Solar Oven: Homemade Granola Baked by the Sun



One of the real benefits of our intense Arizona sun is the incredible efficiency of our solar oven. Granted, solar ovens are used nearly everywhere the sun shines, but at our nearly 5,000 foot elevation in southeastern Arizona, it works exceptionally well. While we do have a conventional oven in our propane kitchen stove here at the Bear Cave, our solar oven is often the tool of choice in the hot months. It saves energy and doesn’t heat up the house in the summer months.

The list of dishes cooked in the solar oven is extensive. We cook beets to ready them for my favorite beet pickle recipe. Winter squash is cooked, scooped, and frozen in freezer bags for our winter recipes. Candle holders and glass votives with candle stubs are put into the solar oven and melted down ready for cleaning and new candles with very little muss and no odors in the house. You’ve got the idea! We love our solar oven.

Empty Granola Cannister

Perhaps my favorite use of the solar cooker is home-made granola. Nearly every day when the weather is warm and that is much of the time here, we breakfast on home-made granola, with Barbara’s home-made yogurt served with fruit and honey. A slice of Barbara’s whole wheat bread with peanut butter and a hot cup of coffee and I am a happy guy.

When the level of cereal in the canister is nearly empty, it is time to break out the solar oven and make a new batch of great granola. Granted, there are wide varieties of packaged granola and even bulk granola available in grocery stores. But commercial granola is typically more expensive than I want to pay for cereal and who knows how long the cereal has been waiting to have its package opened.  Packaged or bulk granola  just can’t compare to home-made for cost, freshness, and flavor  

Muck Boot Diva
8/9/2011 1:16:15 PM

Sounds good. I might try this. I just need to find a place on the farm where the bugs won't "join" my granola if you know what I mean. The Diva has been looking for something to perk up her appetite -- this will go nice with my Chobani! MBD

Eva M.
8/2/2011 11:14:58 AM

Thanks Dave, I just managed to miss the solar oven section the first time, but I found it this time :).

Dave Larson
8/2/2011 11:02:45 AM

Hi Eva, I tried a DIY solar oven and it didn't work very well. If you visit our website, there is more information on the solar oven we use and love. You can get to resources for buying one through the site as well. We'd love to have you visit our site and hope you enjoy cooking with solar.

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