Huckleberry Banana Bread

Posted September 8, 2018 By sandy

We’ve shared many huckleberry recipes on this site, but that does not stop us from looking for more and unique recipes. 

Have you ever thought about making Huckleberry Banana Bread?  Well, here is the recipe from Kallie Schaefer :

Huckleberry Banana Bread

Huckleberry Banana Bread

Ingredients

    Huckleberry Swirl:
  • 1 pint huckleberries
  • 1/2 tablepoon agave or honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (or you can substitute a little corn starch. The goal is to thicken.)
  • Banana Bread:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (coconut oil, if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs (chia seed or flax substitute, if vegan)
  • 4 very brown bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (cow, almond, soy, rice milk, etc…)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 210 grams (1.75 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

    Huckleberry Swirl
  1. Stir the huckleberries, agave and lemon juice in a bowl and allow to sit for an hour minimum
  2. Purée the huckleberry mixture in a blender or food processor
  3. Combine the huckleberry mixture, molasses and vanilla in a small pot and bring to a simmer
  4. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Stir in chia seeds and allow to cool
  7. Banana Bread
  8. Beat the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined
  9. Beat in the eggs one at a time
  10. Add the bananas, milk and vanilla
  11. Continue beating until the mixture is combined — it’s ok to have small chunks of banana
  12. Stir in the last 4 ingredients until just combined
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  14. Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil
  15. Pour in just enough banana bread batter to cover the bottom
  16. Spread a large spoonful of huckleberry mixture across the middle, lengthwise
  17. Add more banana bread batter
  18. Add more huckleberries
  19. Add the rest of the banana bread batter
  20. Using a butter knife, run it through the pan just a couple times. We don’t want it to be completely combined, we just want a good swirl
  21. Bake for 50-55 minutes
  22. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, remove from pan and eat.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/09/08/huckleberry-banana-bread/

Find the full recipe here

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Late Season Huckleberry Stories

Posted August 30, 2018 By sandy

As we head into the end of huckleberry season (in most areas), stories are still appearing.  Here are three of the best ones.  Two articles include recipes!!

Deduct trail serves up movable feast  Late Season Huckleberry Stories

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Another reason is huckleberries. … So I eat my fill of huckleberries. …

Upon returning to the Prius, after several hours of communing with nature, my fingers a garish shade of purple from the huckleberries, I find what looks to be a nose smudge on my driver’s side window. 

My first thought is a wild creature. Perhaps a bear or deer, tired of the huckleberry diet, was hoping I was carrying the makings of s’mores, has paid me a visit.

WOW!!  A close encounter while huckleberry picking … or is it?  Read the full story here!

 

The Hunt for Huckleberries

Chelsea Green Publishing

Huckleberries are wild through and through, and a certain type of person with a fierce independent streak and a love of self-sufficiency sees huckleberries as an emblem of a western way of life. Northwestern Montana is known for its huckleberries, as are Washington and Oregon. It’s the state fruit of Idaho. Species grow all the way up the Pacific Coast to Alaska….

The huckleberry hunt can get competitive, but there is a precedent for working things out. Huckleberries were at the heart of a treaty between the Yakima Nation and the US National Forest Service. ….

This article shares some tips on harvesting and storing huckleberry along with a recipe for Buckwheat Huckleberry Buckle.  Read about it here!

 

The Grub Hunter: Heidi Haussermann scours the forests of Pebble Beach for huckleberries

Monterey County Herald

Not Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday, who menacingly told Johnny Ringo in “Tombstone” that he would be his huckleberry. And not the target of Audrey Hepburn’s affection as she sang that famous line from “Moon River.” …

While pop culture is littered with fun, familiar references, I had no idea that those berries grew wild in the forests of Pebble Beach. It seems the Pacific Grove resident forages for food in her own vast backyard — a true huckleberry hound, if you will.

This all came to my attention one day when Haussermann sent me an email that began: “Do you want a 5-cup bag of huckleberries?”

Read the rest of the story …. which also includes the Haussermann’s Huckleberry Pie recipe!

 

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Huckleberry Gin Fizz Cocktail

Posted August 23, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberry juice and ‘shrub’ make wonderful adult drinks. 

This recipe, orignially posted on the Use Real Butter website, sounded especially appealing on these warm summer days!

Huckleberry Gin Fizz Cocktail

Huckleberry Gin Fizz Cocktail

Ingredients

    Huckleberry Cocktail
  • Ice
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 oz. huckleberry shrub (see below for recipe)
  • 3-4 dashes bitters (limes work best)
  • Ginger beer
  • Huckleberry Shrub
  • 1 cup huckleberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar

Instructions

    Make the huckleberry gin fizz:
  1. Fill glass with ice. Pour the bitters, lime juice and huckleberry shrub syrup, and into the glass. Add in ginger beer and a few frozen huckleberries. Makes 1 cocktail.
  2. Make the shrub syrup:
  3. Chop or mash the huckleberries (food processor works well).
  4. Mix sugar with the huckleberries cover (plastic wrap is best).
  5. Refrigerate for 3 or more days to allow the berries to soften.
  6. Strain and press the juices through a sieve, extracting as much juice as possible. Scrape any left over sugar back into the liquid.
  7. Stir in or pour the champagne vinegar over the huckleberries in the sieve to to dissolve any left over sugar.
  8. Place the shrub syrup in a seal jar and storing it in the refrigerator for at least a week -- shaking it at least once a day.
  9. The shrub syrup will mellow after two weeks in the refrigerator and can last for a few months to a year or more.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/08/23/huckleberry-gin-fizz-cocktail/

Check out the full Huckleberry Gin Fizz recipe here from the Use Real Butter website, including some other great huckleberry recipes!

Some of the previously posted drinks, including adult drinks, are listed here:  Huckleberry Drinks

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Huckleberry Domestication Update

Posted August 15, 2018 By sandy

The International Wild Huckleberry Associate was first founded to share the research of Dr. Dan Barney on the domestication of wild huckleberries.  When Dr. Barney’s facility at the UI Research Center in Sandpoint closed in 2010, and he retired a few years later, others took up his quest to domesticate the wild huckleberry.  (If you are interested in reading Dr. Barney’s research notes, click here!)

Recently, we found an update of the research conducted by others that followed Dr. Barney in this quest.  KUOW published the following article:

Northwest Huckleberries Could Be Close To Domestication

Dr. Amit Dhingra … has been researching the humble huckleberry at the Department of Horticulture Genomics Lab at Washington State University since 2013.

“There were so many theories that you could not take a wild huckleberry plant and grow it in another environment,” Dhingra said. “I’ve always loved challenges and that’s what got me interested, because it hadn’t been done.”

But Dhingra had another motivation to research huckleberries too. He wants to create a healthier berry for Northwest farmers to grow in the future

“Huckleberries have approximately four times more anthocyanin,” said Dr. Dhingra.

That not only gives them a deeper color and richer flavor, it also packs huckleberries with more antioxidants.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Last year, Dr. Dhingra’s interest in pursuing the best of wild huckleberries was documented in an NPR article:

“Domesticating the wild huckleberry is impossible,” says Amit Dhingra, associate professor in the horticulture department at Washington State University. “They have been established in the wild in certain conditions in the forest, and their genetics are suited specifically for that purpose.”

Instead, Dhingra is heading an effort to make a totally new berry, with some of the qualities that makes the huckleberry so revered. The goal is to create a berry that can be grown in multiple environments — not just shaded areas of high elevations, like the huckleberry. Instead, berry production would be a bit more like the blueberry, which grows in bunches on the plant rather than single flowers like the huckleberry. The berry also has to be easy to store and transport and, of course, taste as good as a huckleberry.

“The flavor of the huckleberry is legendary,” Dhingra says. The project began in 2013, so huckleberry lovers shouldn’t start checking the grocery stores just yet. These not-huckleberry hybrids have only just started to produce.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Tips for Huckleberry Pickers

Posted August 8, 2018 By sandy

Here is another fun huckleberry picking story, with some important tips for huckleberry pickers, that I recent found on the internet. 

Check out the tips here:

Hurry to get your huckleberries

From the Clark Fork Valley Press

Huckleberry season is once again upon us, and with the weather coming just right they are ready to pick, if you can find them….

If you haven’t made it out for the annual berry hunt, here are some tips to strive for to ensure your first time is fun and successful:

Scouting out the ‘best of the best’ bushes

Although you can find them [huckleberry bushes] all over in a range of places, you want to get out early and start scouting to find a picking spot.

Many seasonal pickers will have selected their own spots, and if you’re new to the hunt you want to follow suit and find more than one place to pick….

Most tip sites on the Internet will encourage pickers to avoid picking on the weekends.

They say the crowds will all converge to the many sites, and the best time to ensure you get a good amount of berries is to head up to your spots mid-week….

Investing in a hiking pack can really help. You can load it with a number of items that you can use over and over again while out hiking or enjoying the great outdoors.

HERE ARE some important items to make sure you are set and prepared for your pick:

— A bucket to load your huckleberries in

— Storage containers and/or cooler

— Plenty of water

— A packed lunch

— Bear spray

— A basic first aid kit

— Insect repellent

— A hat

— Some sunscreen

— A belt, in case you need to secure your bear spray in a handy spot

— A forest map; you don’t want to get lost

— Have good hiking shoes and long pants on when you get ready to begin…

Read the full story

 

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Huckleberry Pork and Coleslaw Meal

Posted August 6, 2018 By sandy

Nothing sounds more delicious on a hot summer day than a meal of huckleberry pull pork with huckleberry coleslaw!!

We host a very active group on Facebook called Huckleberry Hunting & Recipes.  Huckleberry lovers from all over the country (but most are from the west) chime in with their favorite pictures of huckleberry pickings from the day or their favorite dish using their precious berries.

One of the recipes that caught my eye is the Pull My … Pork … recipe below:

  • 6 buns (Author like to use sandwich or hot dog buns)
  • Huckleberry Coleslaw (recipe follows)
  • Pulled Pork (4-6 pound pork butt prepared)
  • Huckleberry BBQ Sauce (recipe here)

Huckleberry Pork and Slaw Meal

Huckleberry Pork and Slaw Meal

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen huckleberries
  • 3 TBSP canola oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place coleslaw mix into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, canola oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, and huckleberries in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly.
  3. Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/08/06/huckleberry-pork-coleslaw-meal/

Check out the full recipe for the Huckleberry BBQ Sauce recipe or purchase a bottle of the original Idaho Huckleberry BBQ sauce from our Tastes of Idaho online store! 

It’s our very favorite BBQ sauce and it’s made locally in Idaho!!

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Huckleberries Ready for Picking

Posted July 25, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberries are ripe and ready for picking in most areas.  Fun picking stories are posted nearly every day describing the crop, picking success and fun days of purple fingers!

Huckleberries Ready for Picking

Following are a few of the articles that are circulating on the web:

9 Fun Facts About Huckleberries, the Unofficial State Fruit of Montana

Everyday Wanderer

Montana is home to majestic mountains, big skies, and everything huckleberry. While they look a bit like a large, dark-colored blueberry, huckleberries have a distinct taste. They are also much more expensive than blueberries. Find out why with these fun facts….

I particularly enjoyed this article as one of the numbered points listed the following statement:  “While huckleberries are the official state fruit of Idaho, I’m convinced they are the unofficial state fruit of Montana.” 

HA!  Huckleberries are the official state fruit of Idaho since 2000 (see the following article for more details:  Idaho State Fruit).

Eat your hearts out Montanas!!!

Another interesting story is from Castlegar, British Columbia:

COLUMN: Slow and steady to huckleberry glory

Castlegar News

I found huckleberries again this year — as ever in my usual spot not far from the Columbia River. Others have been telling stories of huckleberries in the valleys and along lower mountain slopes. The internet is alive with huckleberries for sale —hard to believe at $10 a pound….

Our last story listing some interesting picking story, but the part I like best is when the author snuck a piece of huckleberry pie into the nursing home where his grandma is living!!

Steve Griffin: Huckleberry tradition continues

Midland Daily News

Call ’em huckleberries, if you like. Some of my buddies make the distinction between tame (blueberries) and wild (huckleberries.)

Plant scientists split them differently, with Latin names and seed distinctions.

But no botanist ever shared a good picking spot with me, and a couple of friends have, so I’m siding with the buddies: huckleberries it is.

That’s what Grandma Griffin called them…

If you are interested in exchanging stories with other huckleberries pickers, check out our Facebook Group:  Huckleberry Hunting & Recipes

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In an effort to preserve grizzly bear habitat, areas of Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada is banning commercial huckleberry harvesting.

Kootenay Boundary BC Banning Commercial Huckleberry Harvesting

Here are some of the new regulations, according to E-Know:

From July 15 to Oct. 15, commercial-scale picking of huckleberries is prohibited in some areas of the Kootenay Boundary region, including Little Moyie and Kid Creek west of Moyie and Iron Creek/Sand Creek and Sportsman Ridge/Upper Flathead River west and south of Fernie and Monk Creek, west of Creston.

These areas have been identified as critical foraging zones for grizzly bears and other wildlife species. These areas are of high traditional value to First Nations, a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development press release explained.

In case you are wondering what exactly is considered to be commercial-scale picking, the Nelson Star explains:

Commercial-scale harvesting is defined as:

  • Harvest or possession of huckleberries exceeding 10 litres per person, per season
  • Use of mechanical pickers, or any device other than hand-picking
  • Harvest of any amount of huckleberries for the purpose of resale

If you were planning a trip to pick huckleberries in this area, the following is a link to a map identifying the closed areas are available online: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/access.htm

Related story here: Commercial ban on huckleberry picking

Related story here: Huckleberries in jeopardy

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Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Posted June 27, 2018 By sandy

You may have heard of huckleberry cheesecake or huckleberry ice cream, but have you heard of Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream?

I found this recipe on the Use Real Butter website and thought I would share it with you.

Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Huckleberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients

    Huckleberry sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen huckleberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • Graham cracker crust
  • heaping 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (or coarsely crushed graham crackers – as you like)
  • 1 1/2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
  • Cream cheese ice cream base
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp bourbon (optional – but yes, please)

Instructions

    Make the huckleberry sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until the cornstarch has been completely incorporated (no lumps). Turn the heat to medium and stir for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the berries give up their juices. I like some whole berries in my ice cream (because huckleberries are small), so I only smash about a third of the berries with the back of a spoon. If using other berries, mash as you see fit. Remove from stove and let cool completely. Set aside.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crust:
  3. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and use a fork to make the mixture uniform. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
  4. Make the cream cheese ice cream base:
  5. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cream cheese, sugar, and salt together until smooth. With the food processor running, add the milk, cream, and bourbon (if using) through the pour hole until blended. Churn the cream cheese ice cream base in your ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Assemble the ice cream:
  7. When the ice cream is churned to soft-serve consistency, spread half of the cream cheese ice cream into your vessel. Pour half of the huckleberry sauce over the ice cream. Sprinkle half of the graham cracker crust over the huckleberries. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Take a knife or spoon and run a few swirls (figure 8 works well for me) along the length of the ice cream, making sure you reach the bottom of the vessel. Freeze for several hours until firm. Makes about a quart.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2018/06/27/huckleberry-cheesecake-ice-cream/

Make sure you check out the complete article where they share lots of pictures and tips for making this delicious huckleberry ice cream

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Huckleberry Picking Rakes Myths

Posted June 14, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberry picking season is nearly here!  With all the talk about picking huckleberries, I am reminded that there are several misconceptions about using huckleberry rakes. 

So, I have decided to share some excerpts from an article I wrote awhile back on this particular issue:

What is the Real Story Behind Picking and Harvesting Wild Huckleberries?

There are many myths in the outdoor community concerning using huckleberry rakes and the history behind the huckleberry rakes. The International Wild Huckleberry Association, in particular, has received fiery responses from readers attacking the use and recommendation of using huckleberry rakes.

We would like to share with you some of the stories behind the myths and why they are just that — myths!!

Huckleberry Picking Rakes Damage Plants and Should Not Be Used in Wild Huckleberry Stands

Dr. Dan Barney (or Dr. Huckleberry!) has stated the following about the use of huckleberry rakes:

Dr. Barney demonstrating huckleberry rakes

“The use of rakes to harvest huckleberries has long been a highly emotional one. During the early 1900s when there existed a large commercial huckleberry industry in the Northwest, many pickers used rakes or other devices. This is well-documented in “A Social History of Wild Huckleberry Harvesting in the Pacific Northwest” – General Technical Report PNW-GTR-657, 2006, USDA-Forest Service by Rebecca Richards and Susan Alexander. If the rakes damaged the bushes and berry yields, the pickers would not have been able to return year-after-year to the same sites.

“I have harvested all nine species of western huckleberries and bilberries by hand and with rakes. Used properly, rakes cause little or no damage to the bushes. Our western huckleberry and bilberry species bear fruit on shoots which form that same (current) season. In other words, when you are harvesting berries, the wood that will bear next year’s crop does not exist yet. To damage next year’s crop, you would have to either break off fairly large shoots or damage the lateral buds along those shoots. I have not observed either type of damage when using rakes to harvest huckleberries or bilberries native to the northwestern United States.

“Rakes do not work well for some species due to small berry size, twig conformation, or the way the fruit is borne on the branches. For other species, rakes can be used to quickly harvest fruits without damaging the plants.

“If a harvester is breaking off twigs and leaves with a rake, then the rake is not being used properly and the harvester is going to spend a lot of time picking few berries and much more time than necessary cleaning them. In other words, they are not going to be making any money and are not likely to persist with the rake.

“I, personally, do not support … legislation banning mechanical harvesting devices.

“As for the U.S. Forest Service banning such devices, The only National Forest, to my knowledge, that does so is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in south-central Washington.

“I am far more concerned with the practice of cutting or breaking the branches off and harvesting the berries from the detached branches. This practice can severely damage the plants.

“Likewise, I have seen formerly productive colonies damaged by people digging up the plants, apparently with the idea of transplanting them in mind. Particularly sad is the fact that, for several native species, most of the transplants will die. Container-grown (huckleberry) plants transplant easily. There is no good reason for digging wild huckleberry or bilberry bushes from public land for transplanting.”

Dr. Danny L. Barney

March 7, 2007

The Native Americans Never Used Huckleberry Picking Rakes, so Neither Should We!

The myth about the damage caused by huckleberry rakes comes primarily from some members of the Native American community who, for cultural and spiritual reasons, do not like the use of man-made “tools” for picking huckleberries. So they’ve made broad claims about how damaging rakes are, and this myth is becoming an unfortunate urban legend over time, perpetrated by media which does no fact checking before putting misinformation into print.

Just as a point of fact, some Native Americans DO buy commercial picking rakes for huckleberries; and the FIRST HUCKLEBERRY RAKES or “combs” known to US history, were from native peoples, as reported on Page 8 of:

A Social History of Wild Huckleberry Harvesting in the Pacific Northwest” – General Technical Report PNW-GTR-657, 2006, USDA-Forest Service.

Native Americans used wooden hand-carved picking combs, or a raking tool made up of the backbone and one side of the rib cage from a salmon. Apparently, those tools worked quite well. And I am sure they were not out to rape the wild huckleberries or damage the plants.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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