Huckleberries are round and small, and they are typically blue, purple, and crimson or in dark blue color. They can be very sweet or taste or even sour at times.
Hurtleberry, as it is also called, is a fruit native to North America. The fruit comes in a variety of dark colors such as blue, red, and black, and each measure about 5-10mm in diameter. These fruits are completely delicious for its uniquely sweet taste. They are commonly used as primary flavoring agents in tea, juice, soup, pie, pudding, jam, and pancakes. They also serve as pain relievers and helps in healing heart infections and diseases.
Nutrients Content in Huckleberry
Huckleberries belong to the Ericaceae family and aren’t only tasty, but also perfect for medicinal purposes. These berries are rich in vitamins and contain around about 22 IU of vitamin A. They also comprise high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin B.
They also contain sufficient potassium levels, which is excellent for carrying several functions in the body, one of which is the regulation of water balance. Since berries contain high vitamin C levels, taking them helps boost the immune system and keeps infections at bay. They can also help prevent eye and heart diseases.
As an antioxidant contained in vitamin C acts to protect the cell against the harmful effects of free radicals and helps in preventing premature skin aging. Tea made from dried huckleberry leaves has proven helpful in cases of poor starch digestion.
Additionally, being an excellent vitamin B source, huckleberry speeds up and supports the body’s metabolism rate, which keeps the muscle and skin tone healthy. They also help enhance the immune system function, promote healthy cell division and growth, and prevent pancreatic cancer.
What to Know About Huckleberries?
Huckleberry is also beneficial in numerous circulatory problems, such as venous insufficiency, thrombosis, angina, and varicose veins. Treatment with huckleberry supplements may also keep the heart in a healthy condition by enhancing blood passage to the heart.
They are also popularly used as an herbal supplement, which helps keep the blood vessels healthy and strong, thereby the risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition whereby fatty plaques gather excessively inside of the blood vessels.
Fun Facts of Huckleberry
Europeans are known to have used huckleberries for hundreds of years as a solution for diarrhea. Its extract can also be applied directly inside the mouth, which helps treat mild soreness in the mouth and throat.
On the coast, we can find the red huckleberry that grows mostly in almost any forested area. It thrives in very wet soils, and you can find them in regions that get a fair share of the sun through a dense canopy. Although they aren’t exactly rich in antioxidants as their darker cousins, they still contain higher nutrients properties than blueberries and even stand up to the Acai berry.
Health Benefits of Huckleberry
As a result of the high concentration of antioxidants, the health benefits of huckleberry include:
- They assist the pancreas in digesting starches and sugars
- Huckleberries help build blood since they are high in iron
- Huckleberries are known for lowering cholesterol, thereby protecting against glaucoma, heart diseases, varicose veins, peptic ulcers, and hemorrhoids.
- Huckleberries are also an excellent source of vitamin B. They also speed up and support metabolism, which keeps the muscle and skin tone healthy.
- They improve the immune system’s function, enhance cell divisions and growth, and help prevent pancreatic cancer.
- Huckleberries are high in vitamin C, which protect the body from immune deficiencies, prenatal health issues, cardiovascular diseases, and eye diseases.
- They are also high in potassium, thereby enhancing the nerve and muscle tissues’ function, including the skeletal and heart muscles.
What’s the Difference Between Blueberries and Huckleberries?
The differences between both species are mostly geographical and botanical. In various parts of the United States, both their flowering and plant species are referred to with common names. These similar names make them difficult to sort. They are both called whortleberries and are members of the Ericaceae family. The subtle disparity is noticed when you check beneath their skin.
In the eastern and southwestern regions, huckleberry grows as a member of the genus Gaylussacia, while in other northwestern regions, huckleberry species belong to the genus Vaccinium, like blueberries genus. These berries are vital to why – regardless of the visual likeness – different botanical names have been made up.
Both western blueberries and huckleberries carry five chambers located in their ovaries. However, blueberries germinate its berries as a bunch, while huckleberries sprout single berries. The leaves of huckleberries join together with the stem, which makes their fruit germinate on fresh shoots.
Another significant difference is that unlike blueberries, huckleberries don’t do well when domesticated. This means that you can’t grow huckleberries in your back garden. Huckleberries are typically harvested from wild forestation. This doesn’t imply that you can’t find huckleberries ‘garden’ around, which can mostly be blamed on the misclassification and common names flying around.
Huckleberries are also not edible until they are fully ripe and well cooked. The unripe or raw ones are very bitter and toxic. Sorting difficulties arise from the standard nomenclature from people who can’t tell the difference between huckleberries and blueberries.
How to Choose the Best Huckleberry?
Be on the lookout for smooth huckleberries that don’t have molds. If you do pick your huckleberries, be careful not to pick poisonous berries.
How do you Store huckleberry?
After washing and drying the huckleberries, put them on a clean cookie sheet, and then cover them with paper towels, and keep them in the freezer. When they are frozen, put the berries in a well-sealed container and place them back in the freezer for future use.
Huckleberry Notes and Tips:
- You can add huckleberries to your fruit salads.
- You can also add a little bit of honey to give your huckleberries more taste.
- You should dry the leaves of huckleberry for use when preparing tea.
- Huckleberries can also be used for preparing tasty pies, jams, cobblers, and preserves.