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13 Naturally Occurring Blue Foods To Try

Blue foods are rare, but these food items are naturally blue.

They say you should eat a colorful diet! And part of this is just a culinary rule; you don’t want everything on your plate to be the same color because it isn’t compelling or appetizing to look at.

Blueberries in the basket

Aside from the aesthetic value, however, something blue brings to a dish naturally, blue foods tend to be rich in antioxidants which have many health benefits.

Natural blue fruits and vegetables can help stave off heart attack, stroke, and cancer. The pigments that cause these foods to turn out the color they are, signify the presence of rare vitamins that aren’t found as easily from other sources.

They say it’s good to have a colorful diet! So where do you find a little blue to put in yours?

Naturally Blue Food

The number of places it can come from might surprise you, but here are thirteen of the tastiest options available while still being healthy and packed with the vitamins and antioxidants your body needs to keep running strong.


Blueberries

When we’re talking about antioxidants, blueberries are one of the best sources you can find for them.

When it comes to fruits, if you’re looking for something with the bang to counterbalance all of the natural sugars that fruits usually have, blueberries are one of your best choices.

Not only do they have those antioxidants to protect your body’s cells, but they’re packed with large amounts of different vitamins.

Aside from all of this, blueberries are delicious. A lot of fruit, berries, in particular, can lean a bit too tart, but blueberries are almost always sweet.


Blue Cheese

Blue cheese is not so much blue as it is a cheese that has blue in it, and this is because it’s made with a culture of penicillin in it, which gives it its distinctive blue color.

This does mean there’s a mold involved in the pasteurization of the cheese but save for those with penicillin allergies – it should be perfectly safe to eat.

The flavor of blue cheese tends to be sharp, and it’s infamous for having a pungent smell – this is one of those foods you want to be aware of when you take it with you to lunch, and make sure none of your companions have a sensitive nose for such things.


Blue Corn

You heard right – there’s blue corn. And the good news is, it’s nearly identical to the yellow kind save for the vitamins that come with the pigments that make it blue.

You can eat it like normal corn, or you can make it into anything else you can make its yellow counterpart into, including tortilla shells and chips.

Blue corn is the original strain, and if you find corn growing wild, it is more likely to have the pigments in it that cause some or all of the kernels to be blue than it is to be yellow like the commercial corn you may be used to.


Adirondack Blue Potato

The Adirondack Blue Potato looks almost like a regular potato from the outside, but when you cut it open, the inside is a vibrant shade of violet.

Even after the potato is boiled or fried, it maintains its blue color which makes it an excellent addition to any dish you want to add a bit of blue too.

A baked Adirondack potato can give a little surprise when you cut it open, but make sure you give it to the right person!

There are those who would be delighted to cut open a potato and find blue on the inside, and there might be others who would be entirely put off by the same thing.


Indigo Milk Cap Mushroom

The indigo milk cap mushroom looks like something from an illustration straight out of the 70s, but it won’t send you on a bad trip.

It’s a beautiful blue color with a lovely umbrella shape, and it’s perfectly safe to eat as it’s neither poisonous nor hallucinogenic.

They don’t grow in many parts of the world and only briefly during the late summer, so if you’re interested in trying this sapphire shroom, you might find yourself waiting a while, and you may also need to order it online or have to travel to get your hands on it.

Some people find it well worth the patience.


Blue American Lobster

The American Blue Lobster is incredibly rare. A one in two million catch.

Ergo, I’m not sure if you’d call it a naturally blue “food”; most people, upon catching this type of lobster, are not immediately going to think to eat it so much as put it on display or keep it as a pet of sorts.

The odds of you coming across one of these to eat it are slim to none just because of its rarity and perceived value.

Millions of pounds of lobster are caught every year, and finding a blue one amid all the reds is uncommon enough to be newsworthy.


Blue Marble Tree

The blue marble tree is native to Australia and grows what look like large blueberries but are referred to as ‘figs.’

And they are truly blue, not a purple that’s been labeled a blue by the culinary or botanical communities.

Although the tree is native to Australia, there are public gardens, and college campuses have the tree growing on them, and they thrive in Hawaii.

So if you happen to live in Hawaii or a coastal state, you might be able to find blue marble tree figs as an addition to the meal you’re planning.


Blue Pea Flower

The blue pea flower is often used in insecticides, but don’t let that fool you; it can also be brewed into a tea that can be quite beneficial to humans.

It’s also called the “butterfly pea flower” and is grown in southeast Asia.

The flower is named for a Hindu goddess and is rich in antioxidants due to the same pigment that brings out those features in blueberries and other naturally blue foods.

This is another one you’re probably not going to find at your local grocery store unless you live in the area, but this one is easily ordered online.


American Blue Crab

Blue crabs are an icon of Maryland – that’s how valuable they are as a fishery.

They’re named for the blue to green color of their shells, and they’re gathered in large numbers when they’re in season.

They can grow up to nine inches long but usually are harvested before they reach that size, meaning any blue crab in your diet was probably still growing when it was caught.

Unless you have a shellfish allergy, crab is a healthy addition to any diet as sea meat tends to be low in fat and high in various proteins.


Concord Grapes

Most of the time, if you’re eating purple grapes in the United States, they’re probably Concord Grapes.

These are the grapes you find most often in juices and jams, but it’s also not difficult to find bunches for sale in your local produce section.

Grapes are an excellent snack, and it’s not hard to get children to eat them, either.

They go great in a fruit salad, and like most other foods, they’re rich in antioxidants and tons of vitamins that keep your body going.

Of the foods on this list, Concord Grapes are some of the easiest to get your hands on.


Damson Plums

The truth is, Damson plums aren’t great if you want to eat them straight from the tree.

In their fruit form, they are known for being bitter and unpleasant, but they have a reputation for being excellent in jellies and jams. 

You probably won’t be putting this particular plum in your fruit salad.

But if you want to add some damson jam to your breakfast spread, it will be both delicious and colorful, as well as bring in those same vitamins and antioxidants I’ve been talking about.

Of course, if you’re a person that likes bitter things, you might find yourself enjoying the plums for what they are anyway.


Elderberries

I am certain that a lot of you (the cool ones at least) saw this and thought, ‘ah, just like my father used to smell like!’

Well, elderberries are real fruit, and they’re packed with Vitamin C. They’re also high in antioxidants–most things that are blue are going to be, so that’s something you can look for, and be sure it’s going to help you in that regard at least.

Mind you, elderberries should be processed before you eat them because raw elderberries can be toxic to humans if you eat too many of them.


Starflowers

You might be thinking ‘flowers? To eat?’, and you’d be in good company.

But the Egyptian Starflower is fully edible blossom that, while not ideal for being the core of a dish, can be an excellent garnish you can pick up and nibble on.

They smell amazing and have a nice crunch to them while you’re eating them.

Starflowers are something you want to reach for if you want to add some texture to your dish as well as a little bit of color. If you want something small, the starflower might be the right choice.


Naturally Blue Food

  1. Blueberries
  2. Blue Cheese
  3. Blue Corn
  4. Adirondack Blue Potato
  5. Indigo Milk Cap Mushroom
  6. Blue American Lobster
  7. Blue Marble Tree
  8. Blue Pea Flower
  9. American Blue Crab
  10. Concord Grapes
  11. Damson Plums
  12. Elderberries
  13. Starflowers

Final Thoughts

There are so many different blue foods to choose from, and most of them have the same benefits of antioxidants and a plethora of good-for-you vitamins that pack a lovely punch.

Whether you want something sweet or somewhat savory, spice up the color pallet of your dinner party with one of these foods, and you’re sure to have a hit that’s both good and good for you.

Learn more about foods from around the world as well as other foods, like the most expensive foods or foods that start with the letter Th!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.