What can I use instead of blueberries? The best substitutes for blueberries are other purple berries, like huckleberries, bilberries, mulberries, and blackberries. Red fruit like raspberries, strawberries, açai, and cherries are also healthy and delicious alternatives.
Blueberries are small, round, dark blue berries that flourish in North America in summer. This tasty fruit is a superfood, rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. Their sweet, slightly acidic taste and bright color make blueberries a versatile ingredient: fresh, juiced, puréed, frozen, and in baked goods. Let’s look at the eight best substitutes for blueberries.
The Best Blueberry Substitutes
The best substitutes for blueberries are huckleberries or wild blueberries.
Coming from the same family as blueberries, huckleberries grow wild in the northwestern United States and western Canada.
They are difficult to cultivate domestically and are generally found in mountain forests and lake basins, where they are a popular treat for bears.
Huckleberries are as nutritious as blueberries, packing an antioxidant and vitamin punch.
With the same size and color, huckleberries look very similar to blueberries, although they are purple rather than white inside.
However, you can also find red and black huckleberries. They taste like blueberries, but even ripe huckleberries have a tangy tartness.
Replace blueberries with huckleberries as a tasty snack, smoothie ingredient, or in jams, puddings, and bakes.
Use huckleberries to substitute for blueberries 1:1.
Another berry that substitutes for the blueberry is the bilberry.
Although people often use the words huckleberry, bilberry, and blueberry interchangeably, bilberries are only found wild in Northern Europe and Britain.
All three berries are related, and bilberries look so similar to blueberries that they are often confused. However, bilberries have a distinctive purple interior and are very tart and acidic.
Like huckleberries and blueberries, bilberries are very high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and manganese.
You’re unlikely to find fresh bilberries, which may be too sour to eat. However, they are delicious, simmered in jam, jelly, and compote.
The best use of bilberries as a blueberry substitute is in bakes: bilberry pie is a traditional English dessert.
Bilberries make good cobbler, scones, and muffins. Bilberries release more juice than blueberries, so drain them or suffer a soggy bottom.
Replace blueberries with a similar volume of bilberries.
Another delicious substitute for the blueberry is the mulberry.
Found across the world, most mulberries come from the US and China. These dark purple berries are large and oblong shaped, with a bubbly texture made up of drupelets.
Mulberries are intensely sweet and characterized by the red stains they leave on your fingers. Their leaves are a favorite food of silkworms.
Delicious fresh, or cooked, mulberries are full of iron, vitamins B and C, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.
As they are easily bruised and crushed, mulberries are classified as fragile and perishable.
Fresh mulberries are a treat to enjoy as a snack or with a little whipped cream. However, they are best made into cordials, dessert sauces, and jam.
Replace blueberries with mulberries in smoothies, pies, crumbles, crisps, and other baked goods.
You can use the same quantity of mulberries as blueberries, with the proviso that mulberries are sweeter.
Blackberries are a popular alternative to blueberries.
Blackberries grow worldwide and are an ancient food, having been eaten for thousands of years. They are a summer fruit with a very short growing season.
These soft fruits are very sweet and juicy and look like large mulberries with puffy drupelets.
Their deep purple color indicates the presence of antioxidants, while blackberries are also particularly rich in fiber.
Use blackberries instead of blueberries in pancakes, cobbler, sorbet, coulis, and jam. They are easy to freeze.
Replace blueberries with the same amount of blackberries, but note that they do seep juice and color.
Raspberries are an excellent substitute for blueberries.
With their bright red color, raspberries are easy to identify. Like blackberries, this sweet, delicious fruit is related to the rose family, growing on thorny bramble bushes in North America, Asia, and Europe.
They are as nutritious as blueberries, containing fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B and C, magnesium, and manganese. Rare black raspberries are particularly good for heart health.
Raspberries are delicate and perishable, with fresh fruit easily spoiling, so you’ll often find them frozen. Most raspberries are cultivated for making jam and baked goods.
You can use raspberries to substitute for blueberries in many dishes: eat them fresh with granola and yogurt, in a smoothie, in pies, and in jams. However, raspberries contain several seeds, which can make your food gritty.
Replace blueberries with the same weight of raspberries.
Strawberries are a convenient alternative to blueberries.
Some of the most commonly eaten fruit in the world, strawberries are typically heart-shaped, bright red, and aromatic. Ripe strawberries are sweet and succulent.
Strawberries contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C and manganese of all fruit, as well as fiber and heart-healthy antioxidants.
The most famous strawberry dish is probably strawberries and cream. These fruits are at their best fresh, in a salad, or as a snack. However, strawberry shortcake, ice cream, jam, and juice are all popular.
Strawberries are very soft when cooked and don’t hold their shape. It’s ideal to use strawberries instead of blueberries in summer fruit puddings, smoothies, milkshakes, cobblers, pies, and as a topping for cheesecake.
Replace blueberries with an equal weight of strawberries. You will need to chop the strawberries as they are much larger than blueberries.
Cherries, a gorgeous summer fruit, make a perfect substitute for blueberries.
There are several varieties of these round, reddish berry-like fruits, including sweet and sour cherries.
All are rich in fiber and antioxidants, with sour cherries containing more of the antioxidant anthocyanin than any other fruit. They also have more vitamin C than sweet cherries.
Enjoy sweet cherries instead of blueberries when you want fresh fruit on granola, salad, or snack. Sweet cherries also make excellent pies, bread, and cake.
Sour cherries can replace blueberries in jam or as canned fruit.
Replace blueberries with the same ratio of cherries.
Açai berries (açai) are an unusual substitute for blueberries.
This superfood is native to the Amazon rainforest. It is famous for incredibly high levels of antioxidants (10 times more than blueberries).
The small, dark purple berries grow in grape-like bunches. They contain a large pit that takes up 70% of the fruit, so they are seldom found fresh. Instead, the fruit is soaked, and the flesh is rubbed off and puréed or dried.
You will usually find açai pulp in the frozen section of the supermarket.
Surprisingly tart and earthy, açai pulp is usually served as part of a breakfast or dessert bowl, along with other fruit, nuts, and yogurt.
It is tricky to incorporate into dishes because of its mouth-puckering acidic flavor and frozen texture.
Açai is a great alternative to blueberries in smoothies, ice cream, and yogurt.
Replace blueberries with an equal weight of frozen açai.