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Food Homepage Slider Life & Loves Reviews — 28 December 2013

The following comments have stumbled from friends’ mouths when entering our kitchen/ galley and spying our slow cooker: ‘Is that a sleeping bag?’ they ask. Or, ‘Is that the lagging for your boiler?’ Even, ‘Is it that some kind of cushion?’ ‘No, it’s the Wonderbag!’ I reply.  A slow-cooking bag that cooks your food without using any form of energy whatsoever

The Wonderbag: so many uses and so many designs

What is the Wonderbag?

The Wonderbag is an insulated cooking bag that works as a slow cooker. It does, in fact, look a lot like a mini sleeping bag (my friends aren’t completely barmy!) Using the Wonderbag is easy peasy. All you do is cook the sauce/gravy of your dish to the right consistency and then pop it, still in its pan, inside the bag.  You can then leave it for six-twelve hours to cook whilst you get on with your life!

 

The insulating material keeps your food hot without using any energy so it is perfect for those who want to keep energy usage, for whatever reasons, to a minimum. Even the cheapest cuts of meat become beautifully tender and the slow cooking brings out the best flavours. Importantly slow cooking meals means ingredients retain nutrients and vitamins.

 

How did we come across the Wonderbag?

 

We first saw the Wonderbag featured in a sailing magazine and it spoke to us. It was ideal for sailing or camping where you are always trying to limit gas usage. However, as well as using for leisure purposes it also appealed to me for everyday life at home. I’m sure I’m not alone in enjoying the ease of a one pot dish. Using the Wonderbag meant that I could leave it unattended without the worry of flames, boiling over etc and  get on with other things.

 

There’s more to this bag…

I contacted Jac from Wonderbag who was bubbling over with enthusiasm about her product. She told me how the Wonderbag originated in South Africa where it was used to help low income families cook up a nutritious meal. Since then it has created over 2000 jobs and is used in over 600,000 homes.  I love the fact that with every bag bought in the UK a Wonderbag is given to a family in need in the developing world.

As well as being good for health it also has huge environmental benefits. In South Africa the creation of Wonderbag meant that all polystyrene balls that were sitting in a huge bobbly mountain were re-used. Using the bag also reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

From its South African origins the Wonderbag has since been admired and used by people from all walks of life including professional and acclaimed chefs. One such chef is Gav Williams who has raved about the low-cost (cheaper meat cuts come out great after tenderising through slow-cooking), tasty meals the Wonderbag produces.

The fact that you can just pack the bag away and take it with you (without the worry of replacement canisters/batteries) means that the Wonderbag has also been embraced by holiday-makers, sailors, campers,  motor homers, fishermen as well as, of course, those at  home.

 

 How did we get on with the Wonderbag

Michelle Hannell, mummyratesit, reviews the Wonderbag

Jac told me in no uncertain terms that there was no point waiting for our sailing trip to use the Wonderbag and she was right. I got straight on with it and used it a few times at home when we had friends around for dinner.

It proved to be a very valuable asset to have at home. I was able to rustle up a meal over lunchtime, put it in the Wonderbag, do the school run etc and then came back and dish out a hassle free meal. We tried a few of the recipes (a book comes with the bag) and they turned out really well, in particular the sausages casserole.

The Wonderbag comes up quite big when in use but fortunately you can pack it down to reasonable size for travelling. In our case it was boxed up and sent over to the boat in Greece from where it has been in constant use.

As well as using it for slow cooking I also found it invaluable for keeping things warm whilst I dealt with another pan on the hob. This was particularly useful when the boat was rolling around and I didn’t trust two pans to remain on the hob. If you’re in doubt as to how warm it kept things then I can tell you I had to use an oven mitt to remove it from the bag. If you like to use heated plates to serve up your food you could also use the bag to keep them warm – freeing up your oven space.

You can also use the Wonderbag for keeping things frozen or cool. In our case we have to regularly de-frost the boat’s fridge/freezer and the Wonderbag was great for keeping stuff frozen during the process. Jac told me how she picks up her kids from school and treats them to an icecream from the Wonderbag she keeps in the boot of her car. An icecream will stay intact for two hours and a frozen piece of meat for about 12.

 

An invaluable piece of kit

 

I really can’t rate the Wonderbag highly enough. With so many ways to use it it has made life on a boat so much easier. I also love the fact that the Wonderbag is being used to make lives better around the globe both nutritionally and environmentally. To find out more about the Wonderbag and to make it part of your life visit  www.nb-wonderbag.com

 

 

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. What a brilliant idea. We could have done with one of those over Christmas as the oven just didn\’t seem big enough. I love using my slow cooker, so it wouldn\’t be too much of a stretch to use this – as I\’m used to making dinner in the morning!

    • Yes it is a great idea and I love the way it can just be left unattended without any concerns about gas/electricity. Hope things with you are well. I’m sorry I’ve not been around much on your site (or anyones). Boat life and lack of WIFI just doesn’t allow it. I hope to be in a marina in a few days and am going to demand a whole day of just interfaffing and catching up. xx

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