|Cooking by the sun|
If you want to stay healthy, then cooking naturally by the sun provides numerous benefits. The main advantage of cooking by the sun is that the nutrients in your food are preserved. At a time when other sources of energy, like gas and electricity are expensive, cooking by the sun reduces energy needs and provides other benefits.
Solar cooking has numerous implications for energy use at the household level. Wholesome foods like legumes and whole grains which require longer cooking times, (three to four times) can be used more often in the diet because solar cooking uses less energy compared to cooking with gas or electricity. Soaking beans ahead of cooking will reduce solar cooking time. The higher the altitudes, the faster the food cooks, and quick solar cooking is influenced by closeness to the Equator and the time and seasons of the year.
Primarily, household nutrition is improved as moderate cooking temperatures in simple solar cookers preserve nutrients in foods. Of importance is the fact that you use very little water to cook, and this preserves vitamins that are lost in water. Solar cooking also ensures that you do not have to worry about using too much water, especially if you are not sure of the source and its level of contamination. Where supplies of drinking water are unsafe, solar energy allows for water pasteurisation to prevent water-borne illnesses, especially among children.
In countries where families must trade scarce food for cooking fuel, solar cooking allows them to spend more of their budget on food for the household, subsequently improving the nutrition of the family. Solar cooking improves food safety through more efficient and safe ways of cooking food.
Solar cooking is helpful in rural areas where there may be limited amounts of wood and coal. It saves time for the householder as there is a ready source of energy. Certainly, solar cooking will not burn food, and stirring is unnecessary because of the moderate temperatures of the solar cookers. Water will boil in a matter of minutes in solar ovens. Food can be placed in a solar cooker to cook and left unattended for hours in the same way you would with an electric slow cooker.
With the glut of fruits in our country today, solar energy can be used to preserve fruits as well as kill insects in grains and other dry staple foods. You do not have to have a sophisticated solar dryer to start preserving your fruits. You can make use of the sun in your backyard.
Solar cooking is less irritating for the eyes as it is smoke-free. Lungs are less likely to be infected and the smoke-free nature of the cooking creates no pollution for the environment.
Since we have sunshine at our disposal, let us use it to our advantage for healthy meals, healthy bodies and a healthy nation.
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