While berry pickers use a variety of methods and recipes to consume their harvest in the modern world, I have often wondered how the Native Americans originally used these superfoods to supplement their diet. Berries played an important role in the society of the indigenous peoples and later turned to help the Europeans who settled in various areas survive the winter. Kim E. Hummer looked at various soil samples from different regions of the United States in order to determine what plants could have been found during that period in history. There is documented use of huckleberries and blueberries, and Hummer explains it further. Early explorers survived on berries throughout their expeditions. Refer to Hummer’s article for more information.
Hummer, K. E. 2013. Manna in Winter: Indigenous Americans, huckleberries, and blueberries. Hort Science 48(4):413-417