Beautiful, bountiful wild blueberries entice flavorful culinary creativity

(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

From that morning fruit bowl to that tempting dessert, wild blueberries bring not only delicious flavor but also a bounty of healthy eating nutrients. Even though many people just grab that vibrant fruit because it always has been their favorite, the reality is there is plenty to be discovered in all that juiciness.

Blueberries have many varieties. While some people were enthralled with those limited edition pink lemonade blueberries, the reality is that wild blueberries are always available thanks to Wyman’s. As the “premiere grower and purveyor of wild blueberries” the brand whole heartily believes in the simple statement, “Eat More Fruit.”

Although everyone can appreciate the importance of eating more fruit in a healthy eating lifestyle, the reality is that wild blueberries are different from regular blueberries. As Charlotte Martin MS, RDN, CPT, and partner to Wyman’s, shared, “Wild blueberries are smaller in size and therefore have a higher skin-to-pulp ratio and lower water content, giving them a more concentrated and intense blueberry flavor than their cultivated counterparts.”

While the flavor is the first aspect where people will taste the difference, Martin shared that these blueberries have some other interesting characteristics. For example, she said, “wild blueberries have 2x more antioxidants than even ordinary blueberries.”

Some of the reasons why these types of blueberries are so special is because of their growing locations. Martin said, “wild blueberries have been growing naturally in Maine soil for thousands of years and we like to say that it’s their survival through harsh winters that make them so tasty! “

In many households, that bag of frozen blueberries is a staple. From the handful in the morning smoothie to Sunday pancakes to just a quick, easy snack, the always popular fruit offers a myriad of possibilities.

Even though more people appreciate the convenience of frozen blueberries, there are several important aspects that make this option a must for families. Martin shared, “frozen fruit is just as flavorful as fresh and, in some cases, slightly more flavorful! Fruit that is picked for freezing is often harvested at peak ripeness, allowing it more time to develop it’s flavors on the vine/branch. Fresh fruit is typically harvested before it reached peak ripeness, and then continues to ripen off the vine/branch, which can affect its final flavor. If you’re not convinced that frozen fruit is packed with flavor, try making a fruit smoothie with Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries and I promise you won’t be disappointed!”

While flavor might be the biggest way to convince people to try the Wyman’s wild blueberries, another important aspect is key for families. Martin believes that “frozen fruit also can help cut back on food waste. It is ready when you are, providing a much longer shelf life and less waste.”

Since that bag of frozen blueberries is just within reach, it begs the question, what recipes highlight that juicy flavor. Sure, all those desserts, smoothies and other sweet applications are delightful, but what about thinking outside of the bowl.

Martin has some thoughts. She said, “Wild Blueberries are one of the most versatile fruits to use in savory dishes. You can add them to a savory summer pizza—like say with goat cheese or burrata and pesto—or use them to make a sweet and savory marinade or glaze for chicken or pork. Wild Blueberries also pair well with salmon, served on top in salsa or sauce form (they taste especially delicious when combined with barbecue sauce). I also love to use them to make vinaigrettes for a salad or simply throw some onto a salad as a topper.”

Basically, wild blueberries lend themselves to culinary creativity. Whether it is blueberries and scallops or blueberries and some jalapenos in a sauce, the flavor and texture invite cooks to play with their food.

Even Martin admitted that many people have pushed the food ideas in various directions. As she commented, “some of the most creative ways I’ve seen people use wild blueberries is as part of a slaw or salsa for shrimp tacos and as part of a balsamic glaze for Brussels sprouts. I’ve even seen them on avocado toast and in a grilled cheese.”

With all the different ways to enjoy these wild blueberries, one big question still remains in the bowl. Are blueberries really blue or are they purple?

Martin shared her take. She said, “I believe wild blueberries are both blue AND purple—it all depends on their state. In their fresh, natural state, there is no arguing that blueberries are blue. But once you mash, blend, or cook them, chemical reactions takes place that cause the anthocyanins—the phytonutrients responsible for the blueberries’ color—to change color. So, if you’re trying to make a red, white, and blue dessert for a summer holiday BBQ, you’d want to do something like a fresh fruit salad or a trifle, that leaves the blueberries relatively untouched, and therefore, blue. But once you bake them into blueberry muffins, blend them into a smoothie, or cook them into a sauce, they are very much purple!”

The next time you’re at the store, add a bag of Wyman’s Wild Blueberries to the cart. With all the tasty recipes and creative food options, the bag will be used in no time.

Related Story. Tasty banana facts that make the fruit so appealing. light

What is your favorite recipe for wild blueberries? Have you tried them in a savory application?