Huckleberry BBQ Sauce

Posted May 26, 2016 By sandy

One of my favorite ways to enjoy huckleberries is in barbecue sauce.

If you have never had Huckleberry BBQ sauce, you are missing a wonderful combination of sweet and savory sauces for beef, pork or chicken.

First time I had huckleberry barbecue sauce was in a meatball dish.  The gal cooked the meatballs ahead of time; then added them with a bottle of sauce into a crockpot and cooked it awhile longer.  Oh my goodness, it was delicious!

Most Huckleberry BBQ Sauces make great dipping sauces for chips, veggies or meat strips; as a marinade sauce (or with meatballs!); in baked beans or lentils; on your homemade pizzas; as a spread for your cold meat sandwiches; mixed in your specialty salads; in soup or stew or chili …. and I have mixed huckleberry barbecue sauce into vegetables as a sweet sour style flavor.

Several different Huckleberry Barbecue sauces are produced around the Rocky Mountain region — where most huckleberries are harvested.

Here are some of my favorites:

Huckleberry BBQ Sauce

Gem Berry’s Huckleberry BBQ Sauce:  Made in the Sandpoint, Idaho area, this is my very favorite sauce (and the one used in the meatball dish described above).  This thick style sauce is very flavorful with a mix of tomato sauces, pastes and purees along with huckleberries, blueberries, brown sugar, vinegar, onion and spices.

Huckleberry BBQ Sauce

 

Dorothy’s Wild Huckleberry BBQ Sauce Marinade:  A thinner sauce, made in the Boise, Idaho area, is great for marinading your meats and fish before you cook.  This sauce contains many of the same ingredients along with chile and onion powder, paprika, molasses and grilling flavor.

 

HB BBQ

Huckleberry Haven Huckleberry BBQ Sauce from our friends, over the border in Montana.

 

 

 

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Cleaning Huckleberries

Posted May 19, 2016 By sandy

If you have ever picked wild huckleberries, you know that cleaning them can be a challenge.

We have seen many different methods — some more complicated than others — for cleaning these fragile berries.

I found an article on the Wineforest Wild Foods website that describes some suggested cleaning methods:

Cleaning Wild Huckleberries

A bucket of berries harvested by combing and “beating the bushes” contains many leaves and even smaller unripe green berries. Some people submerge the berries in a bucket then skimming off the floating debris. This is the least desirable method. It water logs the berries and dilutes their flavor. Creating a ramp to roll the berries down is certainly the best way. There are numerous variations on the ramp technique. One nice way is to get a long strip of screen or hardware cloth with holes smaller than the size of your berries. Bend the screen into a long gutter-shape. Raise one end at least three feet higher than the other end which should end in a bucket. Pour the unclean berries down the ramp. Leaves will stick in the screen and the smaller green berries should fall through the screen as they roll downhill.

Another easy ramp is just a pair of boards, in a “V” shape, or an old gutter. Line either with an old blanket. The leaves and twigs stick to the blanket while the berries roll away down into a bucket. If you add little horizontal baffles to the gutter or chute, the big clean berries bounce over these obstacles leaving even more particles and debris behind. It’s reminiscent of gold miner’s chutes. This method works best with the larger mountain huckleberries whose stems break off fairly easily.

The coastal evergreens are not as easy to clean. Because of the tenacious stems, hand-picking makes good sense. I often freeze the berries then clean them while frozen. You roll the berries around with your hands on a sheet pan, the stems fall off easily. Then just shake them in a strainer and the stems will fall through.

Check out the full article for pictures, harvesting and preservation methods

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Huckleberry Shallot Relish

Posted May 5, 2016 By sandy

1859 Oregon Magazine shared two article on huckleberries this past week!

The first one, entitled Huckleberry Confidential, shared some interesting information about huckleberries in Oregon:

While often compared to a blueberry, this fruit has a complexity all its own. For the petite, dwarf huckleberries with a redblack hue and the large, bright blue Cascade huckleberry, the signature flavor is a complex balance of sweet and tart. The mountain huckleberry grows in high altitudes rife with acidic soil and is large and dark, with tones varying from deep red to purple black. Favoring the lower elevations and climate of the southern coast of Oregon, red huckleberries grow in delicate clusters and have a sour-tart flavor with a hint of sweetness. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, twelve different species of huckleberries grow throughout Oregon, each with a distinct appearance, flavor and preferred altitude to put down roots.

The second article, Relishing the Huckleberry, featured the following recipe:

Huckleberry Shallot Relish

Huckleberry Shallot Relish

Makes enough for one whole side of grilled salmon or six 6-ounce portions

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup fresh huckleberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1 large shallot (finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (minced) lemon zest and juice to taste

Instructions

  1. Place huckleberries in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat sugar, vinegar and coriander seeds in a small sauce pan and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add minced shallots and simmer two minutes.
  4. Pour over huckleberries, stir and set aside to cool.
  5. After the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add fresh thyme and citrus zest.
  6. Spoon over warm grilled salmon.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/05/05/huckleberry-shallot-relish/

Now, doesn’t that look like a delicous relish for salmon!

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Huckleberry Products for Your Event?

Posted April 28, 2016 By sandy

During the spring and summer, Tastes of Idaho, our sister site, does a booming business in special orders for the event industry.

Inquiries come from people holding a summer event, getting married, organizing an workshop or meeting, sending customer gifts…. even planning family reunions… They want to get some huckleberry products, favors, gifts for welcome packets, or just create fun memories… and what better way to do it, than with tasteful and tasty goodies?

With our connections to the huckleberry and Idaho gourmet food industries, we can often put together a special bulk order, even with products we don’t show on our website.

Huckleberry Products for your event

Popular items include lip balms (several flavors, including our top selling huckleberry), 2 oz or 4 oz huckleberry jams, SOAPS in a wide variety of scents and configurations, popcorn, honey, and all kinds of confections.

Oh, and did I mention custom labels are available on many items?? Not every product is available this way with your own logo, company name, or event particulars. But depending on volume, and a small graphics charge, you would be surprised what we can come up with!

Put your special summer (or other event) date and information on your own private label, as a memory maker. Consider the impact of your company name on a huckleberry goodie that will REALLY stand out at a trade show or conference.

Oh, and depending on volume, we can often do a 15% or more discount over regular retail prices!

Give us a holler, and let us do come concierge shopping for you.

Do remember that logistics for these larger orders do require a bit of extra time, ESPECIALLY if you want a custom label.

Last year, we shipped out thousands of cool huckleberry items, including jams, lip balms, soaps, and candy for wedding favors, customer gifts, and conference welcome packs.

Are you associated with an upcoming conference or other event in the near future, that I can help you make even more memorable??

Give me a quick call, and let’s see what we can find and create for you!

Sandy & Malcolm Dell
Tastes of Idaho
888-231-1699

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Everything You Want to Know about Huckleberries

Posted April 22, 2016 By sandy

As you know, we have tons of information about huckleberries on this site — especially about the huckleberries grown in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest region. But we may not have EVERYTHING you want to know about huckleberries!

But, believe it or not, there is some interesting information about huckleberrEverything you want to know about huckleberriesy on Wikipedia

Following is some information from their huckleberry listing:

The name ‘huckleberry’ is a North American variation of the English dialectal name variously called ‘hurtleberry’ or ‘whortleberry’ /ˈwɜːrtəlˌbɛrɪ/ for the bilberry. In North America the name was applied to numerous plant variations all bearing small berries with colors that may be red, blue or black. It is the common name for various Gaylussacia species, and some Vaccinium species, such as Vaccinium parvifolium, the red huckleberry, and is also applied to other Vaccinium species which may also be called blueberries depending upon local custom, as in New England and parts of Appalachia.

The ‘garden huckleberry’ (Solanum scabrum) is not a true huckleberry, but is instead a member of the nightshade family.

Here is the info about our local huckleberries:

From coastal Central California to southern Washington and British Columbia, the red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) is found in the maritime-influenced plant community. In the Pacific Northwest and mountains of Montana and Idaho, this huckleberry species and several others, such as the black Vaccinium huckleberry (V. membranaceum) and blue (Cascade) huckleberry (V. deliciosum), grow in various habitats, such as mid-alpine regions up to 11,500 feet elevation, mountain slopes, forests or lake basins. The plant grows best in damp, acidic soil having volcanic origin, attaining under optimal conditions heights of 1.5 to 2 m (4.9 to 6.6 ft), usually ripening in mid-to-late summer or later at high elevations.

I found it very interesting that many of the quotes in this Wikipedia article are from Dr. Dan Barney, who previously, ran the U of I Research Center in Sandpoint where he worked on several huckleberry projects!

 

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Another Huckleberry Pie Recipe

Posted April 13, 2016 By sandy

“DID YOU KNOW…

That the huckleberry was designated the official state fruit of Idaho in 2000? In fact, Fourth-grade students from Southside Elementary School in Bonner County proposed adopting the huckleberry as Idaho’s state fruit.”

I found this wonderful huckleberry pie recipe on a the Pie Addicts website — written by a Boise resident.

Since this is a “Idaho Huckleberry Pie Recipe”, I am sure it is the best!!

Huckleberry Pie Recipe

Huckleberry Pie Recipe

Ingredients

    INGREDIENTS
  • Flaky Butter Pie Crust (any recipe will do, or you can just use mine!)
  • FILLING
  • 5½ cups fresh huckleberries, picked over (as best you can), rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbs. minute tapioca (I used as is, or you can grind up for a finer texture)
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • WASH FOR CRUST
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs. water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine the huckleberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Carefully stir and turn the mixture until well combined. Set aside for at least 15 minutes so the tapioca can get soft and the sugar dissolves.
  3. Roll out one disk of refrigerated pie dough, to about ⅛ inches thick, and about 12 inches in diameter. Place dough into a 9 inch pie dish. Place the dish into the refrigerator while you roll out the dough for the top. Roll the top out to the same thickness.
  4. Pour the filling into the pie shell, then carefully cover with the second pie crust you rolled out. Trim where necessary and crimp the edges. Lightly brush with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-60 minutes (I baked for the entire 60min….it helped with cutting back the juices). The time always varies! Just bake until the filling is bubbling. Cover the edges with aluminum foil or a pie shield if it’s getting too brown. Let cool completely before cutting or you’ll have some serious juice to contend with when you cut into it!
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/04/13/another-huckleberry-pie-recipe/

Oh my! … I can hardly wait for huckleberry season this year!  Hopefully, we will have a great crop of juicy huckleberries.

Or if you can’t wait, check out our huckleberry pie filling on our  Tastes of Idaho website

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Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Posted March 31, 2016 By sandy

Every body loves huckleberry pancakes.  And now we have a Paleo version of your favorite breakfast food!

If you are not familiar with a ‘Paleo version’ of pancakes, it uses non-grain flours rather than the typical wheat flours.

I found this Huckleberry Paleo Pancake recipe on the Forest and Fauna website!

Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Huckleberry Paleo Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups finely ground blanched almond flour (do not pack tightly)
  • ¼ teaspoon mineral rich sea salt (pink Himalayan preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large pastured farm eggs
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 4-8 tablespoons full fat coconut milk, adjust for consistency
  • Coconut oil to fry

Instructions

  1. Turn on griddle or stove top to medium heat.
  2. Whisk eggs, vanilla, honey, vinegar/lemon juice, sea salt and baking soda together.
  3. Stir almond flour into egg mixture.
  4. Add a tablespoon of coconut milk at a time until you get the desired consistency. I like to thin them out for lighter pancakes, so I go a bit heavy on the coconut milk.
  5. Melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil per batch, once the coconut oil is nice and hot, spoon the pancake batter onto the hot griddle.
  6. The trick to perfect almond flour pancakes is having the heat set at the correct temp, on my stove top, that is just below medium, and I have found it is important to really let the pan heat up for a few long minutes before dropping in the pancakes. NOTE: I also made these pancakes on the SMALLER side, so they are easier to manage and flip.
  7. Fry cakes until you see bubbles appear and cake sets up on the sides, this is a good indicator to flip. Watch heat, as cakes can burn easily. Keep cakes in a warmed oven until finished with batch. Cook on each side for about a minute or 2. Use a thin spatula to carefully flip them.
  8. Serve pancakes with preferred toppings.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/03/31/huckleberry-paleo-pancakes/

Make sure to check out the original website to find Andrea Wyckoff simple receipe for Huckleberry Syrup

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Despite what you may have heard, huckleberries are very different from blueberries.  To me, huckleberries taste like blueberries on steriods!!

Other say a huckleberry taste like a cross between a blueberry and a red raspberry.

One way of another, huckleberries and blueberries are very different!

Here is a exerpt from an article that will help you understand more of why ….Huckleberries and Blueberries

Huckleberries and blueberries are not the same

First of all, the locations of the two berries are different. Wild blueberries grow in the northeastern portion of North America, including Maine and the Atlantic portion of Canada. Huckleberries are native to the northwestern United States and Canada. In fact, the huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

 

Huckleberries
There are about 40 species of huckleberry in the United States The shrub grows from one to three feet high, and has resinous leaves which feel sticky when pinched.

 

Blueberries
There are 15 or 20 species of blueberries native in the United States. The flowers of the blueberry are white and bell-shaped. The two-foot high plants have leaves which are small, oval and alternately arranged

 

How to Distinguish Huckleberries from Blueberries
Huckleberries and blueberries are distinguishable by their seeds. Each huckleberry contains 10 hard seeds, while a blueberry has numerous soft seeds. The two plants also differ in stem texture. Huckleberry stems are smooth while the blueberry’s stem is “warty.” When you eat huckleberries and blueberries, you will agree that the taste is different.

 

Huckleberries and blueberries are good and good for you. Huckleberries are not commercially cultivated so blueberries are easier to find in grocery stores. You can go into the woods and pick huckleberries yourself.

With all the snow in the mountains this past winter and the rain in the spring, it is looking like we might have a good huckleberry season this summer!

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If you are gluten free (like us), this is a perfect huckleberry cake recipe for you.  According to Bojon Gourmet, where I found this wonderful recipe ….

A moist and tender gluten-free pound cake recipe that bursts with tiny huckleberries and fresh lemon verbena, all drizzled with a vanilla bean glaze. Whole grain and gum-free, this cake gets its pillowy texture and sturdy crumb from cream cheese and a happy blend of flours.

Huckleberry Lemon Verbena Tea Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze {Gluten-Free}

Huckleberry Lemon Verbena Tea Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze {Gluten-Free}

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 1 stick (4 ounces / 115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces / 100 grams) organic blonde cane sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces / 115 grams) sweet white rice flour (mochiko)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces / 45 grams) GF oat flour
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) millet flour
  • 2 tablespoons (.5 ounces / 15 grams) tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen huckleberries, plus 1/4 cup for topping the cake (7.75 ounces total / 220 grams)
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon verbena
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces / 60 grams) powdered sugar
  • seeds from 1/2 a small vanilla bean (or a splash of vanilla extract)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (enough to make a drizzle-able glaze)
  • tiny lemon verbena leaves for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. For the instructions and more photos, click through to "The Bojon Gourmet"

Notes

Makes one 8×4, 9×5, or 10×5″ loaf

http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/03/03/huckleberry-lemon-verbena-tea-cake-gluten-free/

Make sure to check out their website for more delicious desserts, including the following:

Huckleberry Fig Shrub
Huckleberry Sprouted Wheat Pancakes
Huckleberry Chèvre Cheesecake Squares

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What are Mummified Huckleberries?

Posted February 25, 2016 By sandy

A reader recently posted the following question on our website concerning mummified huckleberries:

… We have many red huckleberry and evergreen huckleberry bushes in our woods (in Washington).  I have noticed mummies in the e.h. plants–a local blueberry farmer expressed surprise that mummification had migrated to the wild.  Do you know if that is common, or something new?

I was not familar with mummified huckleberries, so I contacted Dr. Dan Barney who sent the following reply:

Mummy berry is caused by a fungal pathogen known as Monilinia urnula. This fungus attacks domestic blueberries and also their closely related western huckleberry and bilberry cousins. Please see Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)-Mummy Berry | Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Handbook

Mummified huckleberries

Red arrow points to mummified fruit of black huckleberry, Vaccinium membranaceum. Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, British Columbia.

The pathogen is harmless to humans and nonmummified fruit can be harvested and used. Resistance to the disease varies between different genotypes (genetically distinct plants within the same species), and temperature and humidity play huge roles in whether the berries become infected. In warm, dry years, the disease may be nearly absent in a given huckleberry population, but very severe in the same population during a wet year. In my huckleberry and bilberry breeding program, this is one of the diseases that I screen for in choosing parent plants, in an attempt to select for resistance.

Thanks Dr. Barney for your explanation and references to the mummified huckleberries.

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