Huckleberry Schmuckleberry. If there was a contest for “Berry with the Most Funnest Name to Say,” I imagine huckleberries would win by a long shot.
I’ve always heard of huckleberry pie being a thing, but I’ve never actually had huckleberries in any form. I couldn’t have even described what they look like to you until this week. I went and picked up our CSA on Wednesday and was super ecstatic because there was a pint of what I thought was blueberries. I called Justin and told him all about it and he said, “Awesome! Wish I would’ve known you got salad mix and blueberries before I went to the store. We could’ve saved some money.” The next morning as I was packing my lunch for work, I threw a handful of the cute little guys in a container. When I actually went to lunch, I was telling a co-worker about these blueberries that I received and she responded saying, “It’s a little late for blueberry season. Are you sure that’s what they are?” I went and grabbed them to show her and we both tried one. Definitely not a blueberry. They were very tart, a little on the hard side and make you feel like you have cotton in your mouth.
At first, I was disappointed. But, then I realized the great opportunity I have with these things. I can’t be the only person who confused them with blueberries and then didn’t know what to do with them. I had several super brown bananas that needed used, so this recipe formed in my head.
I’m not much for baking. I like to bake. I know how to bake. But I also like to eat what I bake, so I refrain as much as possible. We don’t eat nearly as much sugary stuff as we used to, so I find that I can make baked goods with drastically less than the normal called for amount of sugar and still enjoy it. Don’t feel bad if you add more sugar though.
Huckleberry Banana Bread
— You can probably find huckleberries at your farmer’s market right now. If you can’t, then you can substitute just about any berry. Just remember that huckleberries are really tart and other berries aren’t, so you might not need much (if any) agave or honey to macerate.
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.)
Stir the huckleberries, agave and lemon juice in a bowl and allow to sit for an hour minimum
Purée the huckleberry mixture in a blender or food processor
Combine the huckleberry mixture, molasses and vanilla in a small pot and bring to a simmer
Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove from heat
Stir in chia seeds and allow to cool
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 milk, almond milk, soy milk, 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
Beat the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined
Beat in the eggs one at a time
Add the bananas, milk and vanilla
Continue beating until the mixture is combined — it’s ok to have small chunks of banana
Stir in the last 4 ingredients until just combined
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil
Pour in just enough banana bread batter to cover the bottom
Spread a large spoonful of huckleberry mixture across the middle, lengthwise
Add more banana bread batter
Add more huckleberries
Add the rest of the banana bread batter
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
Bake for 50-55 minutes
Allow to cool for 20 minutes, remove from pan and eat.