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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!