Since we are located in Montana, it only makes sense that we talk about the famous huckleberry. Huckleberries are native to northwestern United States and Canada. Montanans in particular are infatuated with huckleberries. Montana doesn’t have a “state” food, but if it did, huckleberries would most likely be it. Huckleberries are used for a vast amount of products, a lot of these products are edible such as: jam, syrups, pie, ice cream, chocolate, candies, and wine. Other types of products made with huckleberries typically are soaps, shampoos, lotions, oils, lip butters, bath salts and even candles.
Huckleberries are perennial shrubs about 2 to 3 feet tall when grown in full sun but may become 10 feet or more when grown in shade conditions – most are deciduous but some are evergreen. New leaves are bronze to red in color and mature into a glossy green through the summer months. The black-purple berries of huckleberry plants are resultant of tiny, pale pink urn-shaped flowers that appear in the spring.
Huckleberries are very similar to blueberries. They're small and round and range in color from red to blue and even black. They have noticeably larger seeds than blueberries, which can be somewhat bitter in taste. It depends on their color. Red huckleberries tend to be more tart, while darker purple, blue, and black berries are sweeter in flavor. They have a somewhat mild flavor, similar to that of a blueberry. While blueberries can be found in the supermarket year round, huckleberries on the other hand are not grown commercially. Huckleberries hate domestication, and are traditionally harvested from the wild, making them much harder to come by.
The peak picking season would be July through September. In addition to humans, many animals enjoy huckleberries, including bears! Huckleberries are one of the grizzly bear's favorite foods, and they're willing to travel great distances to get them. So be aware of your surroundings when going huckleberry picking, because you may be in a bear's favorite patch. Be sure you are picking with an experienced guide, as you do run the risk of picking poisonous berries.
Like other berries, huckleberries are a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, helping to strengthen your immune system and fight off diseases. And of course, vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, helping your skin to look softer and less wrinkled. They're also high in iron, helping to prevent deficiencies that can lead to anemia. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also acts to protect the cells against the damaging effects of free radicals; and helps prevent premature skin wrinkling. In addition, the nutrients found in wild huckleberries have been found to be helpful in treating common skin issues, such as eczema. High amounts of Vitamin B also boost the metabolism, and promote health of hair and skin.
We LOVE the benefits and scent of huckleberries! That is why we carry multiple products that contain huckleberry in them. If you would like to check out our huckleberry line of products, then visit our website at dayspabodybasics.com.
If you just so happen to get your hands on some delicious huckleberries, then here is a refreshing beverage recipe called a Montana Huckleberry Mule.