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 🙂
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!
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!