Locating Huckleberry Patches from Space

Posted April 9, 2019 By sandy

Knowing the location of a good huckleberry patch is the most valuable information an avid picker can have.

But now, with current satellite technology, huckleberry patches can be located from space!

According to the Blue Mountain Eagle article, U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist Tabitha Graves and biologist Nate Michael mapped out huckleberry patches in Glacier National Park.

Huckleberry bushes turn bright red in autumn, making it possible to Locating Huckleberry Patches from Spacepick them out in a landscape. Graves and Michael developed ways of identifying the particular berry patches and winnowing out other red-colored fall shrubbery….

Combining the details from the two systems allowed the researchers to map huckleberries with about 80 percent accuracy.

For proof, the researchers then hiked to the identified spots to ground-truth the results. In the process, they found most huckleberry plants were more than 300 feet away from hiking trails.

The article goes on to explain that although Glacier National Park is just a test site,  this technology and its methods could be used around the world to monitor important trees and scrubs.

… That might help bear managers reduce the odds of people running into bears in the park by selectively closing productive patches that would attract grizzlies….

The image archives also work like a time machine. Incidents like forest fires or bark-beetle outbreaks can be reviewed before and after to see how huckleberries adapt to the change.

“There aren’t that many species that can be identified from space, because most don’t turn that bright shade of red,” Michael said. “We got lucky hucks do that.”

But don’t despair, this is just in a test stage in the park only.  Tabitha and Nate joked they could be endangering themselves by revealing some picker’s huckleberry hot spots!

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

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More Fun Facts About Huckleberries

Posted March 28, 2019 By sandy

Huckleberries are a favorite fruit for many — especially if you live in or around the Rocky Mountain region. 

But did you know about these fun facts:

  • Huckleberries are also found throughout eastern North America and the Andes and other mountainous regions of South America.
  • The fruit is versatile in various foods or beverages, including jam, pudding, candy, pie, ice cream, muffins, pancakes, salad dressings, juice, tea, soup, and syrup.
  • There are 83 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of huckleberries.
  • Huckleberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iron, and a number of antioxidants.
  • The health benefits of huckleberries include the ability to boost heart health, lower cholesterol, stop DNA damage, reverse aging, promote weight loss, and boost brain health. Considered a superfood, blueberries can help fight cancer, soothe inflammation, boost immunity, enhance digestion, and prevent hair loss.
  • In the wild, huckleberries are consumed by bears, birds, coyotes, and deer.
  • Huckleberries were traditionally collected by Native American and First Nations people along the Pacific coast, interior British Columbia, and Montana for use as food or traditional medicine.
  • The huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

Read more fun fact, and view huckleberry plant images on the original article:  Interesting Facts About Huckleberries

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Huckleberry Cream Delight Pie

Posted March 2, 2019 By sandy

Of all the recipes posted over the years, huckleberry pies — any kind of pies — are the favorites.  Some of the recipes posted here are shared over and over again.

Well, I’ve found another one and this one is a bit near and dear to my heart because it originated in the Lewis/Clark Valley, Idaho which is where I call home.

Huckleberry Cream Delight Pie

Huckleberry Cream Delight Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 single pie crust, baked
    Filling
  • 1 2½ ounce package Dream Whip
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    Huckleberry topping
  • 2½ cups frozen huckleberries
  • cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Prepare Dream Whip according to directions on the package and set aside. Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar. Add Dream Whip mixture. Pour into cooled pie shell.
  2. In a sauce pan, cook berries slowly until they are soft, then add mixture of water and cornstarch. Continue cooking until mixture is thick. Cool and top pie with huckleberries.
  3. NOTE: To bake pie crust: Roll out and fit into pie pan. Prick crust with a fork and flute around the edges. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2019/03/02/huckleberry-cream-delight-pie/

Make sure to check out the full article which includes their pie crust recipe

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Huckleberry Gifts for the Holidays

Posted December 6, 2018 By sandy

Looking for huckleberry products for holiday gift giving?

Our sister website, Tastes of Idaho, features Idaho made products, including lots of huckleberry goodies for personal enjoyment and gift giving.

Currently, we are fully stocked with our projected inventory of “made in Idaho” huckleberry products and candy for the holiday season. 

In your planning for your holiday gift giving, please consider the ready-made gift boxes.  The various boxes might include huckleberry jam, syrup, chocolates …. and other huckleberry treats!Huckleberry Mountain Duo Gift Box

The best selling gift box (which we offer on the Tastes of Idaho website) is the Mountain Duo which contains a bottle huckleberry syrup and a large jar of huckleberry jam.

Check out all the Tastes of Idaho gift boxes

(NOTE:  This is just one of the many beautiful gift packs available directly from Gem Berry. If you visit their site, Gem Berry Products, you will find other popular huckleberry products and gift packs.)

Tastes of Idaho also features FOURTEEN different huckleberry candies, mostly combined with some form of chocolate, are now listed on the Candy / Confection section of the site:

Check out the Huckleberry Candy

Of course, you can find all kinds of huckleberry products such as our popular huckleberry syrup, huckleberry jam, and many other huckleberry gifts and goodies.

And don’t forget to check out our unique ‘Build Your Own Basket’ option or our ready-made basket or bundle options.

But for right now, you will find THE largest huckleberry inventory we will keep in stock all year at Tastes of Idaho, waiting for your order… while supplies last!

 

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Huckleberry Scones

Posted November 4, 2018 By sandy

Huckleberry scones are not as well known (or baked) as other huckleberry goods like pancakes, muffins or even breads.

So if you have never made huckleberry scones before, here is a wonderful receipe from “Accordion to Kelly” to try.

NOTE:  If you use frozen huckleberries, I would suggest reducing your liquids — adding small amounts slowly until the consistance is thick and pliable.

Huckleberry scones

Best Huckleberry Scones

5 2/3 C flour
1/4 C baking powder
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter
1 1/2 C fresh huckleberries
1 1/2 C milk
3/4 C sour cream
 
Directions

Heat oven to 400*

Sift dry ingredients – cut in butter.  Stir in berries of currents.
Mix sour cream and milk, then gently blend with dry ingredients.
 
Separate dough into 4 sections, patting each into a flat wheel with floured hands. (about 1″ thick)
Cut each wheel into wedges, then place on greased baking trays.
 
Put the kettle on.
Bake 10-14 min till golden.
 
READ FULL POST HERE

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Huckleberry Jam Recipes and Products

Posted October 11, 2018 By sandy

Shorter and cooler days marks the end of the huckleberry picking season.  We’ve heard a few stories about a few late patches of huckleberries here and there, but I suspect, with the first frosts in some area, they are gone for the year.

So now, what are you gonna do with the huckleberries you have picked and probably frozen for the year?

The most popular use for huckleberries is jam.

We have numerous recipes for Huckleberry Jam and Preserves in our archived posts.  Some of the interesting and delicious recipes include:

In addition, I found an informative article on picking and making huckleberry preserves:

Pumping up the Jam:  Savor the flavor of summer with huckleberry preserves

But what if you love huckleberry jam, but did not pick enough huckleberries to make any?

Don’t despair!  Our companion site, Tastes of Idaho, features several different brands of jam — all made by Idaho companies, so you know you are getting the best tasting products!!

In addition to our huckleberry jam, we also have some sugar-free, fruit sweetened huckleberry jams, if you are avoiding sugar. 

No need to go without your favorite huckleberry jam with the recipe or product options listed here!!

Enjoy!!

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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
    Banana Bread
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time
  3. Add the bananas, milk and vanilla
  4. Continue beating until the mixture is combined — it’s ok to have small chunks of banana
  5. Stir in the last 4 ingredients until just combined
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  7. Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil
  8. Pour in just enough banana bread batter to cover the bottom
  9. Spread a large spoonful of huckleberry mixture across the middle, lengthwise
  10. Add more banana bread batter
  11. Add more huckleberries
  12. Add the rest of the banana bread batter
  13. 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
  14. Bake for 50-55 minutes
  15. 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.
    Make the shrub syrup:
  1. Chop or mash the huckleberries (food processor works well).
  2. Mix sugar with the huckleberries cover (plastic wrap is best).
  3. Refrigerate for 3 or more days to allow the berries to soften.
  4. Strain and press the juices through a sieve, extracting as much juice as possible. Scrape any left over sugar back into the liquid.
  5. Stir in or pour the champagne vinegar over the huckleberries in the sieve to to dissolve any left over sugar.
  6. 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.
  7. 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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