Now that we live in the L.A. area long commutes are becoming a part of life. What should be a 20 minute trip can take an hour (on a good day) or more. Easy to eat, fun snacks like these oatmeal bars help make sitting in traffic a little more bearable. This recipe is pretty basic. It can be jazzed up with mix-ins such as chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit.
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
We were among the thousands of Los Angeles area residents without power after the massive windstorm Thursday night so I finally got to use my Sun Oven in an emergency situation. What did I make? Cookies, of course. I thought, based on the estimate given to us by the power company, that the outage would be fixed by early evening. If I’d known we’d be without power until the following day I might have rustled together something for dinner instead, but cookies were on my schedule so that’s what I made. We had just enough sunshine to get the job done.
Big Sun Oven Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
I’m sure I’m not the only one that looked at the new dehydrating racks and thought “Could they be used for baking?” The answer is yes. Today I baked a full batch of drop cookies, over three dozen, in two Sun Oven loads. The same as it would have taken to bake them in a conventional oven. The top layer baked slightly faster, but by less than five minutes, pretty much the time it took to take the top layer inside and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
Sun Oven Muesli Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
The next time you cook steel-cut oats in the GSO make extra for these muffins. The maple syrup and blueberries make them a sort of portable oatmeal breakfast. Keep a few in the freezer for those mornings when you want to grab something healthy as you head out for the day. Here in Arizona, a frozen muffin placed on the dashboard will defrost by the time it takes most people to commute to work.
Except for baking them in the GSO I made no changes to the original recipe. It makes 12 muffins. They can be baked together by separating the muffin pans with a rack and cross stacking them, or in two batches. Either way the baking time will be 25 to 30 minutes.
Longer summer days mean more hours can be dedicated to solar cooking. Here in Arizona it’s not unusual to be able to cook with the sun from as early 8:00 AM to as late as 6:00 PM. But for an even earlier start to your solar cooking day turn the GSO “topside down” (the side with the thermometer will be on the ground), remove the leveling tray, then place a rack or trivet what is now the floor of the cooking chamber and you’ll be ready to catch the first rays of sunshine. I use this trick to bake breakfast casseroles that I assemble the night before or a simple bowl of steel cut oatmeal. First thing in the morning I pop my breakfast in the GSO then I go about my business. Oatmeal is usually ready by the time I’ve finished my morning routine; casseroles take longer and are best for week-ends. Solar cooked oatmeal tastes so good even my porridge hating husband will eat it.
Breakfast for two, oatmeal in the covered mug and and eggs in the other.
Now if only I can figure out a way to get my espresso maker to run on solar power.