Sunday, July 24, 2011

Red Huckleberry Muffins

red huckleberries (vaccinium parvifolium)

The other day after my friend posted on her Facebook status that she had made some huckleberry muffins, that sounded so good to me that I decided I would like to make some, too, if possible!  Last year while walking around our property we were excited to find a red huckleberry bush, and I hoped that ours had enough berries on it.

My imaginative kiddos like to call red huckleberries by the name of "poison apple berries" because they look like shiny bright red pretty little apples (you know, like in Snow White).  Actually, though, they are edible and good for you with their high vitamin C content, and they taste pretty good but are a little tart. So if you like a little tartness, you'll probably really like them. 


In the early afternoon I and my younger daughter went to look and see how our bush looked and to see if their were ripe berries on it. It looked great, so later all of my children and I walked over and picked just about as many berries as we could, hoping it would be enough for the muffins. I didn't measure how many we got, but we found it to be enough for our muffins!



Red huckleberries are so pretty and translucent!
This is how many we picked.


ingredients
(picture taken by my 6-year-old son)
I found a Huckleberry Muffins recipe on allrecipes.come that I tweaked. I usually have to tweak recipes because we don't eat diary or eggs, but I didn't mean to change it as much as I did! While mixing the ingredients together on the dining room table, I kept running into the other room to read the recipe on the computer, and I got things mixed up in my head and put 1 3/4 cups of rice milk when I was supposed to put 1 3/4 cups of flour! Oops!!  I caught my mistake and added extra flour, and thank goodness they still turned out fine.

I'm going to post my "recipe" (notice the word "recipe" is in quotes) below, but I would strongly recommend that you visit allrecipes.com and check out the Huckleberry Muffins recipe there for a more exact version. 

Dairy-free and Egg-free Huckleberry Muffins

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 3/4 cup Raw Turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • to replace one egg: 3 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal
  • 1 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 or so cups whole wheat white flour (Warning, please note: It might be less--I can't remember exactly how much I put in, but I added enough so that it looked like cake batter)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (I think I'll try adding a 1/4 teaspoon less next time because a few of my muffins may have slightly over-risen, but they still tasted yummy)
  • 1 capfull of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • However many huckleberries we had picked -- I think it was less than a cup, but the amount we had worked out fine
  • a little flour to sprinkle on the berries

the batter
(picture taken by my 6-year-old son)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Then cream the sugar and Earth Balance together and add the wet ingredients (except for the vinegar -- that I like to add at the end to activate the baking soda which helps the muffins rise) and stir it all together.  Sprinkle a little flour on the berries and stir to coat them, and then stir in the berries.  Add and stir in the apple cider vinegar.  When you do that you'll see the batter get a little more puffy.  It's good to try to get the muffins in the oven quickly after adding the vinegar because that puffiness helps the muffins rise in the oven.

putting the batter into the muffin tin using an ice cream scoop
(picture taken by my 6-year-old son)
After it's mixed together, use an ice cream scoop to put the batter into a greased muffin tin (you can just spoon in the batter in you don't have a nice ice cream scoop handy).  This recipe makes 18 muffins.

Cook for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven. I cooked mine just a little bit longer. When done they should be golden, and the tops should spring back when lightly pressed.  I often test my muffins to see if they are done by putting a knife in one of them and seeing if any batter is on the knife when I pull it out.  If it doesn't have any on it, then that seems to mean they are done.

We all really enjoyed the muffins! They tasted a bit tart, but not too much, and to me the taste of the berries in the muffins was reminiscent of rhubarb, but not that strong. I read that some people like to mix other berries like blueberries in with the red huckleberries, so if you find them too tart on their own for your tastes, you could consider doing that. I was also interested to read on Edible Wild Plants in B.C.--the Red Huckleberry that "A good rule of thumb for preparing dishes using huckleberries is to treat them like you would rhubarb, using the same amount of sugar and so forth." She has a recipe there, too, that you might like to check out, for Upside-Down Red Huckleberry Crumble that you can make while camping!


Yum!!!

3 comments:

  1. We don't have red huckleberries, but we have several evergreen huckleberry bushes. We're going to have to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Red huckleberries? Wow! I've only ever eaten black one. :)

    ReplyDelete