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The WonderBag

Updated on April 17, 2016

The Wonder What?

Have you heard of the WonderBag?

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My Wonder Bag Hard At Work

Image provided by Tanya Jones, Hub Author.
Image provided by Tanya Jones, Hub Author. | Source

Where The WonderBag Is Made

Making It While Having So Little

Sometimes, here in the USA and many other countries in the West, we forget just how much some people learn to live without. I was particularly taken by the video below which not only shows the production of the Wonderbag, but also the benefits the factory employees get from its sales and overall impact on their communities. To them, it’s not about making and selling, but learning new skills, being better able to feed their families, and creating opportunities for more people, especially women, to seek education. Please take a moment to visit this article about the overall impact of the Wonderbag on the people who benefit from it. Do watch the videos on the page.

A Blessing In Third World Nations

Double Double, No Toil Or Trouble

If I were to become passionate about any one item, it would be the Wonderbag. Not heard of it? I hadn't either until a friend gifted me with one. Considering the original target for the bags were families in developing countries, you must be wondering why I would be so earnest in my desire to see this enterprise take off here in the USA. For those peoples in Africa and other developing nations, one third of their earnings go to wood fuel used in cooking. It may be difficult to wrap your mind around someone paying one third of their wages for wood fuel so they can prepare their meals. Here in the USA, we're accustomed to wasting fuel in many instances and paying high prices for the utilities of which our cooking costs are a small part. What we stand to gain here in the USA would be more free time.

Let's look first at the person who works an eight-hour a day job which keeps them away from home for say nine or more hours of a day. Single people many times will opt to eat out more often than families may be able to afford. Take the single mother who has to get her kids home from a sitter or day care after work and then get meals on the table, homework done and prep for the next day. Being able to squeeze in quality time is a by-product of using this wonderful device. What if a mother could start her meal when she got home and after twenty minutes of preparation set it to cook while she gets the kids sorted and ready to eat. By the time homework is done, baths are taken and kids are settled, it's time to open the wonder bag and take out dinner. In a dual parent household evening tasks can be shared thus freeing up more time. Using the Wonderbag increases even more the amount of free time which can be spent together.

For me, a single person with a full-time job and multiple interests, getting a meal together every night after work doesn't appeal and my budget doesn't permit dining out everyday at establishments I prefer. So, get my meal together in the morning before I leave to work, set it to boil and nest it in the bag and I'm done. I don't have to worry about the food burning or the kitchen catching fire. When I get home excepting maybe cooking rice or potatoes (instant in the microwave) I have more free time and a meal prepared. I can also save leftovers for lunch or the next evening meal. What's more, I will eat what I cook because it tastes good and I know what's in it. Oh, and there's that free time to write, read, attend evening events also.

Do you know what the icing on top of the cake in all of this is? For every Wonderbag sold in the USA, another is donated to a family in Africa or to humanitarian aid. Just like that. Reducing impact on the environment and helping someone in need in another part of the world. You can buy your Wonderbag at Amazon. When visiting the Wonderbag home page, not only will you find more information about the bag, but also recipes from around the world.


Caveats From the Manufacturer

You'll find the information below in your handbook which comes with the bag or on the website.

  1. Keep in mind this will continue to cook your food in the bag for up to 12 hours after being brought to a boil. Plan you timing accordingly.
  2. It's best to use a size pot which will be full once all ingredients have been added.
  3. Be sure to use a pan with a tightly fitting lid.
  4. It's okay to use less liquid than usual in your regular recipes since there is no evaporation during cooking.
  5. Put a kitchen towel in the bag before sitting the pot inside to protect from spills. Put another one over the top of the lidded pot in case any steam escapes around the lid.
  6. The Wonderbag can be spot-washed and hung to dry.
  7. Salt and acidic foods (e.g., tomatoes) will not allow beans to soften, so precook your beans if you'll be using a tomato based sauce. Salt after the pot comes out of the bag.

A Test Run

Courtesy of Tanya Jones, Hub Author. When I first got my bag I tested its interior capacity. My couscous pot fits, as you can see.
Courtesy of Tanya Jones, Hub Author. When I first got my bag I tested its interior capacity. My couscous pot fits, as you can see. | Source

Another Way To Use The Bag

Going by the tips for making beans, since I wasn't using a tomato-base sauce, I didn't need to soak them. I was just hoping to reduce the cooking time. I heated some towels and a bowl in the oven. I put the dried beans in the bowl, then filled the bowl with very hot tap water to soak them. I covered the bowl with a lid. I put two of the warm towels on the bottom of the WonderBag then placed the bowl on top of these. I covered the top of the bowl with the third warmed towel, then closed the bag.

How another woman uses it.

My Tips

  1. I prepare rice and potatoes first then leave them on the stove top (turned off) until the main dish is ready. It's easy to microwave the rice or potatoes or reheat them.
  2. Start a diary for your Wonderbag experience. This will allow you to make notes as to what works or didn't and variations to your recipes. You can also note your recipes in the diary as well.
  3. Visit my Pinterest Wonderbag board. You'll find tips, recipes and other information for the Wonderbag.
  4. Rice in the Wonderbag. This blog article provides instruction for making the perfect rice in your wonderbag. When I made my rice, I forgot to follow the recipe exactly and did what I always do, rinsed and soaked my rice. I learned this in Japan many years ago. As a result my rice was sticky. Instead, now, I use a quarter cup less water with my rice after I've soaked it. Watch this video on making rice in the WonderBag.
  5. Some people like to take these on camping trips and engaged other traveling. They pack light in a backpack.
  6. Boil a stew pot full of water and put it in the wonderbag a few hours before you are ready to bag your food. I use the water later for washing dishes.

Japanese Style Curry

Image provided by Tanya Jones, hub author. I made both the curry and the rice in my wonder bag.
Image provided by Tanya Jones, hub author. I made both the curry and the rice in my wonder bag. | Source

Part of the Family

The Wonderbag

Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker with Recipe Cookbook, Red Batik
Wonderbag Non-Electric Portable Slow Cooker with Recipe Cookbook, Red Batik

I love my bag and don't know what I'd do without it. Those occasions I make the choice to prepare meals at home, I treasure this addition to my kitchen.

 

© 2014 Tanya Jones

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    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      Thanks, MarloByDesign. I'm slow to respond to comments of late. Sorry. Let me know how you like it if you get one. I appreciate your stopping in and commenting.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 2 years ago from United States

      I wish you had a poll choice for " No, but I want to learn." :) Thank you ~ I learned something new. I did still vote in your poll and chose " No, and I don't need one.", but I think I might need one after reading your Hub.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      Thanks, ocfireflies, for stopping in and commenting. I appreciate your comments. The wonderbag is very useful.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      awesome and very useful--great hub V+

      Kim

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      I agree, sallybea. Everyone should have one. I look forward to the time when even here in the USA many people will have heard of the wonderbag. I appreciate your stopping in and commenting.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      What a great idea. I had heard about these bags when I lived in South Africa but I had never seen one or used one. I love the fact that people can save electricity or fuel by using them. Everyone should have a wonder bag!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 2 years ago from Texas USA

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting, peachpurple. It is hard to gauge the size from the picture above. I should probably place a quarter in its edge right next to it or something. I had never heard of it either. My friend gifted me with one earlier this year and I love it.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i thought that was a laundry bag! LOL! Never heard of this bag

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Hi, smine27. Thanks for stopping in and commenting. It is interesting. I like that I can cook my meals while I'm away at work all day. Things are cooling down here for winter, so I suppose it's time to get some lovely stews on. Chili comes to mind.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard of this. So interesting!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Larry Rankin, thank you for stopping by and commenting. It really is a great item. I have a number of reasons why it's a great addition to the kitchen.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      A really fascinating item. Good read.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      That's right, colorfulone. With winter coming on I'm starting to get a loose food calendar going. Some of my faves for winter are speghetti, chili, shepherds pie, curry stew and a few others.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      That would be a great advantage to have dinner cooking in the bag while you are at work. It will save on energy costs and pay for itself.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting, colorfulone. It's perfect for that. My greatest benefit when using it is to cook dinner in the morning so it's ready when I get home from work.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      The Wonder Bag is a very interesting invention. If I had one I would most likely use it for simmering homemade soups, stews, and chili.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      You're welcome, Ann Hinds. I'm glad you stopped in and commented. The camping benefits are several. One day, I hope to explore them. Let me know how it works out for you.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 3 years ago from So Cal

      I am all for ways to help the environment. I have never heard of the Wonderbag but it appears that it is something I will have to plan on getting in the near future. We are also dry campers so it would be a welcomed addition to our camping must haves. Thanks for sharing.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Yes, so many greats packed into this concept. Great idea for college students as they won't have to have much more than an electric burner for the initial prep. Thank you, Brite-Ideas, for stopping in and commenting.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      This is incredible, I hadn't heard about it, and a fantastic cause and product at the same time - have to share this, thank you!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Pawpawwrites, thanks for stopping in and commenting. I can imagine something like this would've been great for the old cattle drives. Start soup in the morning before hitching up the wagons and driving the cattle then put it on for eats at the next stop.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      I hadn't heard of it, but it is a pretty neat idea. I can see where it would work for camping.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Suzanne Day, thank you for stopping in and commenting. Fossicking? You could even prepare it before you leave the house and just tote it around. Let me know how it works for you on your trips.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Never heard of this, but it looks like it would come in very handy on my fossicking trips, where I could "cook" the food in the car and transport it while out hunting down rocks! Thank you for bringing it to my attention - voted interesting!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Thank you, tazzytamar, for stopping in and commenting. Let me know what you think when you get one. They make great gifts for sure. That's how I got mine.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      This would make such an amazing gift! I love it! Thank you for the awesome review and bringing it to my attention. Definitely going to be buying one soon

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Linda BookLady, most definitely. Having at least 10 hrs of my day tied up so I can put bread on the table (figuratively) this is a plus to have. Since I'm single, I freeze any leftovers. If I ever get to work from home, I can see putting dins on in the morning and then being ready for dinner when I knock off.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Great idea... if you work outside your home, this could make dinner preparations a lot easier. I definitely plan to buy one for my daughter... she works and could use this and would love it. Great Christmas gift idea!!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Thank you, Linda BookLady, for stopping in and commenting. Let me know what you think when you get one. I was thinking today I could make several pot dishes over the weekend then stick them in the fridge. I could then bring them to a boil in the morning and stick it in the bag. When I get home, dins would be done.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Wow, that's very innovative and looks useful. I've never heard of this before. Now I want one.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Ha, ha, Oscarlites! You're funny. But, yes, it is truly a wonder. I like the low (translates to no) energy usage of the bag. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Oscarlites profile image

      Oscar Jones 3 years ago from Alabama

      da wonderbag! I always knew there was one of those!!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Thank you, Ruby H Rose, for stopping in and commenting. It's a great idea. I'm glad you liked the videos. People also use it for camping trips and other reduced facility type activities.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Wow, this wonder bag is a wonderful idea for sure. Great videos, thanks for writing about this great product. Great for college students to cook healthy meals.