Nature has provided no better way to cook our food than with sunlight. That may sound like a pretty sweeping statement but for almost everyone I know who has done a bit of solar cooking over time, the agreement would be nearly unanimous. Generally the food just tastes better! A simple pot of brown rice or a chicken, for example, receive a unique transformation with a dash of sunlight added. You have to taste it to believe it.
I have solar cooked for 23 years and taught and demonstrated it nearly as long. I enjoyed it from the first time I did it. I believe it is a gift literally “from on high” waiting to come into our experience to transform life. It already is doing just that in many parts of the world where countless daily lives are so much better for the entry of solar cooking.
There’s a touch of fun in taking a pot of food and putting it in a homemade or manufactured solar cooker and knowing that the only “fuel” involved for cooking is sunlight. Plus there’s no heat added to the kitchen, nothing added to the utility bill, no toxins for the environment, and delicious food added to the table!
There are very simple homemade cookers that can be constructed in 30 minutes with a dollar’s worth of materials and a Reynolds oven bag to insulate your pot while it’s in the cooker. You can see the easiest-to-make, the Box-Corner Cooker, at my website www.wholesunliving.com.
While this particular homemade cooker works well In mild to warm weather, there are more sophisticated designs which can provide for cooking even in freezing weather. I have done a lot of cooking in Minnesota and Montana in temperatures hovering around zero. Generally speaking, if I have bright sunshine, I can solar cook.
A number of manufactured units are on the market, at least three from the U.S. The “Sun Oven” (www.sunoven.com) is the most widely known followed by the Solar Oven Society “Sport” (www.solarcookers.org).
A vast resource to help you find your way into the world of solar cooking is www.solarcooking.org.
Almost every facet of solar cooking is covered in detail: endless ideas for constructing your own unit; learning many of the finer points of cooking by sunlight; seeing how this cooking method is transforming lives in many developing nations; how you can help make the solar revolution real in the lives of others you may never see.
To give you To give you another huge resource, www.youtube.com provides hundreds of videos related to solar cooking. Many other online information resources are just a few clicks away when you plug “solar cooking” into a search engine.
Solar cooking is, I believe, a step into the future of food preparation that is available today. Make sure you don’t miss your opportunity to taste the future of food right now. Happy cooking!
Greg Lynch lives in Emigrant.