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Sigh. Hello, all. You’ve got Stef and Stef’s guilty conscience here.
The guilty conscience is a yearly occurrence. It starts about now and lasts until James cleans up all the fruit I failed to use that falls from our 6 fruit trees and (what feels like) a bazillion grape vines. If he’s lucky, I recruit him some help:
It really eats (ha! get it?) at me that I can’t make more use out of all that fruit…hence, the guilty conscience. And WHY pray tell, does it all have to come ripe at once? If Mother Nature would spread the bounty throughout the year, I’d be better able to manage it all!
So anyways, you’ve caught me in the middle of a frenzy of canning, cooking, and eating so many apples and peaches and pears I’ve met my annual fiber requirement in a week. I won’t horrify you with THOSE details…
But THIS year, I’ve got a new weapon in my War With the Fruit. Meet my new GoSun Solar Cooker:
Yes, guys, you read that right…SOLAR cooker. As in fueled by the sun, and only the sun, and nothing but the sun. And you see it sitting there in the grass? It’s probably like 400 degrees in that tube and guess what? Touch it anywhere on the outside, and IT’S NOT HOT AT ALL! Crazy, right? It’s like magic.
So, I can pretty much set it anywhere and not worry about burning any curious creatures lurking about (you know, pets, grandkids, husbands) or setting the entire state of Utah on fire. I’ve been having a blast with it. It’s made the dreaded yearly “fruit fest” a little more manageable and a lot more fun. I’ve been experimenting with various healthy recipes where fruit takes a starring role. Here’s a perfect example:
Healthier Apple Crumble (or Crisp?) Recipe
(I really don’t know the difference between a crumble or a crisp, so pick whichever you prefer and let’s call it good.) And, if you don’t have a solar cooker, no worries. This works fine baked in the oven, too!
For the apple filling:
- 5 apples (or 3 cups) chopped small
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon flour of choice (I use whole wheat or oat flour)
For the crumble topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup cold butter, chopped up (can use coconut oil to make vegan)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions for Apple Filling:
- In a medium bowl, mix the lemon juice and water. As you chop your apples, immediately add them to the lemon juice and water, and make sure they get coated to prevent browning. Once apples are prepped, drain the lemon juice.
- In a separate bowl, mix maple syrup, milk, and flour. Then, add the chopped apples and toss well.
- Transfer apples to either the solar cooking tray or an oiled 8″ baking dish. NOTE: I bought a silicone baking mat on Amazon, and cut it to fit the solar cooker as recommended by the awesome Facebook GoSun group!
Directions for the Crumble Topping:
- Combine all ingredients, and sprinkle over the top of apples:
SOLAR COOKER TIMES: Check after an hour, but I’ve made a few batches of this, always on partly cloudy days, and it took around 90 minutes each time.
OVEN TIMES: Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes and then take a peek. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil. Cook another 10 minutes or so, checking to make sure apples are a desired softness.
So, there you go! An easy breezy recipe AND rather yummy, I must say. And of course a dollop of plain yogurt with a maple syrup drizzle makes it go from fantastic to fan-FREAKING-tastic!
As for traveling with the GoSun, I’m enjoying it so much we won’t be traveling with our old grill in the RV any longer. I really hated the mess and having to carry extra propane bottles anyways, so this was the push I needed to say SEE YA GRILL! We DID buy a little electric countertop grill by Cuisinart which will fit under the galley sink, so it’s not like I’m TOTALLY grill-less.
Anyhoo, if you’ve got other ideas of things to try in the solar cooker, leave me some ideas in the comments below, I’d appreciate it! Plus I’d just love to hear your thoughts on the whole solar cooking thing anyways…is it something you could see yourself enjoying, too?
AND! Of course if you try this recipe, or have variations for ME to try on this recipe, let me know!
Thanks for sharing about the Solar cooker. I just ordered one. I like the tip on the liner and will do that as well! The Apple Crisp will be the 1st dish!
That looks so good. Apple Crisp is my favourite. I don’t have a solar oven “yet”, but I’ve been looking at them. If you want a small grill-stove, check out the G2 Folding FireBox Stove, get the extended grill plate and you can cook just about anything. Would be a great combo setup for an RV. I have a reflector oven for camping and I like making muffin mix in a small pan. If you buy the low fat mix, it only requires water. Do you find the small tube big enough for a meal ?. The larger solar grill is a nice size for cooking but it’s a big unit. Also Gosun sport is portable and 7 lbs , grill is 30 lbs.
The smaller tube has been adequate for us, but if it were more than just me and James, I’d probably end up making 2 batches of many things. Thanks for the tip on the folding firebox!
Where or how did you get that turquoise blue tray LINER for the Go Sun Sport Oven?
I found the tip for it on the GoSun Facebook group! I ordered a cooking silicone cooking mat and cut it to the sizes that were suggested by the group. I also have silicone muffin cups, the mini square ones, that fit perfectly in there, too!
THANK YOU! I will try that!!
Your recipe sounds great, delicious. I am considering, though, substituting turnips for the apples, simply because I cannot find a decent solar turnip pie recipe. If you have suggestions on how I might cook a delightful turnip crisp meal, via a slow-cooking solar oven, I would appreciate receiving the suggestions. Our family loves eating sweet tender turnips and we have lots of turnips ready for harvesting. Please let me know how I can cook them in a solar oven.
How interesting! I’ve never tried turnips in any form in the solar cooker, so I really don’t have any advice for you, sorry! But you’ve certainly got me curious to try it. Thanks for the great idea!
By the way, the same company has a solar “grill” in the works, current plans are to start shipping in December 2016. I’m pretty excited – we use our little GoSun portable 3-4 times a week – can’t _wait_ to have the larger capacity one so I can do whole meals in it!
Nope, I don’t get a cut for saying that. 😉
Just received my new gosun grill and can’t wait to use it. I have a gosun sport and I burnt my frozen burrito! In WA too, but it was a very hot sunny day. Love solar. Thanks for the recipe.
Apple crisp is my all-time favorite dessert, and this solar cooker is looking super appealing (our grill is a mess). I’ve been doing a quick apple crisp on the stove (because lazy), adding blueberries at the end. I was going to try apples and frozen cherries today…and I bet apples and peaches would be great together, too…or apples, peaches, AND cherries. How many servings can you fit in a cooker this size?
Servings: great question! With this apple crisp, you’ll get 4 big-appetite servings or 6 normal sized servings. But if you make something like oat muffins in the solar cooker, you’ll get 8 muffins. 🙂
I know. Everyone has a different idea about healthy; but I have to ask: Why so much sodium? I can’t imagine it would taste worse with 1/4 tsp or so. . .Still, I always love to read your posts. Keep up the good work.
Hi Barbara!!! Sure, you could probably lower the salt, I haven’t tried it. But remember, 1/2 teaspoon is for the entire recipe which serves up to 6 people. That breaks down to only 190mgs sodium per serving. Unless you have some health issues, that’s within a very reasonable range considering RDA for healthy adults is a max of 2300mgs per day. Plus! The 190mgs in this apple crisp is much less than you’d get in your typical slice of pie!! 🙂
With the recent “MEGA” electrical upgrade on Lance, you can consider your Cuisinart grill to be “solar cooking” as well…LOL
LOL!!! Well, technically, you’re right! We’ve got over 300watts of solar up there on Lance recharging our electrical needs…so yeah! Brilliant!!!
Have your neighbors come pick some of the fruit, less guilt that you are wasting any?
I’ve tried that, but they all have fruit trees, too! LOL!
How hard is the cleanup? Specially if there was a lot of splattering in the tube?
Clean-up no problem. Since I always line the cooking pan with the piece of silicone, or parchment paper, the cooker doesn’t get dirty. I just wipe the whole thing with a wet paper towel after each use! That’s another reason I’m liking it WAY more than a regular grill. It’s cleaner and less fuss!
Since the tube is stainless steel, it cleans up in no time, even without using a lining. If something is stuck on, I just fill the tray with water and let it soak for a few minutes while I’m getting ready to wash up the rest of the dishes.
I see your cat is solar powered!
Maybe you could find a local farmer to feed their livestock and unload your excess bounty. You might get some milk, eggs, bacon, or horse rides out of the deal.
What a great idea, Ted! I don’t do anything at all to treat the fruit, though, so they’re in pretty rough shape (bugs, worms) and I have to cut around that stuff. So, I’ve never bothered offering it to other people because it hardly looks edible. But horses/livestock! Perhaps you’re on to something!