Blueberries may be small, but they pack a lot of nutritional punch into one little bite. While a cup of the little blues is only 84 calories, you’ll get 14 percent of your daily fiber and a boost of heart-helping antioxidantshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20384847. And did we mention that they taste amazing?
The prime time for these berries runs from May to October, so to grab some sunshine and a big batch of berries in one trip (while also getting some exercise) try picking your own at orchards across America. If you’ve got a craving for blueberries during the winter months, never fear: Many of these recipes use dried or frozen blueberries that can be stored all year long.
Zucchini bread is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to get some vegetables at breakfast, and this recipe adds blueberries for a great blueberry muffin-zucchini bread hybrid.
Meet your new go-to breakfast for a busy morning. Overnight oats “cook” in the fridge overnight, so a delicious healthy oatmeal breakfast is all set to go in the morning. The blueberries, cinnamon, maple syrup, bananas, walnuts, and vanilla in this recipe sweeten it up. Make a big batch to last the whole week!
This spin on the old-school blueberry muffin is designed to be gluten-free and vegan, but you can swap out the gluten-free flour and oats for whatever you have on hand. Quinoa means this isn’t just any muffin—it’s all about that protein!
Blueberries, banana, and pineapple are all smoothie standbys—but wait, oatmeal? The rolled oats and Greek yogurt make this smoothie filling enough to serve as a drinkable meal. Add a handful of spinach to sneak in a serving of veggies.
Nothing is better than the smell of freshly baked banana bread in the morning. Nothing, that is, except banana bread in portable muffin form, packed with fresh blueberries! For an even healthier version, try using applesauce instead of butter.
Fluffy blueberry pancakes topped with sweet, caramelized bananas? Yes please! Whole-wheat flour and flax meal give this recipe a nutritional punch, while the sweetness of the cinnamon, bananas, and blueberries mean there’s no need for sugary syrup on top. (Try a scoop of plain Greek yogurt instead!)
Mashed banana, egg whites, milk (dairy or otherwise), flaxseed, cinnamon, and vanilla make up the creamy “oats” in this fluffy breakfast treat. Top with a handful of fresh blueberries and toasted walnuts, drizzle with honey, and dig in!
Toasted oats, wheat flakes, wheat germ, almonds, and pecans get lightly sweetened with honey or agave for a healthy alternative to store-bought granola. Use this recipe to add some crunch to yogurt, splash with some milk to eat like cereal, or sprinkle on top of oatmeal.
It’s a muffin! It’s a pancake! Nope, it’s a blueberry muffin pancake. Though they taste indulgent enough for a weekend brunch, this blueberry treat uses flax seed meal instead of eggs, almond milk instead of dairy, and whole-wheat flour to keep things as healthy as possible (and dairy free!).
Making jam is one of our favorite uses for chia seeds. They absorb water, naturally thickening the blueberries in this simple recipe, while vanilla brings out those bright blueberry flavors. Spread this magic jam on toast for a surprising and simple dose of omega-3s.
12. Blueberry Coconut Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
Steel cut oats are made using the whole oat grain, or groats, instead of rolling the oats into flakes. They have the same nutritional benefits as their flattened friends, and taste-wise they’re a bit chewier, making them perfect for this creamy baked blueberry oatmeal! Top it off with coconut whipped cream and more fresh berries (blue or otherwise!).
Blueberries and peaches are two of summer’s tastiest in-season fruits. Mix ‘em up in a “pudding” made with coconut milk, vanilla, and chia. The chia works as a natural thickener to make it creamy!
Blueberry pancakes might be an old classic, but the addition of lemon takes these to the next level. They’re plump, sweet, and just the tiniest bit tart.
Is it okay to eat a giant cookie for breakfast? Of course—especially when it’s made with oat flour, cinnamon, flax, applesauce, and honey, and studded with blueberries. Slather plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and sliced banana on top and you’ve got a full-on breakfast pizza.
Snacks and Appetizers
A zesty fruit salsa can finish off any dish, sweet or savory. This summery mix gets its deep purple color from blueberries and strawberries, a little spice from limes, onion, and cilantro, and some healthy fats from half an avocado.
It doesn’t get any simpler than this—dip your blueberries in vanilla Greek yogurt and freeze on wax paper. Grab a handful every time you reach into the freezer for a blast of protein and antioxidants!
Need a portable snack that will boost energy in a big way? These little bites pack together cashews, dates, dried blueberries, sunflower butter, spirulina, cinnamon, and sesame seeds for a satisfying crunch. Everything is better bite-sized.
Jazz up this two-ingredient fruit salad with a bit of lemon juice, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
20. Blueberry Dip
This blueberry fruit dip is made velvety smooth by soaking cashews overnight and then mixing them up with cooked blueberries, yogurt, and lemon juice. Chill the dip, and enjoy with anything you’d eat with chocolate fondue—strawberries, banana slices, and pineapple chunks are a great place to start!
Tangy blueberry peach salsa (with a little bit of jalapeño, mint, and ginger) compliments creamy baked Brie like a charm. This is a fancy and fresh way to treat your guests before dinnertime.
Making energy bars at home is a cheap, natural, and delicious option. This recipe keeps the ingredient list short, with only dried blueberries, dates, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and lemon zest. Just pop it all in the food processor, press into a pan, refrigerate, and slice! Ready to snack.
Once you put blueberries in your cornbread, you’ll never go plain again. These little berries really amp up a basic cornbread recipe. It’s the perfect side dish for seafood, or simply served as a midday snack with honey and butter.
You’re never too old for a fruit rollup. This recipe puts an adult spin on the foot-long neon treat of your childhood, using rhubarb, strawberries, and of course, blueberries.
Lunch and Dinner
Once again, salmon makes a splash when paired with blueberries—this time with a Mexican twist. Habañero means these little bites are hot. Serve open faced to enjoy the colors of the pinky-orange salmon, purple blueberries, and green zucchini.
Blueberry guac is just about the most genius thing we’ve ever heard of. It’s got sweet berries, tart lemon juice, and a bit of spice from the jalapeños. This recipe also includes a grilled chicken breast marinated in Greek yogurt, lime, and chili powder, but if you scoop this whole dish up with chips we’d understand!
This recipe calls for couscous, but it’s simple to sub in any of your favorite grains for a lighter take on pasta salad. The wild blueberries, zucchini, carrots, and chickpeas add antioxidants and protein. Cooking your grain in vegetable stock punches up the flavor. Our favorite grainy base? Quinoa or bulgur wheat.
It doesn’t get juicier than a salad made with these three water-rich foods. Simply season with lime and mint leaves!
Blueberry makes a dynamic barbeque sauce while coffee deepens the flavors even more. This is about to become your new cookout staple—it would work on chicken breasts, grilled fish, ribs, and pulled pork equally well.
Feta, watermelon, and basil salad has become a warm-weather favorite, but this recipe will fill you up a lot more with red quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and blueberries.
Salmon, blueberries, and hatch chiles might sound like a weird combo, but don’t knock it 'til you try it: Fruit and salmon are definitely friends—on your plate, that is. This sauce is made with blueberry jam and fresh blueberries.
Raspberry vinaigrette is ever popular, but blueberry pomegranate is a fantastic alternative. With a dressing this yummy, keep the salad simple, with greens, walnuts, goat cheese, and dried cranberries (or dried blueberries).
Lighten up your chicken salad with plain Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries, and some crunchy celery. Try this on a whole-wheat wrap, in romaine leaf “boats,” or on top of greens.
Grilled kale is the intersection between kale chips and sautéed kale: It’s a little crispy and a little tender, making a unique base for salads like this one, which is topped with goat cheese.
Cheese and fruit often come together on a cheese plate, but what about on a pizza? This recipe calls for a puff pastry crust, but change it up with a whole-wheat, quinoa, pita bread, or even cauliflower crust.
When you don’t feel like cooking, crock-pots are your best friend. Here, the roast is cooked with tomatoes, balsamic, and blueberries, resulting in a savory flavor with just a hint of sweetness from those berries. (Vegetarians: Try slow cooking just the veggies with extra mushrooms. Their meaty texture picks up the flavor in the same way.)
This frozen dessert looks really fancy, but (shh!) there are only four ingredients and it takes less than five minutes to assemble and pop into the freezer. It tastes decadent, but the filling is really only toasted coconut and vanilla Greek yogurt. Topping with blueberries makes them the star of the show.
The big almond flavor in these sweet squares is what makes them really pop. Chewy oats and chia seeds mean these bars are ooey gooey deliciousness—especially when they’re warm. Top with your favorite nut butter for a bit more decadence.
Attention frozen yogurt lovers: Here’s a new way to serve up that plain old froyo at home. Layer store-bought frozen yogurt with frozen blueberries and walnuts and swirl together to combine. (Not keen on store-bought? Make your own at home!)
What makes this blueberry-vanilla frozen yogurt “blueberry pie?” The crumbled graham cracker topping, of course. The combination of the crunchy topping with blueberry-infused simple syrup and creamy yogurt imitate rich pie filling and crisp crust.
Roasting the blueberries and then folding them into a coconuty combo of cream, water, and milk turns these tropical popsicles bright purple with a pop of orange zest. If you don’t like coconut, try this with your favorite yogurt.
These look like truffles you’d buy at a fancy candy store, but they’re really only made with melted dark chocolate chips, blueberry Greek yogurt, and unsweetened cocoa powder. There are tons of antioxidants in there from the dark chocolate, but try subbing the blueberry yogurt with plain Greek yogurt mixed with roasted blueberries for an even healthier treat (and more blueberry flavor with less processed sugar).
Fruity versions of these thin pancakes make an awesome light dessert. This recipe uses whole-wheat flour instead of white, and the filling is made from blueberries, rhubarb, cinnamon, and honey. It’s naturally sweet in the best way.
When it comes to dessert, “tart” usually means tons of heavy cream, milk, and egg. Not so with this healthy treat. Flaxmeal and water replace the egg in the almond crust and the filling couldn’t be simpler (blueberries and bananas—that’s it!) makes the filling.
We love ice cream sandwiches made with cookies for dessert—it’s like two desserts for the price of one! In this recipe, the filling (more of a sherbet than an ice cream) is made with Greek yogurt, a bit of heavy cream, frozen blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Chocolate graham crackers serve as the “bread” for this creamy treat without adding too many extra calories.
The crumble on top of this cobbler is made with rolled oats, walnuts, spelt flour, and natural cane sugar. No need to pack too much added sugar into the crust either—the natural sugars from blueberry, pineapple, apple, and cherries do a great job of flavoring the dish.
Healthier donuts are always a win, especially when they’re stuffed with fresh blueberries. Each of these citrusy delights comes in at fewer than 100 calories. Plus, they’re sweetened with nothing but applesauce. Add a glaze of powdered sugar, milk, orange juice, and vanilla and you’re done! Way better than the drive through.
Drinks, Smoothies, and Cocktails
Sure, blueberries are one of our favorite superfoods, but we aren’t opposed to consuming as many as possible in one cool beverage. Six of the ingredients in this smoothie are Greatist-approved superfoods (blueberries, Greek yogurt, spinach, green tea, pomegranate, and ginger root), guaranteed to make it a healthy and delicious drink.
Making simple syrups is one of the easiest ways to get creative with cocktails at home. Simple syrup made with fresh basil compliments sweeter blueberry syrup perfectly. Vodka and soda keep this a refreshing and healthier warm-weather drink.
Sell this lemonade outside on a sunny day for 25 cents, and we guarantee you’ll sell out! While fresh-squeezed lemonade is perfection on it’s own, fresh blueberries and lavender come together for a beverage that’s aromatic and a little different.
It doesn’t get much better than bourbon, fresh lemon juice, muddled blueberries, and simple syrup with a splash of seltzer. The blueberries and simple syrup add just the right touch of sweetness.
Amping up a plain fruit smoothie is a easy as adding goji berries, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and flax seeds to that basic combo of orange juice, bananas, milk, and blueberries. Using frozen blueberries and bananas eliminates the need for ice.
Want a super-hydrating smoothie? This one only takes coconut water, ice, frozen blueberries, and lemon juice.
Be careful with this sangria—it’ll cool you off and satisfy a sweet tooth so well that you’ll want to drink 10 of them! Try blueberry vodka instead of brandy to up the blueberry flavor.
If you need a drink to cool off without alcohol, we’ve got your back. Flavor your water with fresh blueberries, mint leaves, honey, and lemon juice. Simmering the mixture on the stove intensifies the flavors. (Just be sure to ice it down before indulging.)
Adding blueberries and pineapple chunks to a classic mojito puts a berry delicious twist on a summer favorite. (Sorry, we had to use that pun in here somewhere!)
Originally published July 2013. Updated April 2015.