There is no shortage of blue foods, regardless of whether you are looking for health benefits or want to add some color to your plate.
You likely think of traditional blue foods like blueberries or plums, but did you know there are edible blue flowers? In addition, you can find several seafood items in vibrant blue colors, along with starches like corn or sweet potatoes.
Adding naturally blue foods to your diet is a great way to get antioxidants and other nutrients. However, several popular artificial blue foods made the list.
Before we dive into our thorough list of blue foods, let’s look at what gives them their color and how naturally blue foods can benefit you.
What Makes Blue Foods Blue?
While we know a bit of blue food coloring can make anything change color, have you wondered what makes naturally blue foods blue? Blue foods contain a pigment called anthocyanins, which is responsible for their color. Anthocyanins are also why raspberries are red, eggplants are purple, etc.
Some skeptics argue that most blue foods are purple and few genuinely blue foods exist. For example, during a segment on the Food Network, hosts used a spectrophotometer to detect the color of popular foods we would assume are blue.
However, the story revealed that most foods we think of as blue are purple because blue light is one of the highest energy wavelengths in the visible light spectrum.
Finally, with the power of food coloring, you can make almost any food turn blue, making for a fun, festive look.
Are Blue Foods Healthy?
Naturally blue foods are full of antioxidants and chock full of vitamins, making them a sensible food to add to your diet.
Blue foods are also known to prevent many diseases and provide significant benefits, including:
- Certain cancers
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Improve cognitive health
- Boost your mood
However, you should be aware of artificial blue foods that offer no health benefits. While they make for a great treat once in a while, they shouldn’t be a part of your daily diet.
The List of 36 Foods That Are Blue
One of the most common blue foods is also one of the best for you. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and are the perfect addition to yogurt or as a siding to your breakfast.
The tasty fruit also contains vitamin C and potassium, making it an excellent choice for your weekly grocery list.
2. Concord Grapes
While there might be a debate about whether Concord grapes are either purple or blue, you’ll enjoy them regardless. The popular fruit is also used in jams and juices and contains vitamins and antioxidants.
Concord grapes are a fantastic snack for the whole family, especially children; make sure you cut them up before serving. You can easily make concord grape jelly at home and enjoy it on your next peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
3. Blue Spirulina
Blue Spirulina is an algae that grows in lakes, ponds, and alkaline waterways. The blue algae contains phycocyanin, giving it its distinct color.
Blue Spirulina is loaded with vitamins, protein, carotenoids, antioxidants, and minerals, making it an excellent addition for anyone looking to improve digestion, lose weight, boost energy, or vegans wanting to add more protein to their diet.
You can find Blue Spirulina in tablet or powder form at your closest health food store, and you can add a scoop to your smoothie, baked goods, or noodles.
Elderberries are almost trendy since you can use them for several uses. For example, the blue fruit contains vitamin C and antioxidants and is excellent for those fighting a cold, the flu, or anyone looking to boost their immune system.
You must be careful eating raw elderberries, as an excessive amount can be toxic to humans.
Elderberry syrup is easy to make and is great to have around the house during the flu and cold season.
Sometimes called European blueberries, bilberries are closely related to blueberries but have their differences. For example, bilberries have a red or purple pulp, while blueberries have light green pulp.
Bilberries have high anthocyanin content and might stain your lips, tongue, or fingers while snacking on them. However, the fruit has its benefits, including treating diarrhea, mouth inflammation, diabetes, and urinary problems.
An easy way to use bilberries is to make bilberry muffins, which are delicious for breakfast.
6. Damson Plums
Damson plums are often used in dried fruit, jellies, and jams and are perfect are those looking to add fiber, Vitamins A, C, and E. If you bite an unripe Damson plum, you’ll likely find a sour flavor, while a ripe one will give you a sweet-tart taste.
You can also stew damson plums to make delicious compote, which goes excellent over French toast, yogurt, and even ham or roast pork.
7. Blue Sausage Fruit
Blue sausage fruit is a fantastic food native to China, Nepal, northeast India, Myanmar, and Bhutan.
The strange-looking fruit is about the size of a traditional hot dog, and those with exciting taste buds will enjoy the pulpy flesh with a subtly sweet flavor. However, you cannot eat the blue skin or seeds as they are toxic.
You can replace any recipe with melon or cucumber with blue sausage fruit. For example, you can make a cucumber salad with the unique fruit to mix things up at your next outdoor BBQ.
8.Blue American Lobster
You probably shouldn’t set the table for the blue American lobster, as it’s incredibly rare to make this catch. The odds of catching a blue lobster are slim, about one in two million, so you might want to stick to the lottery instead.
If you get your hands on a blue American lobster, you can grill it with some fresh seasonal vegetables for a delicious meal.
9. Blue Eggs
Several chickens lay blue eggs, including Ameraucana chickens, Easter Eggers, Cream Legbars, Araucana chickens, Cream Legbars, and Arkansas Blue chickens. Blue eggs have a blue pigmentation because of biliverdin in the egg’s shells.
Despite the unique color, blue eggs are edible, like traditional eggs you find at the market, and are an excellent source of protein. Also, there is no difference in the cooking method, so you can scramble, poach, or fry your blue eggs.
10. Adirondack Blue Potato
You can cook Adirondack blue potatoes like any regular potato you find at the grocery store. The colorful starch can be boiled, mashed, fried, or baked, making an excellent side with your nightly dinner. You can also consider making crispy baked smashed blue potatoes.
While they aren’t the most popular potato, you can find Adirondack blue potatoes at local farmer’s markets and major grocery stores.
Those looking to find a food that helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and stroke should add blue potatoes to their shopping cart. Another bonus of blue potatoes is they are high in fiber, which helps aid in digestion.
11. Bluefin Tuna
Eating bluefin tuna fresh is best, and you’ll likely find it in the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean. If you are looking to add fat content to your diet, bluefin tuna is an excellent choice since it’s higher in fat than white fish.
If you’ve ever cooked tuna before, you know several ways to do so, including searing, grilling, or baking. You also don’t want to forget to add seasonings and some fresh vegetables on the side.
Starflowers are called “Garlic of the Incas” and are safe to eat! These beautiful star-shaped flowers have a slight cucumber taste and are a bit salty. You can use them to accent your next meal or eat the leaves for a fun snack.
13. Blue Lingcod Fish
The North American freshwater blue lingcod fish is an excellent omega-three fatty acid and protein source. The bottom-dwelling fish is blue due to a bile pigment called biliverdin. However, you shouldn’t be surprised when the blue color disappears after cooking lingcod fish.
One of the best ways to cook blue lingcod fish is to pan-sear it and add a delicious sauce.
14. American Blue Crab
The American blue crab, commonly found in the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, is less rare than the blue American lobster. The popular dish is high in proteins but low in fat, making it an excellent dinner choice.
While the crabs reach almost ten inches in length, fishermen usually catch them before they reach their potential. When cooking American blue crab, you don’t want to forget seasoning, especially everyone’s favorite Old Bay.
15. Pacifico Mexican Blue Shrimp
Following the seafood trend is the Pacifico Mexican blue shrimp, which is sweet, delicate, and not as salty as other shrimps you’ll find at the market.
The colorful shrimp is excellent for those who want to add protein to their diet and those who prefer a low-calorie diet. In addition, the unique colored shrimp is one of the best-tasting species you can find.
If you are new to cooking shrimp, grilling is an excellent and easy way to make a delicious meal.
16. Blue Agave
Blue agave is most commonly used to make mezcal or tequila, but you can also use it to decorate or add it as a sweetener.
The succulent plant is native to Mexico and sweeter than sugar due to its high fructose. However, due to its high glycemic index, those with diabetes should avoid blue agave.
If you are old enough, making a blue agave margarita is an excellent way to use the colorful succulent.
17. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is usually a love-it-or-leave-it food, but its distinct blue color sets it apart from other cheeses. The popular cheese is created with the culture of penicillin, giving it its traditional blue color.
While its strong flavor has many people snubbing their noses, others enjoy putting blue cheese on salads or nuts and crackers.
Blue cheese is great for those looking to add protein and calcium to their diet, but anyone looking to reduce fat and calorie content should eat blue cheese in moderation.
You can add blue cheese to many foods, including salads, pizzas, or pasta.
18. Blue Marble Tree Fruit
Blue marble tree fruit is versatile, as some will enjoy its sour and salty flavor, while those in Hawaii use the seeds to make leis.
When the fruit is ripe, it has an iridescent blue color. It’s best to eat blue marble tree fruit when it’s slightly overripe; otherwise, it will taste bitter.
19. Blue Olives
Blue olives are often used in salads, baked goods, sauces, and dips. In addition, they have a salty and slightly acidic flavor, particularly unripe blue olives, which offer an astringent-like taste; however, ripe blue olives have a sour taste.
Blue olive leaves are similar to avocados and grow on medium-sized trees. In Sri Lanka, blue olives are referred to as “Ceylon olives,” however, you can also find blue olive trees in east Africa and tropical Australia.
20. Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkin
Blue Jarrahdale pumpkin is excellent for making pies, and you can also use it in stews or soups. The pumpkin is native to Western Australia and can weigh anywhere between 6 and 120 pounds.
Its flesh is dense and sweet, making it ideal for cooking or baking. The versatile pumpkin is incredibly nutritious and high in vitamins A & C, potassium, fiber, and beta-carotene.
Cooking pumpkin is simple and is a great way to get the flesh for all sorts of recipes!
21. Indigo Milk Cap Mushrooms
Are you looking for unique blue food? Then look no further than the indigo milk cap mushroom, which is perfectly safe to eat despite its vibrant color.
While you probably won’t find it at your corner grocery store, you can order it online if your taste buds are inclined toward exotic blue foods.
You can cook with indigo blue mushrooms, which will brighten up your dinner table.
22. Blue Peeps
While they don’t grow on trees and you can’t pick them from the ground, blue peeps are traditionally eaten around Easter. Peeps are chock full of sugar, making them best for little kids with the energy to run it off.
The Easter treat is often found in the shape of chicks or bunnies and first arrived on the scene in the 1960s; however, blue peeps didn’t arrive until 1995. You can eat them by themselves, dip them in hot chocolate or use blue peeps in cakes.
23. Blue M&Ms
If you aren’t a fan of sugary Peeps, blue M&Ms may be more your style. Coincidentally, blue M&Ms hit the market in 1995, the same year as blue Peeps. Consumers were allowed to vote between blue, pink, or purple, and blue won, with 54% of votes replacing the former tan candies.
Now, colorful candy is found in M&M bags worldwide, and many don’t remember a time when they didn’t exist. So, while M&Ms are best eaten out of the bag, you can also use them in cookies, brownies, or cakes.
24. Japanese Blue Milk Bread
While Japanese blue milk bread isn’t a natural blue food, it doesn’t mean you can’t add it to your must-have list. Instead, the vibrant-colored bread is made with butterfly pea powder, which helps give it a colorful appearance.
Japanese blue milk bread isn’t hard to make at home, and there are plenty of recipes you can try. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the fluffy, fresh bread, especially if you love challah without the buttery taste.
25. Blue Honey
While this is a unique story, blue honey was found in France due to bees building hives near an M&M factory. French beekeepers discovered blue honey after bees were feeding off processing waste from a Mars plant that manufactured M&M’s.
Unfortunately, the colorful honey was unavailable for sale and was an unsellable batch of honey. However, you can use traditional honey in most recipes, including desserts and breads.
26. Blue Corn
Why blue corn may not make it to your next BBQ, you can cook it like regular corn. In addition, wild corn is more likely to be blue than the traditional yellow you find at the store.
Blue corn is great for anyone looking to add more protein to their diet since it has 20% more than yellow corn.
27. Okinawan Sweet Potato
Another blue starchy food is the Okinawan sweet potato, which has a bluish-purple flesh. These vibrant potatoes are sweet, and while they originated in America, it’s popular in various Japanese dishes.
You cook them like traditional sweet potatoes, and the side dish is excellent for anyone looking for a boost in antioxidants, as Okinawan sweet potatoes have high levels.
28. Blue Pea Flower
You can use blue pea flowers in your brewed tea or as a way to keep the bugs away. The flower is grown in Southeast Asia and, much like blueberries, and is high in antioxidants, making it a fantastic addition to your diet.
Unfortunately, your local grocery store probably doesn’t carry blue pea flowers, and you’ll have to hit the internet for shipping. However, once you get your hands on it, you’ll appreciate the calming effects of this superfood.
29. Utrecht Blue Wheat
While it’s typically used for crafts and decorations, you can eat Utrecht blue wheat. The wheat is native to the Netherlands, but it’s often used because it is difficult to thresh. However, if you want to grow wheat for ornamental reasons, you should check out Utrecht blue wheat.
30. Bachelor’s Buttons
Another edible flower on the list is the Bachelor’s button, which has a lovely aroma and a sweet flavor. You can add the petals to your next cup of tea or sprinkle them on a salad to add a vibrant blue color.
Sometimes the flower is called cornflower and has subtle clove and cucumber flavors.
31. Blue Caviar
Blue caviar is harvested off the Australian coast and is a type of wild scampi roe, also known as sapphires of the ocean. The colorful caviar is edible and low-fat, giving it a firm texture that pops in your mouth.
Blue caviar is excellent for anyone looking to increase their protein and eat more omega-3 fatty acids. You can substitute blue caviar in any recipe that calls for caviar.
32. Blue Pansy Flower
The lightly scented blue pansy flower is edible and offers a crisp, succulent texture. Its flavor is mildly sweet with a touch of wintergreen and mint.
The vibrant flower is high in antioxidants and offers anti-inflammatory benefits, which is ideal for those with autoimmune diseases. You can use blue pansy flowers as a garnish for your next salad or dessert.
33. Persian Blue Sea Salt
You likely won’t find Persian blue sea salt in your local market as it’s found in Iran salt ponds. The rare sea salt is blue due to its sylvinite, a mineral producing the colorful hue.
If you get your hands on the blue sea salt, you’ll want to use it sparingly as it has a robust initial flavor and a bit of an aftertaste.
34. Tuscan Blue Rosemary
You can use Tuscan blue rosemary in recipes, just like you would traditional rosemary. However, it has a strong flavor, so you don’t want to use it too much.
If you are cooking with lamb, fish, poultry, potatoes, or sausages, Tuscan blue rosemary is an excellent addition to your next meal.
Jamun is a tropical tree found in Southeast Asia and is a fantastic source of vitamins A and C. The fruit has a sour, tart, and slightly sweet taste; however, its aftertaste is not as pleasant. Unfortunately, the fruit’s juice will stain your lips and mouth and occasionally last several hours.
However, despite its side effects, Jamun has antioxidants and fibers that help your heart stay healthy and have high potassium levels, which is ideal for preventing high blood pressure and stroke.
If you are looking for a fun way to use the colorful fruit, you can make Jamun shots for a refreshing drink.
36. Texas Blue Giant Fig
As the saying goes, “everything is bigger in Texas,” which also relates to the Texas Blue Giant Fig. The popular Texas-grown fruit is perfect for pies, jellies, jams, and preserves and offers a sweet flavor when ripe.
If you want to grow your own Texas blue giant fig, ensure you have plenty of space, as the trees grow up to 20 feet in height and need full sun.
There is no shortage of foods that are blue, with most offering fantastic health benefits. While it’s ok to treat yourself with some blue peeps or M&Ms occasionally, adding foods high in antioxidants to your diet, like blueberries, is a great idea.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.