20+ Food That Are Blue By Nature
Blue foods, with their delightful, nutritious, and adaptable nature, effortlessly elevate your ordinary menu into a memorable experience. The vibrant blue hue of these foods is attributed to beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins, offering both visual appeal and health benefits.
If you're seeking a list of naturally blue foods, we've got you covered. Here, we present a compilation of over 20 interesting and useful blue foods, spanning fresh vegetables, fruits, algae, edible flowers, mushrooms, seafood, and salt. Get ready to infuse a burst of vibrant, unexpected color into your familiar dishes.
Often labeled a "superfood," blueberries are small, round, blue-hued fruits that grow on shrubs and are indigenous to North America. Every serving of these sweet, vibrant, and widely beloved fruits delivers a substantial nutritional boost. With low-calorie content, they prove to be exceptionally beneficial for your health.
Just one cup of raw blueberries (140 grams) offers over 20% of the daily recommended intake for both vitamin K and manganese. These berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potent antioxidants like quercetin and myricetin.
2. Blue Java Banana
The Blue Java banana, also known as the Ice Cream banana or Vanilla banana, is known for its sweet and aromatic taste, often described as having a texture and flavor similar to ice cream with hints of vanilla. Originating from Southeast Asia, this banana is a hybrid of two native species, Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata
They can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. The unripe fruit showcases a distinctive silvery blue color, transforming into a pale yellow when ripe, revealing white creamy flesh. These bananas are a rich source of fiber and vitamin C, contributing to both digestive health and immunity support.
3. Concord Grapes
Much like blueberries, Concord grapes hail from North America. These small, round fruits are extremely sweet and juicy when fully ripened. The skin of a Concord grape typically sports a dark blue or purple color, often covered with a waxy "bloom" that can be rubbed off.
These grapes are often used as a primary ingredient for grape jelly, grape pies, grape juice, grape-flavored soft drinks, and various candies. They are occasionally used in winemaking, notably for sacramental and kosher wines. Concord grape is a slip-skin variety, allowing the skin to be easily separated from the fruit.
4. Damson Plums
Damsons, also called damson plum, are small, ovoid plum-like fruits with a unique, somewhat astringent taste. The skin can be notably tart, especially when unripe. Primarily used in cooking, these fruits are commercially cultivated for the preparation of jams and various fruit preserves.
Blooming late in spring, Damson plums are less susceptible to frost and grow on a beautiful tree, displaying lovely purple-blue fruits. However, unlike other plum varieties, it's not advised to eat these plums straight from the tree. Waiting patiently, you can enjoy them by eating around the stone inside.
5. Juniper Berries
A juniper berry is a seed cone produced by different juniper species. It isn't a true berry but a cone with fleshy, merged scales known as a galbulus, resembling a berry. Some juniper species' cones are used as a spice, especially in European cuisine, and contribute to the unique flavor of gin.
The outer scales of juniper berries are relatively flavorless, so they are typically lightly crushed before being used as a spice. These berries can be used in both fresh and dried forms, with their strongest flavor and aroma occurring immediately after harvest. However, their potency tends to decline during the drying and storage process.
6. Blue Sausage Fruit
The blue sausage fruit, commonly known as dead men's fingers, is a lengthy, sausage-shaped blue fruit native to Nepal, China, and Tibet. People enjoy its pulpy freshness, offering a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of melon and cucumber. The blue skin and the hard seeds of the fruit are not edible.
As the blue sausage fruit matures, it naturally splits open, allowing easy access to the goodness within. The best way to savor it is by scooping out the pulp and enjoying its ripe flavor. This fruit serves as a valuable source of phosphorus and essential fatty acids.
7. Haskap Berries
Haskap berries, resembling elongated blueberries, offer a unique and delicious taste. Cultivated for centuries in many countries, they are also known as honeyberries, blue flu honeysuckles, sweet berry honeysuckles, or blue honeysuckles.
These berries are ready to harvest when the inner layer turns dark purple or blue. They can be used in an array of processed products, including pastries, jams, sauces, candies, juice, yogurt, and wine that resembles a red grape or cherry wine in color and flavor. Like many blue fruits, they are rich in health enhancing antioxidants.
8. Blue Bayou Tomato
Originating in Washington, blue bayou tomato displays a deep, dark skin that appears almost black, though it's more accurately described as a navy blue or purple color. They have strong and tough stems, and upon slicing them open, you'll discover a vibrant red flesh similar to regular tomatoes.
These tomatoes offer a pleasing balance of sweet and tangy flavors, serving as an excellent source of lycopene, much like other tomatoes. They are a fantastic addition to salads and sandwiches, bringing both flavor and vibrant color.
9. Blue Oyster Mushrooms
Blue Oyster mushrooms are known for their unique coloring, starting as bright blue during initial growth and maturing to a light steel blue. They can be cooked like regular mushroom varieties or used to enrich broth, offering rich flavors. They provide a vegan protein source with a texture reminiscent of seafood.
When raw, oyster mushrooms release a fragrance similar to the seashore blended with anise, accompanied by a subtly metallic flavor. Upon cooking, these mushrooms soften, taking on a velvety and tender texture. They develop a mild, earthy, and savory taste with nuanced hints of licorice.
10. Blue Corn
Aside from its striking color, blue corn is similar to regular yellow corn. It’s just that it has higher levels of the antioxidant anthocyanins, which give it that distinctive midnight-blue hue. It is one of the primary corn varieties used in the traditional Southern and Central Mexico dish known as tlacoyo.
Originally developed by the Hopi, Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, and various Southeastern Tribes, blue corn remains a fundamental element in Hopi dishes like piki bread. Additionally, it holds a significant place in New Mexican cuisine, commonly used to make tortillas.
11. Blue Hubbard Squash
Blue hubbard squash is sizable, averaging a thirty-centimeter diameter and weighing around 5 to 40 pounds. The tough, bumpy rind features smooth patches and a pale blue-green-gray color. The flesh is orange to golden yellow, fine-grained, enclosing a large central cavity filled with stringy pulp and numerous large seeds.
When cooked, blue hubbard squash becomes tender and starchy, offering a rich, semi-sweet, nutty flavor akin to cooked pumpkin. Ideal for various cooking methods like roasting, boiling, baking, or steaming, it can also be incorporated into pies, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
12. Indigo Milk Cap
Indigo milk cap, also known as the blue milk mushroom, grows naturally in East Asia, North America, and Central America. Its fruit body starts as dark blue in fresh specimens and becomes pale blue-gray as it ages. The milk, released when the mushroom is cut, is indigo blue but turns green when exposed to air.
It is an edible mushroom, available in rural markets in China, Guatemala, and Mexico. It might have a slightly bitter or peppery taste and a coarse, grainy texture. When cooked, the blue color vanishes, and the mushroom takes on a grayish hue.
13. Blue American Lobster
Lobsters usually have shells in muddy blue, green, or brown colors, as these hues offer optimal camouflage on the ocean floor. However, about one in two million American lobsters exhibit a genetic variation that gives them a striking electric blue shell.
In its natural habitat, the blue lobster's stunning color is impressive, but when cooked, it changes to the familiar reddish-orange, like other lobsters. Some seafood lovers think blue lobsters taste sweeter than regular ones, though there's no scientific evidence to support this.
14. Blue Caviar
Also known as 'sapphires of the ocean,' blue caviar is the roe of wild scampi. Found mainly in Australia's waters around 500 meters deep off the west coast, scampi carry their eggs in sacs outside their bodies on the underside of the tail, adding to their natural salty flavor.
The naturally blue roe is available during the four-month season from November to March. Scampi are hand-harvested, and their roe is hand-sorted and collected with only the addition of salt, and no other additives. The caviar's taste is oceanic, with a distinct umami flavor.
15. Blue Mussels
The blue mussel, also known as common mussel, is a medium-sized edible marine mollusk in the Mytilidae family. The shells of this species can be purple, blue, or brown in color, with occasional radial stripes. It is commonly harvested for food worldwide, from both wild and farmed sources.
Mussels are a culinary staple in various cuisines, including Spanish (especially Galician), French, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish, Belgian, and Italian. Besides their culinary use, they are also commonly used as lab animals and were historically harvested by the indigenous peoples of North America.
16. Blue Crab
The blue crab, also known as the Atlantic blue crab or Chesapeake blue crab, is a species native to the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Recognizable by their often brightly blue claws and olive-colored carapace (shell), they are striking to spot.
The Chesapeake blue crab has served as a popular food source in the Maryland area for centuries, dating back to long before the land was settled by European colonizers in the 1600s. Known for its delicate, sweet, and tender meat, it distinguishes itself from other crab varieties.
17. Celestial Blue Pansy
These beautiful blooms shine magnificently in your garden, mirroring the vibrant blue of the sky. Ideal for pots, borders, and beds, these cool blue blooms work wonders whether planted in vibrant blocks or used as a captivating accent alongside a spectrum of other hues.
In addition to being visually appealing, pansy flowers are also edible and bear several health benefits. When added to salads, they bring a delightful blue color, making them both tasteful and beautiful. Try them in vegan spring rolls for a stunning burst of color showcased by the translucent rice paper wraps.
18. Bachelor’s Button
Bachelor's button, commonly known as cornflower, is an annual flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe. Its vibrant flowers typically display an intense blue color, attributed to the presence of protocyanin, a pigment that appears red in roses.
These flowers can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. Dried petals are used in foods and spices, primarily to add color. Some cheeses or oils include raw petals, and these petals can also enhance the visual appeal of salads, drinks, or desserts, whether in their raw or dried form.
19. Blue Spirulina
Blue spirulina comes from specific varieties of blue-green algae, notably Arthrospira platensis. It's famous for its vivid blue color, making it a popular ingredient in the food and beverage industry and in health and wellness products.
It is commonly used as a natural food coloring in desserts, smoothies, beverages, and culinary creations, lending an attractive blue or turquoise color to dishes while providing health benefits. It is a nutrient-dense substance rich in essential vitamins like B12, minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and other beneficial compounds.
20. Utrecht Blue Wheat
This stunning heirloom wheat from the Utrecht area in the Netherlands features breathtaking beauty. While the wheat berries are edible, their challenging threshing process often makes them more commonly grown for ornamental purposes.
The tall and strong stems, reaching 1.5 meters, bear striking steel-blue heads of grain with long black awns. These visually captivating elements create a mesmerizing sight as they sway in the wind or can be cut and bundled for drying, suitable for use in flower arrangements, weaving, or basket making.
21. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is a diverse group of cheeses created by introducing edible mold cultures, resulting in distinctive blue-green spots or veins. These cheeses vary in taste from mild to strong, featuring flavors from slightly sweet to salty or sharp. They come in different colors, from pale to dark, and have varying consistencies, from liquid to firm.
An acquired taste, blue cheese elevates any cheese board, improves salads, complements certain fruits, and is exceptionally delicious with ripe pears. Globally, the combination of Stilton, a type of blue cheese, and broccoli soup is a beloved culinary favorite.
22. Persian Blue Sea Salt
Persian blue salt, a rare find, is extracted from the mountains of the Semnan province in Northern Iran, particularly from the Ergourz mountain range. The distinct blue hue of this salt is attributed to sylvite, a potassium mineral.
Persian blue salt has a salty and spicy flavor that complements a wide range of dishes, especially seafood, meat, truffle, and fois gras. It also pairs harmoniously with sweet tastes like chocolate or caramel. It is rich in essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
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