Guest Blog: The Wonderbag, a Recipe for Change

The Wonderbag is a simple fabric bag that is filled with repurposed foam chips and acts as a portable, non-electric slow cooker that can keep your food cooking for up to 8 hours without wasting fuel, or exposing your family to the dangers of wood fire cooking.

Today Sarah Collins shares the story behind her creation, The Wonderbag. This simple and eco slow cooker rocks! Thank you Sarah for the work you are doing!! Kind lifers please take note, The Wonderbag recipe forum has vegan options, but it is not exclusively plant-based. 
Having grown up in rural, apartheid-era South Africa in the 1970s – a time wrought with social inequality – I was always keenly in-tune with the need for sustainable and humane development. It was no surprise, then, when I began to dedicate my life’s work to what inspired me the most: figuring out how to ease the impact of the health, social, economic, and environmental problems facing Africa and developing countries.
As fate would have it, the answer I needed was staring me right in the face. In fact, it was by using some of the oldest technology known to man – the same technology I witnessed my grandmother using during Johannesburg’s rolling blackouts – that I figured out how to change the world by using the magic of heat retention cooking.
The Wonderbag is a simple fabric bag that is filled with repurposed foam chips and acts as a portable, non-electric slow cooker that can keep your food cooking for up to 8 hours without wasting fuel, or exposing your family to the dangers of wood fire cooking, which is one of the leading causes of death globally. 
A reduced need for gathering firewood also means children spend more time in school, women have new chances to pursue income-earning opportunities, and the family’s fuel costs can drop up to 40% – so families have more money to use towards necessities like food and shelter. In order for us to spread the Wonderbag opportunity across Africa, for every Wonderbag sold (in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, and the Netherlands), one is donated to a struggling family in Africa – one village, one community at a time.
Our recipes – like this Moroccan Vegetable Soup – come from all over the world. They’re a reflection of the diverse and beautiful community of Wonderbag users across the globe.
Moroccan Vegetable Soup
A fresh, vibrant, tasty soup perfect for any time of the year. The chickpeas and couscous make this a hearty soup which works well as a main dish or a side.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 oz dried apricots, diced
  • 1- 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1- 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup couscous

Warm a Tbsp of olive oil in a casserole dish over high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until just golden. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for a further minute until fragrant.
Add all the remaining ingredients, other than the couscous, to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal it for 2-3 hours. Unseal the Wonderbag and remove the lid from the pot. Scatter the couscous over the soup and quickly cover with the lid again. Leave to stand for a further 10 minutes to steam the couscous. Mix together, season to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

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