Are you a slow cooker fan? I love to use my slow cooker year round – but for me, it’s especially great in the colder months! It makes having a hot, comforting dish so easy! I was recently presented the opportunity to try a simple, but revolutionary slow cooker. It’s called a Wonderbag! It continues to cook food, which has been brought to a boil by conventional methods for up to 12 hours, without the additional use of fuel. No plugs. No Fuss.
I have to admit, at first I was a little skeptical of how this would work – but was very intrigued by the idea. Having a family of seven, we try to be very conscious of how our money is spent and like most families, we hate high utility bills. It seems like we are always telling someone to turn off a light! Every flip of the switch adds up, ya know?!
What is Wonderbag, you ask? Wonderbag has clever insulating properties that allow food that has been brought to the boil point, to finish cooking while in the bag. This greatly reduces the use of additional energy. This means families can cook appetizing, hot meals while saving energy and money. It also means less time tending to the cooking food, allowing women to spend more time with or providing for their families.
While I have the luxury to just go over and turn on my stove or plug in my slow cooker to make dinner … some people aren’t as fortunate. Wonderbag was created to help women in other countries be able to step away from cooking by the fireside and spend more time engaging and supporting their families both relationally and financially.
Did you know that women living in poverty and third world countries typically spend 4-6 hours per day preparing meals? Wood fire cooking is the source of major social, economic, and environmental issues in Africa. Families in Africa that use Wonderbag can reduce their fuel usage by up to 30% representing a significant cost savings that eases the burden of poverty. Using the Wonderbag helps save water, reduces the carbon footprint, minimizes deforestation, smoke inhalation diseases and deaths. For every Wonderbag purchased in the US, one is donated to a family in need in Africa.
You’re probably wondering how does it work? It works with 2-9 Quart pots with short handles and lid; metal and cast iron work best. To slow cook, simply bring the food to a boil on a stove, let simmer (5 minutes for rice and grains, 15 minutes for root vegetables, meat or presoaked beans), then put the pot with lid into your Wonderbag, close tightly, and slow cook to perfection up to 12 hours. Because it is not on direct heat, it will never overcook or burn. Wonderbag is perfect for bringing delicious home cooked meals to potlucks, dinner parties, tailgating, or camping. It’s also perfect for holidays when stove and counter space are at a premium. Another neat feature is that it can also be used to keep cold food cold! What other slow cooker can do that?!
Since my family really loves tacos, I thought it would be fun to see just how Wonderbag compared to my regular method. To say that I was impressed, would be an understatement! It works just as well as the plug-in variety of slow cooker – and my pork fell apart and shredded just as easily as if I had cooked it in a traditional slow cooker! I can’t wait to see how it handles summer picnics with a cold salad in tow!
Pineapple Peach Chipotle Pork Tacos
Yield: 8-10 servings
For the pork:
1½-2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 2-in. cubes
1 jar (24 oz.) Peach Pineapple Chipotle Salsa (I used the Great Value brand)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped plus 1 tbsp. sauce from the can
2 cups water
Pineapple Peach Salsa:
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 large peach, pit removed and flesh chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
Handful cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. lime juice
Flour tortillas, warmed
Pineapple Peach Salsa (above)
In a medium bowl, combine all of the salsa ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate until serving time.
Place all of the “For the pork” ingredients in a 3-5 qt. Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and place your lidded pot in the Wonderbag for a minimum of 4 hours (up to 12 hours) to finish cooking.
Remove the meat from the pot and shred. Add some of the sauce from the pan to the pork, if desired. Top tortillas with shredded pork, the fresh Pineapple Peach Salsa and some shredded cabbage.
I was pleased to share with my kids that cooking with WonderBag makes a difference in the lives of families on the other side of the world. It was a great opportunity to teach them about how different cooking in Africa can be from cooking in the U.S.
Cooking with Wonderbag is an eco-friendly, time and money saving option for preparing appetizing meals the whole family will love. Wonderbag is also empowering for women in other countries. Just a reminder – You can Buy One, Give One: For every Wonderbag purchased in the US, one is donated to a family in need in Africa; Families in developing countries who use Wonderbags save up to 30% of their income otherwise spent on fuel for wood stoves. It comes in your choice of Red Batik or Blue Batik.