Blueberries are possibly one of the most sought-after berries in the past decade. They’ve been branded a superfood and are definitely delicious, and you can make some of the best muffins of pancakes with them.
Sometimes though, you find yourself completely without blueberries. Maybe they’re out of season, maybe you live far from a store or supermarket, or maybe you just don’t want to use them. What substitutes would work for blueberries ?
Well, you’re in luck because blueberries are actually very easy to substitute. Yes, they are ! Take a look at this list.
Best blueberry substitute
The best blueberry substitutes are acai, blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, currants, grapes, gooseberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and passion fruit. Which you use depends on what you’re making and why you need the blueberries.
The direct substitutes are other berries, like raspberries and loganberries and blackberries and the like. That being said, some substitutes will work better for baking, and some will go great as alternatives in yogurt or muesli and granola.
These substitutes are thought out for different situations. Some will be useful because they’re round, small, and juicy, just like blueberries. Some are on this list because they’re the closest thing to a blueberry you can find in terms of flavor. Some are here for the color factor, and some are here just so spice things up.
You can use one, or two or a mix of several of these, depending on what you like and what you’re looking for.
Read also: Strawberry Substitute
These berries are the closest approximation to a blueberry, and possibly even better. Their own downside is they’re even more expensive than blueberries, as they’re labeled a superfood and don’t grow just everywhere.
Still, if you live in an area that readily grows acai and has a reasonable price on them, do substitute them for blueberries.
Blackberries are the next best thing after blueberries, but you’ll have to contend with their big seeds. They’re very annoying and not really easy to ignore. But if you’re making something like jam or syrup, you can easily strain the seeds.
On the same logic, you can also use elderberries, longanberries, boysenberries, mulberries, as they’re all closely related to blackberries and taste largely the same. It depends on what you have around you, because this berry type is very fragile. They’re a composite fruit, just like raspberry, and they fall apart really easily.
Huckleberries are very similar to acai, but much easier to find in non-tropical areas. They’re just as delicious and flavorful, but you have a slim chance of finding them in stores. It’s best to visit a farmer’s market or grow your own.
Raspberries are the next logical step, if none of the above berries are available. They’re just a bit cheaper than other berries, and their flavor will be different from blueberries. But still they’re definitely a good option.
They also bring a nice pop of color to whatever dessert you’re making, so you can use them as decoration too.
Both red or black currants (cassis) are great as replacements for blueberries. They’re very tart, so your best bet is to use them in sauces or jams or syrups. If you don’t sweeten them, they might be too sour to use.
Grapes are more of a raw ingredient, in that they’re great in salads and in yogurts, but maybe not as great in muffins or pies. You can totally try, just know that they’d be better if left raw.
And we recommend going for the black/red grapes, as opposed to white and rose grapes. That is, if you want a direct substitute. If you want a melange of colors, then go ahead and use all three types. The white ones are usually sweeter.
Gooseberries are great substitutes for blueberries too, but just like currants they should be cooked and sweetened. They look great as decoration too, but may be too tart on their own.
Strawberries are so low on this list because they’re a completely different flavor from blueberry, fairly different from raspberry too. But if strawberries is all you can find then use them. You can use them as-is, or in a jam or pie filling and even in a muffin!
Pomegranate seeds are on this list for their use as a raw ingredient. So wherever you-r use blueberries raw, you can use pomegranates. In salads, on yogurt, on granola, as decoration, they work great. They taste different and look different, yes, but they’re a nice change and may become someone’s new favorite !
The same goes for passion fruit seeds. They look different, but they work so well as a topping for something sweet, or in a fruit salad, and possibly even in muffins ! After all, the seeds are edible, soft, and definitely chewable so they shouldn’t hinder anyone from enjoying a tropical muffin.
When all is said and done, you can always use a combination of these substitutes, not just one. After all, blueberries are berries in the end. The first half of this list was just berries, so feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content. If you’re worried about the nutritional value and vitamin content of fruits other than blueberries, don’t be.
The main reason blueberries are so amazing is due to their antioxidants, which all berries have. One way to look for them is by color. Dark berries share roughly the same antioxidants, while red ones have very similar ones too. So why not get yourself a rainbow and get all the vitamins and nutrients possible ?
Go for a bowl of mixed berries on top of that yogurt, not just blueberries ! If you’re wondering where to get all those things, stop at the frozen food section next time at the supermarket. There should be a ‘berry mix’ or something similar. There should be blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, currant, all the berries. Thaw them and throw them in a smoothie or right into a yogurt, whatever you like.
And there you go, the perfect berry mix. You might need to sweeten it a little, as they might be too sour at first. If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.