vegan it up and try it out in the solar cooker. You can even get a review in your name ūüôā

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Batter Up

So, remember that oat muffin batter I was saving from yesterday? I had it in the refrigerator overnight, and this morning I preheated the oven and poured it back into my trusty muffin tin. Then, as I started for the door, I took a quick lick of some of the batter that had landed on the side of the pan.

Holy alcoholic batter! I couldn’t bring myself to actually bake them, as I didn’t want to poison anyone!

I think this may turn our like my banana bread saga. Apparently I am not meant to bake with bananas. Tune in tomorrow as I make one more valiant effort to bake some banana out muffins!

If you have a great muffin recipe you want tries in the solar oven, please feel free to post it here! I’d love to try something new!

Leftover Chili, and Lessons Learned

It’s been a little over two months now since I started solar cooking daily, and I wanted to take a moment to share what I have learned.

1. Have food in the freezer. ¬†I know I mentioned this last time, but I can’t stress it enough. ¬†Unless you want to eat take out every time it is overcast, it is probably prudent to have almost a week’s worth of leftovers ready to defrost. ¬†Actually, that’s what I cooked today. ¬†I had some leftover beans in the refrigerator, so I made chili to freeze. ¬†(For a great chili recipe, see here.) My stock was pretty much completely depleted last week when it was cloudy so often.

2. ¬†Preheating helps. ¬†I tried baking the first several times by just putting the food in and pointing the oven at the sun. ¬†While I did manage baked food, I have found that it is tastier and less dry if you preheat the oven first, then put your food in, much the same way you would cook in a conventional oven. ¬†Muffins are much better when they don’t crumble the moment you touch them. (Yummy muffin recipe!)

3. ¬†Consider eating ¬†your big meal at lunch. ¬†I keep toying with this idea, and it hasn’t quite worked out for us yet, but the latest I can cook in the afternoon is about 3:30 right now. ¬†That’s too early for dinner, even for my toddler. ¬†What would make the most sense is to cook a big meal for lunch, and have sandwiches and leftovers at a more normal dinner time. ¬†I’ll let you know if we actually succeed at this.

4. ¬†Shine up your oven. ¬†The outer reflectors get pretty grimy and need cleaned up like the inside. ¬†It’s not a constant thing, but worth doing once in awhile.

 

Let me know if I missed any important tips!  Happy Solar Cooking!