It’s blueberry season here in Northeast Missouri, and we’ve been picking! Three visits to the local U-Pick, and many more visits to the bushes at our friend’s house. I like to go into the winter months with at least 6 to 8 gallons of frozen berries for baking, smoothies, pancakes, and eating. And of course eating them fresh is one of the true joys of summertime.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I am a big time baker – cookies, muffins, granola, and quick breads are my favorites. Camping on our land has made food selection and preparation somewhat trickier – for instance, it’s really hard to keep meat for more than a day with no refrigeration (we use coolers filled with frozen jugs of water that we change out every day or two). But baking on hot sunny days is easy, fun, and almost effortless thanks to our Sun Oven. (And no, I’m not getting paid to say this – I just truly adore my Sun Oven).
Using a Sun Oven on a hot sunny day is pretty much exactly like baking in your home oven. I make sure to move the Sun Oven periodically so it tracks the sun, and thus achieves maximum temperatures (which for me is usually around 300 – 325 degrees on a very sunny day). I have also learned to use smaller pans for more even cooking – pie tins, small loaf pans, and mini muffins work great.
When I found myself with a brown mushy banana and a cup of fresh blueberries the other day, I threw together this recipe. Moist and naturally sweet, with bites of tart berry. Delicious!
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 overripe banana, mushed
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup flour (I used half whole wheat and half white)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
Prepare mini muffin tin by greasing with oil of your choice. Melt butter and honey in your solar oven (or on the stovetop). Add this mixture to mashed banana, egg, vanilla, and milk. Combine wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in blueberries, taking care not to overmix.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or adjust as necessary if you’re using a solar oven).
This amount of batter made 12 mini muffins, plus one mini loaf bread.