Sun to Table, May 2016

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Celebrate Mom with a solar cooked brunch!

Thanks Mom!

I’m impressed by the number of mothers we sell to – from women buying a Solavore Sport as a gift to their outdoor and/or cooking-enthusiast grown children to moms with young children at home who are using solar cooking to instill an awareness of sustainability. Our mothers shape who we are, what we value, and how we lead. To that end, our May issue of Sun to Table celebrates them.

Sun-Inspired Mother’s Day Brunch
If Sunday, May 8 brings sunshine to your neck of the woods let the sun fuel your Mother’s Day brunch. This colorful shaved asparagus and prosciutto frittata showcases seasonal asparagus with a shave rather than a chop of spring’s favorite vegetable. The cherry chocolate chip scones show off your solar baking prowess - yet they’re fast and simple, in case little hands want to help.

Meet Kristin Laing, Solavore Webmaster, Social Media Master and... Mom
 
Love Solavore’s ‘Recipe of the Week’ on our Facebook page?  The amazing food photography on Instagram?  Not to mention the colorful, flavorful and healthy eating posts on Solavore’s recipe blog?  From cutting board to keyboard, Austin-based Kristin Laing manages Solavore’s test kitchen - from idea inception to broadcast of our sun-tested recipes to the digital world. With a diverse background encompassing both high-tech and creative arts as a jewelry designer, Solavore-as-social-enterprise is what first drew versatile and talented Kristin to the company upon her 2014 completion of yoga teacher training, when graduates were challenged to live a life of caring and sharing leadership “off the mat”.  When she’s not web-mastering Solavore.com and solarovens.org and all things digital for the business side of Solavore, Kristin is mom to first-grader Fiona, pictured here (and, not surprisingly – throughout our website).  Fiona is a voracious reader with a surprising talent for hiphop dance – and of course a budding Solavore. Well done, Mom!

Solavore Works in Kenya- Sharon's Story
 
Meet Sharon Katimwa Kasaine, a Solavore project manager in Kenya.  Sharon is a Maasai Mara and a resident of Loitokitok village near the Kenya-Tanzania border.  Sharon holds a degree in integrated community development and speaks English, Maa and Swahili.  Sharon worked as an intern with Kenya wildlife services prior to joining the Solavore effort to introduce the Solavore Sport for both domestic and commercial use amongst the Maasai.  
Here’s Sharon’s story about her mother’s budding enthusiasm for solar cooking:


Before we use to cook mostly with firewood, at times if the woods are not dry they emit a very bad smoke that would affect the taste of the food, our eyes, our pots, and the babies would be moved to the sitting room to wait for the meals.  My mum loves ugali actually when I got the oven it was the first food that was cooked and since then we mostly cook ugali and beef.   She always bakes a cake when she visits my brother and sister.  When the children are around (my nephews and niece) she cooks rice, cakes and sausages and she purifies their drinking water. She can comfortably use the oven, it is a blessing because she is normally very busy and at times the children would eat leftovers or eat late but now she puts food in the oven sets an alarm to check on the progress and now serves them food in good time.


Good luck, Mum!

Meet Phyllis Patterson, Solavore Mom-in-Chief
 
I’d be remiss and quite possibly in trouble if our Mother’s Day tribute didn’t include a nod to my personal coach, cheerleader and mom, Phyllis Patterson. Phyllis owns two “Solavorés” (don’t ask me where the accent comes from, she’s not Italian), has gifted them to many a friend, mans the Solavore booth at her local farmer’s market and is an unflagging supporter of cooking with the sun, Solavore’s global mission, and of course the Solavore chief. Thanks, Mom.
Anne (l) and Phyllis (r), Jackson Hole, WY, Sept 2015, celebrating Phyllis’s 80-something birthday.

In case you missed it...
 
Here’s a recap of recent Solavore news and blogs 

Neal St Anthony, Business Writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, covers Solavore’s re-launch story and forward-looking business plan
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 25 April 2016

Montana-based blogger, outdoor enthusiast, and gear reviewer Amy Grisak falls in love with solar cooking
Amy Grisak, 23 April 2016

Derek Markham reviews the Solavore Sport for TreeHugger.com, the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. 
Treehugger, 06 April 2016

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, April 2016

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Asparagus tart recipe, Treehugger review and guest blogger Heather McCarthy.

Spring Cooking in the Solar Oven- Solavore Asparagus Tart

Nothing announces springtime like locally-grown asparagus. And nothing feels more like springtime than cooking outdoors, using only the power of the warm spring sun.  With a flavor meld of puff pastry, sun-roasted asparagus and rich Gruyere cheese, this Asparagus Tart looks and tastes company-best yet requires only the effort of an every-day basic.   Serve with spring greens dressed with a light vinaigrette for an unforgettable Sun-day brunch! Click here for the recipe.


Zero-carbon Cooking in a Lightweight Package:
Derek Markham Reviews the Solavore Sport for Treehugger.com
Derek Markham (NaturalPapa.com) is a digital dad with an analog streak, as comfortable with a smartphone as he is with pencil and paper.  Derek covers Technology and Solar Technology for Treehugger.com, a leading online media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.  Treehugger recently asked Derek to review the Solavore Sport.
In his review, Derek suggests that the simplest and most accessible way for most of us to use the power of the sun in our day-to-day living is to cook our food with it using a solar oven, positioning Solavore's Sport model as  “the gateway appliance to cleaner cooking”.  Read more here.      
 
The bottom line for Derek: “Using the Sport is almost ridiculously simple.” 

McMermaids take to the sea- with their Solavore Sport
 
Heather McCarthy and her husband Dan are research scientists at Jacksonville (FL) University who are currently on-board their sailing vessel Jullanar, a 6-month working sabbatical.  In this guest article for Solavore Sun to Table, Heather reports on the getting to know their newest crew member, their Solavore Sport.    
When this family of five tossed their land lines and sailed away on a six-month sabbatical journey, they only had an inkling of how the Solavore Sport would earn its place as “essential galley gear” on their sailboat s/v Jullanar (www.McMermaids.com).  At the dock or anchored out, the crew of s/v Jullanar been solar-cooking up a “storm!”  Not only does the Solavore Sport provide delicious, easy meals for the family, it is also a great conversation-starter with folks they meet along the way and a profound way to show the power of renewable solar energy to their three daughters (aka “the McMermaids”). 
It was a big decision whether to bring the Solavore Sport onboard their small 29-foot sailboat, since every square inch of space is extremely valuable for storage or living.  However, Heather McCarthy (aka “Mama Mermaid”) has this to say about that, “It’s a space trade-off that's worth it to us. This solar oven keeps the galley cool, saves propane, saves my time, and has opened up a whole new world of foods that I would never have dreamed of cooking while cruising -- slow-cooking foods that just take too long on a propane stove -- like bread, cakes, dried beans, rice, roasted meats and vegetables.  The Sport will roast two whole chickens in four hours!” 
Traveling onboard s/v Jullanar through rough seas and howling winds has put the Solavore Sport through quite a few (unintended) “durability tests.”  This family reports that the Sport definitely lives up to its reputation as the toughest solar oven on the market.  Their Solavore Sport has taken quite a few tumbles inside the boat – no damage.  These sailors can also attest that the reflectors have withstood whistling winds with impressive resilience and sturdiness.  When the sunny tropics heat up and the clear blue Caribbean ocean calls, Mama Mermaid is thrilled to throw cornbread batter in one pot and beans-and-rice in the other pot, close her Solavore Sport with no fear of fire or burning food, and let the sun do all the work while she enjoys an afternoon snorkeling with her little mermaids!  
The bottom line for Heather:  “The Solavore Sport oven is worth the investment, because it WORKS. “

Solavore Works in Nepal
 
Nepal is a whirling dervish of a country: against a serene backdrop of breath-taking natural beauty and resilient people, one heart-breaking challenge after another spins incessantly.   A year ago this month, the Gorkha earthquake shook Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and injuring more than 21,000.   And while villagers struggled to put their lives back together yet another fuel blockade all but stopped shipment of LPG (cooking fuel) from India, on whom landlocked Nepal depends for fuel, food, and medicinal supplies.
 
Nepali villagers by a water fountain.  Photo courtesy of Alan Bigelow, www.solarpunch.com
Imagine how thrilled we were this month to receive word from the Foundation for Sustainable Technology (FoST) in Kathmandu, “Based on the interest of the communities in high altitudes, FoST is interested to promote Solavore in Nepal”.  We sent our first two ovens over this month.  We’ll start slowly, one or two ovens at a time, building upon the success of cooking Nepalese cuisine in the Solavore Sport at altitude.  May the sun shine on your cooking!

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, March 2016

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Spring baking, a review of the Solavore Sport, and a promo for our Amazon launch.

Hello Sunshine!

At last – the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox, from the Latin equus (equal) and nox (night), the transition day from winter to spring when the sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic, when, all over the world, days and nights are approximately equal.

Enough with the pedantics already – time to dig out the solar oven and get outside and cook!

The first day of spring is early this year, and so is Easter. And there’s no better way to impress your Easter bunnies than with our internationally-renowned Solavore Carrot Cake.  What’s magic about a carrot cake baked in the Solavore Sport (besides all that cinnamon)?   It’s that due to its lower cooking temperature, you can actually see and taste the carrots – imagine!


Slow Cooking Unplugged campaign launches Solavore on Amazon 
 
Just in time for spring, Solavore is open for business on Amazon, with free shipping to the 48 contiguous states.  If you search “solar oven” you’ll see the Sport beaming at you right up front. With an accompanying Facebook campaign we’re aiming to convince the slow-cooker crowd to unplug their crock-pots in favor of sun-powered slow-cooking and shop Solavore on Amazon. And if you haven’t yet made the leap, we’ll offer you the same great deal. Just click here to learn more and get your coupon code.
 
[By the way, we’d be forever grateful if you’d post a review on Amazon, a sentence or two on how you use your Sport, favorite dishes, why you love solar cooking. You don’t have to have purchased your oven on Amazon.]
Please click here to add your review of the Solavore Sport on Amazon.

Solavore Gear Review in MisAdventures Magazine
 
MisAdventures Magazine is a gorgeous online and hardcopy bi-monthly written by and about adventurous women. Senior editor Jessica Malordy tries her hand at solar cooking in her recent Gear Review column. She loved it – 4.7 out of 5. Check out Jessica’s Buffalo Chicken Dip – a devour-it-right-out-of-the-pot success!

Solavore Works in Haiti
 
Mike Kampmeyer of TruNorth Solar in Edina, Minnesota, followed his own true north on a recent work mission trip to Haiti as part of World Wide Village, a non-profit currently working on a water well project for in the town of Williamson, just outside Port-au-Prince. As the Kampmeyer family chef and one whose livelihood comes from the sun, Mike was inspired to introduce the village to fuel-free solar cooking. TruNorth Solar donated two Solavore Sport solar ovens, and while in the midst of building public showers adjacent to the new well, Mike served up a steady supply of simmered chicken, seasoned goat, vegetables and rice – 100% sun-powered, nary a chunk of precious charcoal. Upon leaving, the Sport solar ovens were left in the hands of the schoolmaster with instructions to put them to good use. The World Wide Village team will return in two months to check in, so they had better!
Solar chef Mike Kampmeyer in Haiti.

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, February 2016

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Solar oven chocolate recipes, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Sun-Inspired Valentines

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like dark chocolate, in whatever form your sweetheart fancies.  This year, make those sweet treats extra special by cooking them in the sun – in the middle of winter no less.  It’s sure to earn you a dozen red roses, or at least a grateful smooch. 
 
This cute-as-a-button flourless Fallen Chocolate Cake, all dressed up with its powdered sugar doily heart, says “I love you” even before the first bite.  Check out the recipe on Solavore.com.

 
Solar-oven chocolate truffles – no kidding!  The slow cooking temperatures of the Solavore Sport heat the chocolate carefully and to just the right temperature.  Add flavorings of choice – mocha, mint, even crushed red pepper for the adventurous. You'll have an elegant creation that no one will believe came from your solar oven. Find the recipe on our blog.
After all that chocolate decadence it’s time to get outside and burn it off. Blue sky, fresh snow, and sunshine…winter days meant for outside play. And why not outside cooking, too? Solar cooking works on the rays of the sun, not the ambient outdoor temperature. Snow on the ground?  All the better – it actually works like a big reflector. So strap on snowshoes, set the solar oven out to cook, and come home to a steaming bowl of piping hot Solavore Smokin’ Chili.

Solavore in Cambodia
 
January marked the beginning of Solavore’s expanded pilot program in Cambodia, where we’re partnered with The United Cambodian Association of Minnesota (UCAM), the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Netherlands-based NGO PicoSol. The Picosol campus near Phnom Penh hosted training for attendees from five rural areas impacted by deforestation: Kampong Cham, Pursat, Battambang, Siem Reap, Prey Veng, and Kandal. Our folks in Cambodia shared this snapshot, more to come upon their return!

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, January 2016

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Wintertime:  Let’s Get Outside and Play – and Cook!

 
Whether you’re in ski country or in the south, a winter’s day outdoors is exhilarating.  Fresh air, blue sky, and sunshine – and maybe snow – time to bundle up and get the family outside. And come home to a steamy hot, savory bowl of a hearty winter soup – cooked in the sunshine while you were out playing all day! This month our guest solar chef, Elizabeth Van Huffel, shares her recipe for Kale Butternut Squash White Bean Soup on her blog LocalSavour.


Solavore in Sri Lanka
 
Last month Solavore Sport designer Dr. Paul Funk time-traveled to Sri Lanka twelve and a half time zones ahead of his lab in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to teach a module on ‘Engineering Design Thinking’ using the solar oven. Dr. Funk taught the class via Skype, addressing more than 50 teachers from rural areas in the country.
 
The event was one of two workshops held in Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka, conducted by Angelo Fernando, a computer and technology teacher at Salt River Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona. The first of its kind in the country integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (commonly referred to as STEM or STEAM), these workshops were held in collaboration with the National Institute of Education (NIE) which is responsible for curriculum development, and funded by the US Embassy in Sri Lanka.
Fernando, who had previously involved Solavore’s Anne Patterson in his school's STEM event in 2015, invited Dr. Paul Funk to teach a module on ‘Engineering Design Thinking.’ 
To teach the class, due to a twelve and a half-hour time difference between the two countries, Dr. Funk had to set up his solar cookers, in his lab at 11:30 pm (which was 11:00 am the next day in Sri Lanka!). “The goal was to inspire science teachers to incorporate science and technology in their lesson plans around conduction, convection, and radiation, while showing them the benefits of solar cooking in a country with abundant sunshine,” said Fernando.
“My goal was to construct the simplest solar device, a panel cooker, as they watched so my audience could see a few basic construction techniques,” commented Dr. Funk.  “ I felt honored to have so large and attentive a group giving attention to the thing I am most passionate about.”
Dr. Funk’s online teaching lab in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Also attending were two of Mr, Fernando’s 6th and 7th grade students who served as ‘STEAM Ambassadors’ from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
 
Other Skype presenters at the workshops were a robotics designer from Arizona State University, an Astro-Physicist from the Planetary Science Institute, and a science teacher in Mesa, Arizona.
 
Solavore has been involved with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community since 2015, and the school has plans to introduce solar ovens in upcoming STEM-based events.


Solavore Tips and Tricks


This month we’re adding a new section to the newsletter, tips and tricks for using your Solavore Sport.  My takeaways from years of solar cooking and answers to your questions too. Drop me a line!
 
Water:  Less is more!   You’re cooking with lids on, in a closed oven, in temperatures lower than a stovetop, so you’re not going to be boiling water away (and water-soluble nutrients along with it).  So when you’re cooking vegetables such as green beans, corn on the cob, asparagus – no water is needed.  When you’re cooking rice and grains, use 25% less water.  Depending on where you are (altitude, humidity, etc) this may vary, but in general less is best

Wild rice cooked in the Sport.

And speaking of water, condensation will build up inside your Solavore Sport, especially at times of the year when there is a greater temperature differential.  Moisture on the inside of the lid can be wiped off with a soft cloth.  Moisture between the lid and the film needs to evaporate on its own; you can bring the lid indoors where it’s warm and dry and it will clear up. 

 And don’t forget to store the Sport tilted up on its side, allowing any moisture to drain. The Sport is insulated with closed-cell foam so moisture won’t reduce its effectiveness, but it’s a good idea to drain it off, keeping the unit light and dry.  

Thanks for your help!
Our recent fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo raised over $11,000 in support of our programs in Cambodia and Kenya, enabling us to expand our pilot programs in both countries to 25 ovens each. Later this month we’re off to Cambodia where we’ll train eager cooks from rural families where deforestation has made farming increasingly challenging. They live in five wood-depleted regions - Kandal, Sem Reap, Battambang, Kratie, Kampon Speu.  We’ll report progress here…stay tuned.  And thanks for your help! 

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table December 2015

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Cranberry goat cheese toasts, solar cooking in the snow, holiday price cuts and more.

Holiday Cooking with the Sun!

A day of blue sky and sunshine in the middle of December is to be celebrated.  And you’ve never celebrated the sun like you do when you cook with a solar oven.  Even as we approach the shortest day in the year, there’s still enough sun for this month’s quick-prep, no-fail recipe.  As tasty as they are colorful, your holiday guests won’t believe these savory bites were made with your solar oven.  Our guest solar chef, Elizabeth Van Huffel, shares her recipe for Cranberry and Goat Cheese Toasts on her blog LocalSavour.com.


Solar Cooking in the Snow?  Bring it on!
 
Skeptical about solar cooking in sub-freezing temps with snow on the ground? Fret not, with the insulating powers of the Solavore Sport.  Solavore Dave Gillmore shows us how in his latest video, filmed on December 2 in 5º F.  Dinner and dessert without a single kilowatt!


The Giving Season


This holiday season you can double down on your gift giving.  Shop on our Indiegogo site and in addition to a wow! gift for a loved one, your purchase will fund, all or in part, a Solavore Sport to a family in India, Cambodia, or Kenya who depends on wood fuel for cooking every day.

Our perk list reads like a holiday gift catalog – a custom sun necklace in brass or sterling silver from Kristin Laing Designs (Kristin also happens to be Solavore’s Digital Media Director!), items from the uniquely curated collection at SportiqueSF, and practical solar power on-the-go from GoalZero. These great partners, and more, have joined Solavore’s drive to bring clean cooking alternatives to the 3 billion people still cooking over wood fire. You’ll need to act quickly – we’ll make every effort to get orders placed by Dec 11 delivered by Christmas.

Please visit our campaign site here and be sure to check out our sponsor's websites: Goal Zero, SportiqueSF, Comfort OutdoorsNightswapping and Kristin Laing Designs.


Holiday Pricing on Solavore.com

Been wanting a Solavore Sport since last summer?  Been wondering what to give Uncle-Joe-Who-Has-Everything?  You’re in luck – our holiday sale is underway!  The Solavore Sport + Reflector is holiday priced at just $239, and as always includes 2 pots, thermometer, recipe primer, and WAPI, plus free shipping! Regular price $269 – just what you’ve been waiting for!
Buy Now

Little Solavores

The 1” insulation on the top, bottom and sides of the Solavore Sport means not only you can cook under passing clouds, but that the oven is totally safe around children.  Kids love to cook in the sun – and what a great opportunity to throw in a little science.

This month our little Solavores take on the holiday tradition of gingerbread men. We used Martha Stewart’s gingerbread cookie recipe and baked for about 45 minutes with the Sport in the winter angle.

Thank you, friends and fellow Solavores

As we close out our first year of producing the well-respected Sport solar oven, all of us at Solavore want to express our thanks to our supporters all around the world – old-timers and new-comers – sharing the magic of cooking with the sun and the passion to share it with others less fortunate.  From our house to yours, happy and sunny holidays!

Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Hello, World!

Sun to Table, November 2015

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Introducing SolavoreWorks, plus solar oven root vegetables.
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Sun to Table
Solar Cooking Around the World with the Solavore Sport
November 2015

 

SolavoreWorks, indeed!


Solavore believes in profit with a purpose. Every solar oven purchased helps to fund a Solavore Sport somewhere in the world where an open fire is still the main kitchen appliance. And there are lots of them:  almost 3 billion people cook over open fire every day.  

This month we’re proud to launch SolavoreWorks.  More than just interesting stories and stunning images on our website (which we hope you’ll enjoy), SolavoreWorks reports progress on the purpose pledge we’ve made to you our customers and to the millions of women who fall ill every year performing the most basic of tasks: cooking for their families. 

SolavoreWorks – watch this space.
Solavore Purpose Pledge
  • Provide healthy cooking-fuel alternatives to wood, charcoal, kerosene and coal for women in sun-rich countries
  • Empower women by providing a free cooking fuel and through small-business incubation, including the sales and assembly of solar ovens
  • Reduce deforestation
  • Reduce carbon emissions
Go go Indiegogo
As a social enterprise, Solavore commits to self-fund its product launches in developing countries and help make the product affordable to families living on next to nothing.  And while we’re 100% focused on growing the company, we’re not willing to wait on the sidelines.  So on Monday, November 16 we’re launching a crowd-funding campaign to help support our pilot programs in Kenya, in Cambodia and in Rajasthan, India.  The funds will go far, thanks to the help of our partners on the ground in each country who will help us set up operations to assemble, distribute, finance, train and support solar cooking with the Solavore Sport.   We’ve curated a full line-up of pledge perks on our Indiegogo site that will make it easy to help, starting with our BOGO special – Buy One Give One – at an amazing price for those who pledge in the first 48 hours of the campaign.  

(Don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder … and our sincere thanks in advance for your generous support!)
Root Vegetables with Creamy Parsley Pecan Sauce:  The Crock Pot Challenge
 
This month blogger Local Savour brings out a fall classic – eat-more-than-you-thought-possible root vegetables – in a side-by-side comparison of the Solavore Sport and the family crock-pot.  And the winner is …. the sun!  The Solavore veggies retained their color and flavor compared to their crockpot counterparts. 
And for Elizabeth, the bonus was spending the day out and about, leaving the cooking to the sunshine, with nary a worry about burning the house down with her old crock pot.  Consider these Root Vegetables with Creamy Parsley Pecan Sauce as a solar-cooked side for your Thanksgiving table.
Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, October 2015

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Use your Solavore Sport as a dehydrator and more.
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Sun to Table
Solar Cooking Around the World with the Solavore Sport
October 2015

 

Take Dehydrating up a Notch with Your Solavore Sport
 

Preserving summer’s bounty in dried form has great appeal – less work than canning, and less shelf space. Sweetness and color blend for great kid appeal. More practical for a fall hike than a bag of frozen peaches (and more amenable to M&M’s and nuts tossed into the mix.)  No matter how tasty and practical the result of dried fruits and vegetables, however, many of us shirk from the hours of power consumed in the process of using an electric home dehydrator.

Enter the Solavore Sport, the truly off-the-grid, no-fossil-fuel cooking appliance ideal for slow-cooking, baking, and - you guessed it - dehydrating. The solar oven’s low cooking temperatures are a perfect fit for the 170º - 200º range ideal for dehydrating fruits and vegetables. Two minor modifications: cook on a screen or mesh instead of a tray or a pot (unless you’re making leathers as in the recipe below), and prop the lid open ¼” to allow moisture to escape.

Stone fruits come first to mind - peaches, plums, apricots. Beet jerky (yes, you read that right) too. But our latest find takes solar dehydrating up a notch, out of the snack bag and on to the hors d’oeuvre table. From Solavore contributing blogger Elizabeth Van Huffel of Local Savour, it starts with a simple fruit leather process (tomatoes are a fruit, after all) that puts your bursting basil crop to good use together with tomatoes of any variety. Skewer the dried tomato basil leather strips around fresh mozzarella balls for an elegant and savory tribute to autumn’s bounty.
Tomato Basil Leather Caprese Bites {Made with Sunshine} 
 
Servings 8-10 1" strips
Prep Time  10 minutes
Cook Time 5-6 hours 
 
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes   I used a mixture of sun golds & grape 
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil 
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 18-20 small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese 

Instructions 

1. Chop tomatoes if needed and place all of the ingredients (except the cheese) into a blender and pulse until well combined –– about 45 seconds.   Pour tomato mixture into a colander or strainer. Press firmly down onto the tomato mixture to drain off as much liquid as possible. Let drain for a good 10 minutes or until most of the water has been removed.

2. Cover a half sheet pan with tin foil and pour tomato mixture out onto the pan. Spread out evenly onto the tinfoil. Place into your solar oven and let cook for 5-6 hours or until firm and cooked through. 

3. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan. Take foil out of the pan then using a flat spatula push the edges of the leather off of the foil. Gently peel back the leather until it is completely removed from foil. Lay out flat onto a piece of parchment paper and slice into 1" strips. 

4. Using a skewer or pick layer the leather between the cheese balls and push through to hold together. Continue the process until all of them are made and serve. 

Recipe Notes 

If using a regular oven, preheat oven to 170 degrees and let cook for 5-6 hours or until firm and cooked through.

For an illustrated how-to, visit www.localsavour.com.
Vocabulary Lesson:  Insulation & Insolation
 
Kids love the magic of cooking in the sun. And teachers know that hands-on learning sticks. Solavore was recently invited to demonstrate solar cooking for the elementary grade science classes at the Journeys School of the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade independent school that has been teaching about the natural world and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since 1967.  
As their name implies, The Teton Science School takes the subject seriously, and these kids are sharp.  In our vocabulary challenge I had them on insulation vs. insolation (materials that help to retain heat by slowing down the transfer of heat vs. the power produced by the sun (from Latin insolare, to expose to the sun). They stumped me on phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena. And with just a hint (carnivore, one who eats meat), they quickly deduced that a solavore is one who eats of the sun.  (I did confess to that being a made-up word.)

We all earned our solar chocolate chip cookies baked in the warm Teton sunshine.
 

Anne's Recipe for a Perfect Fall Day
Step 1:  Load up your Solavore Sport, aim it at the mid-day sun.

Step 2:  Escape.  Whether you’re gone for one hour or six, you’re relaxed knowing that your meal will be moist and savory, no risk of burning or drying out.

Step 3:  Enjoy!  These ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, smoky-spicy sweet and savory. Find the recipe here.
Spread the Solavore Word
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan. That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
 

Sun to Table, September 2015

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Sun to Table Newsletter September 2015
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What a wonderful month September is.  The sunshine just feels more golden, warm rather than searingly hot (our friends in Arizona may beg to differ), and how about that harvest moon? Solar cooking in September is equally special.  Winter squashes are coming on, and apples galore. Don’t miss my friend Lucy’s baked apples: cinnamon-raisin aroma so mouth-watering you’ll never miss the pie crust (or the calories).  The recipe below can always be found on our website here.
Baked Apples
 
Start with four hard apple baking apples like Granny Smith. Remove cores and use a peeler to remove 1/2 to 1 inch of apple skin at the top of each apple. 

Fill the hole where the core was with with raisins and chopped nuts. Generously sprinkle cinnamon on top. 

Place apples in your Sport roasting pan and cover.  Cook in the sun until soft, approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. 

 
Makes 4 servings
Local Savour goes Solar!
 
We’re thrilled to have blogger Elizabeth Van Huffel join us this month, sharing her recipe for Solavore-baked Savory Corn Bread Pudding.  Local Savour is all about seasonal, farmer’s market inspired, family friendly recipes. Elizabeth (and her 
two boys) are smitten with cooking in the sun – instant Solavores!
Savory Corn Bread Pudding

3 cups fresh corn off the cob 
2 cups stone-ground corn meal 
2 large eggs lightly whisked 
1 cup milk, I used 2% 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and divided 1+2 
1 Tablespoon honey 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

Makes  8 servings 

 
 
1. Use one Tablespoon of butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 9" baking pan and set aside. 
2. In a large bowl, gently whisk together corn meal, baking powder, onion powder, salt. Next add in the fresh corn, eggs, milk, heavy cream, remaining butter, and honey and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Cover and place into solar oven. Cook for 90-105 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I can’t get enough of Elizabeth’s kitchen creativity (now extended to her back yard), so we’ve invited her back next month when she tries her hand at dehydrating in the Solavore Sport!
Come see us in Colorado

Solavore will be part of the 16th Annual Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, Colorado, the weekend of September 12-13. With 10,000 visitors expected we’ll be crankin’ out the Solavore Carrot Cake. We’re also teaching solar cooking workshops on both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30.
The Sustainable Living Association is a great organization, a non-profit making a big impact, educating people and helping communities make healthy sustainable choices. We’re proud to be there – come see us if you can!  (Suds fans:  there are over 14 microbreweries in Ft Collins, if that adds to the allure.) 
Solavore Works
Solavore believes in profit with a purpose.  Every solar oven purchased helps to fund a Solavore Sport somewhere in the world where an open fire is still the main kitchen appliance.
In August we traveled to Africa to initiate a solar cooking pilot with the Masaai Mara of southern Kenya.  We are partnering in this project with BigLife Foundation, an organization doing amazing work to prevent the poaching of elephants.  They protect 2 million acres of wilderness with 31 outposts, employing 315 rangers.  The Big Life Solavore project will bring solar cooking to the villages of these rangers, where women currently walk 4-8 hours in search of fuel wood.
We’ll keep you posted on our Kenya project as it rolls out.  In the meantime, you have to check out the stunning photography of BigLife co-founder Nick Brandt.


Your purchase of a Solavore Sport helped to make this project happen.  

Thank you.
Spread the Solavore Word
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan.  That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help! Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, links below.
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Instagram
Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.

Sun to Table, July 2015

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July's recipe is solar oven pulled pork. 
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The 4th of July is behind us, but there’s still plenty of flag waving going on.   While the sun powers your backyard picnic or campground cookout you can feel extra patriotic knowing that your Solavore Sport is made right here in the USA from components made in the USA. One more reason that cooking in the Solavore Sport just feels so right.
 

Pulled Pork – the sun does it best!


Just in time for your July cookouts - you have to try these  mouth-watering pulled pork sliders.  Contributed by a new Solavore in Park City, Utah, it’s truly a set-it-and-forget-it Sport special, and it goes together in a snap.  And if finger-lickin’ tasty is what you want, use pork spare ribs instead. Click here for the recipe.

What family does not have vegetarians or vegans right there with the meat-eaters? Carnivores and herbivores can both be Solavores – just make the above slider recipe using portabello mushrooms instead of pork and reduce your cooking time to one hour.  It’s easy to accommodate everyone with your two-pot solar oven.
Spread the Solavore Word 
 
It’s hard to believe how the hard-working Solavore Sport consistently delivers – from appetizers to desserts, from succulent roasts to healthy vegan.  That’s why word of mouth is the best way to spread the word, and we need your help!  Like 
us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter using the buttons below.
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Instagram
Instagram
And if you’d be willing to get serious about building the Solavore community, with Solavore’s affiliate program you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your efforts, cash that you can donate to your favorite cause (or your piggy bank). Click here to learn more about how this program works and see if it’s right for you.
Solavore Works
 
Solavore believes in profit with a purpose.  Every solar oven we sell helps to fund a Solavore Sport somewhere in the world where an open fire is still the main kitchen appliance.  

In June we traveled to rural Cambodia to participate in a pilot test of alternative renewable energy technologies, a project jointly financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  You can read more
 here
Who wouldn't enjoy hands-free cooking?
The obligatory rice test.
And our kids balk at broccoli!
Your purchase of a Solavore Sport helped make this project happen. 

Thank you.
Next month:  Solar Cooking Summer’s Bounty!