Vaccinium Alaskaense or Alaskan Huckleberry are prolific from Crater Lake National park in Southern Oregon to all of Southeast Alaska and well into the Yukon. Harvesting from spring (for flower harvest) to September with August being my favorite month to fill up my baskets. We have the following sub species: V. ugliginosum, V. caespitosum, V. nivictum, V. ovalifolium and V. alaskensis V. ovatum, V. menbraneceum, V. scoparium , V. parvifolium with the last five commonly harvested and found here in Southeast.
Did you know there are medicinal uses such as, the regular use of blueberry leaf-alfalfa tea helps maintain a stable blood sugar level? Medical studies have registered decreases in blood sugar levels after administration of the leaf extracts. Huckleberry leaf tincture is used to treat hypoglycemia. Blueberry fruits are high in iron and mineral salts. Use the fruit with milk for convalescents and tubercular patients. Eating the fresh berries has been observed to regulate bowel action, stimulate appetite, end intestinal putrefaction (which produces gas and flatulence), and expel ascarids. Blueberry juice is a good mouthwash and is reported helpful for sore throat and inflamed gums. Leaf and bark decoctions are recommended as a gargle for mouth and throat sores; sip the astringent decoction if you are troubled by diarrhea. Leaves are also antiseptic and used in teas for urinary disorders. According to the Alaskan Flower Essence Project, an infusion of the flowers of bog blueberry, V. uliginosum, helps and individual become more receptive to life. A flower essence is an infusion of fresh flowers in pure water. I know you had my favorite red huckleberries last month for the fourth, but I had to share my favorite breakfast too! Seriously never enough berries and it was a cold spring, so make sure to save a few for the bears, they seem to be needing a few extra this year. If you encounter a bear on the trail, or in your campsite, stop what you are doing and evaluate the situation. Identify yourself by speaking in a calm, appeasing tone. Back away slowly, preferably in the direction you came. Walk, don’t run, and keep your eye on the bear so you can see how it will react. In most cases, the bear will flee.
CAUTION: An excess of blueberry and huckleberry leaf tea is said to spark minor symptoms of poisoning. Normal doses are generally quite harmless. As always, proceed slowly until you’re familiar with how your own system reacts.
But no leaf tea in this recipe, my favorite breakfast is coffee cake, I can’t eat kimchee and kale every morning, so during the summer I love to make coffee cake, with fresh berries of whatever kind I can get my hands on. Also a note that I’ve started using almost all spelt flour in my recipes instead of wheat due to glyphosate contamination. If you are reducing glutens, try organic spelt, it’s much easier to digest and you can also sprout coffee cake overnight. If you haven’t heard of Tony Mitra’s book Poison Foods of North America https://www.amazon.com/POISON-FOODS-NORTH-AMERICA-navigating/dp/1520976429 please check it out… to see the food test results from over 7,000 foods the Canadian government has done on chemicals in our food. Eat Wild, eat clean and enjoy the summer bounty!
1 ½ cup flour (organic spelt, almond, coconut)
2 ½ tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
½ tsp sea salt
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup organic sugar or honey
1/3 cup butter melted
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
2 cups wild berries, rinsed
¼ cup organic brown sugar
¼ cup organic sugar
¼ cup organic flour mix (whatever you used for the cake)
3Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
Sift flour, dry ingredients, toss two tablespoons on fresh berries in separate bowl and set aside, liberally grease and crumb/flour 9×9 or loaf pans, place oven rack in the middle of the oven at 375 degrees.
Beat the butter on medium speed until it’s smooth and golden, at least a minute. Add sugar/honey and beat for another 3-4 minutes. Add in salt, egg, orange zest, vanilla and milk slowly add in dry ingredients, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding more, then carefully fold in huckleberries. Pour into prepared pans and level. Mix streusel topping until nice and crumbly, sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake for 45 minutes until toothpick draws clean. Cool 30 minutes if you can wait that long to take out of the pan, or use a small sharp knife and serve warm with a pat of butter and cup of coffee.
From my breakfast table to yours, Enjoy