Huckleberries… ya just got to say it like a red-neck…. Go on, say it. Huuuuuukllllllll-buuuuuury! There is a fruit stand that sells homemade ice creams, pies and all sorts of jams down the road and they have a big sign out front advertising Huckleberry Milkshakes.
Every time we drive past there my mouth waters and I just have to hoot and holler the words… “Wanna have a Huuuuuukllllllll-buuuuuury milkshake pa?!”
After driving by there often, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to taste a huckleberry. I finally swung in and bought us some good ole huckleberries. Ohhhh, they are little orbs of heaven!
This was a taste that I wanted to enjoy year round so I decided to preserve their amazing taste in a fruit leather. I didn’t mess around with the flavor profile too much because I wanted the pureness of the huckleberry to shine through and that it did!
Health Benefits of Huckleberries:
Antioxidant (ORAC) Score- 11,100 (per 100g)
Huckleberries are associated with lowering cholesterol; protecting against heart diseases, muscular degeneration, glaucoma, varicose veins, and peptic ulcers.
High in vitamin C, Huckleberries protect the body against immune deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, and eye diseases.
Clinical studies show that huckleberries promote eye health, especially with diabetics.
yields 2 cups puree
3 cups wild huckleberries
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 dash Himalayan pink salt
Select RIPE huckleberries that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
Puree the huckleberries with honey and salt, in the blender or food processor until smooth.
Taste and sweeten more if needed. Keep in mind that flavors will intensify as they dehydrate.
When adding a sweetener do so a little at a time, and reblend, tasting until it is at the desired taste.
It is best to use a liquid type sweetener. Don’t use a granulated sugar because it tends to change the texture.
Spread the fruit puree on teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator. Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. If you don’t have teflex sheets for the trays, you can line your trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil.
Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray, I use coconut oil that comes in a spray.
When spreading the puree on the liner, allow about an inch of space between the mixture and the outside edge. The fruit leather mixture will spread out as it dries, so it needs a little room to allow for this expansion.
Be sure to spread the puree evenly on your drying tray. When spreading the puree mixture, try tilting and shaking the tray to help it distribute more evenly. Also, it is a good idea to rotate your trays throughout the drying period. This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 115 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) hours. Finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll.
Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather. If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that the fruit leather is not completely dry.
Press down on the fruit leather with a finger. If no indentation is visible or if it is no longer tacky to the touch, the fruit leather is dry and can be removed from the dehydrator.
Peel the leather from the dehydrator trays or parchment paper. If it peels away easily and holds its shape after peeling, it is dry. If it is still sticking or loses its shape after peeling, it needs further drying.
Under-dried fruit leather will not keep; it will mold. Over-dried fruit leather will become hard and crack, although it will still be edible and will keep for a long time
Storage: to store the finished fruit leather…
Allow the leather to cool before wrapping up to avoid moisture from forming, thus giving it a breeding ground for molds.
Roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Click (here) to see photos on how I wrap them.
Place in an air-tight container, and store in a dry, dark place. (Light will cause the fruit leather to discolor.)
The fruit leather will keep at room temperature for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year.
Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.