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What fruits and vegetables are naturally blue?

Blue foods are rare in nature. Most fruits and vegetables appear in shades of red, green, yellow, or orange. However, there are some that contain natural blue pigments called anthocyanins that give them their distinctive color.


One of the most well-known blue foods are blueberries. Blueberries get their color from anthocyanin pigments. These pigments act as powerful antioxidants that provide many health benefits. Studies show that eating blueberries may help improve memory, heart health, and blood sugar levels.

Type Common Varieties
Highbush Bluecrop, Duke, Berkeley, Northland, Patriot, Bluejay, Legacy, Elliott
Lowbush Wild Maine blueberries
Rabbiteye Powderblue, Tifblue, Brightwell, Woodard, Briteblue, Climax

Blueberries grow in small clusters on shrubs. There are three main types of blueberry plants: highbush, lowbush, and rabbiteye. Highbush blueberries are the most common commercially grown species. Lowbush blueberries are wild blueberries native to Maine. Rabbiteye blueberries are native to southeastern US states.

Blue Potatoes

Certain varieties of potatoes also contain enough anthocyanins to appear blue or purple when cooked. Blue potatoes are cultivated varieties of the Solanum tuberosum species, the same species as more common russet or red potatoes. They have dark blue flesh and skin.

Variety Description
Purple Majesty Medium-sized oval tubers with deep purple skin and flesh
Purple Viking Oblong tubers with purple skin and flesh
Adirondack Blue Dark purple round tubers with a blotchy skin pattern
All Blue Small-sized oval tubers with solid blue-purple skin and flesh

Compared to other potato varieties, blue potatoes are relatively high in antioxidants. Their anthocyanin pigments also give them an earthy, nutty flavor when cooked. They can be prepared similarly to regular potatoes but tend to retain their blue color best when roasted or fried.

Blue Corn

Blue corn is a variety of maize grown throughout South and Central America. It gets its distinctive bluish-purple coloring from anthocyanin pigments in the corn kernel’s outer layer. Blue corn has been cultivated for centuries by native peoples of Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and the Southwestern United States.

Unlike yellow and white corn, blue corn has higher levels of proteins, minerals and antioxidants like anthocyanins. Products made from blue corn include tortilla chips, taco shells, pancake mix and cornmeal.

Purple Asparagus

Certain cultivars of asparagus have deep purple spears rather than the more common green. Purple asparagus owes its color to high levels of antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins. It also contains other beneficial plant compounds like rutin and quercetin.

Compared to green asparagus, purple asparagus may be slightly more bitter in flavor. Its stalks turn green when cooked, but can retain a purplish tinge. Look for purple asparagus at farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores in the spring.

Purple Cauliflower

Along with more common white and orange varieties, a purple variety of cauliflower exists. Its color comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin, which also gives red cabbage its color. The florets of purple cauliflower turn green when cooked, just like regular white cauliflower.

To grow purple cauliflower, farmers must carefully select seeds from previous purple crops. Purple cauliflower contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that may offer some extra health benefits compared to white cauliflower.

Black Tomatoes

Not truly black, some heirloom tomato cultivars have such deep purple skin they appear black. Varieties include Black Krim, Purple Russian, Black Plum and Paul Robeson. The rich dark color comes from high levels of anthocyanin antioxidants.

Black tomatoes tend to have a sweeter, richer flavor than red tomatoes. Cooking seems to intensify their sweetness. Black tomatoes retain their dark pigments best when roasted or dried, rather than raw. Try adding slices of black tomatoes to sandwiches, sauces and stews.


Blue and purple fruits and vegetables occur relatively rarely in nature compared to other colors. Their unique pigments are caused by beneficial plant compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins act as antioxidants and may offer health benefits. Some blue/purple produce varieties also have distinctive flavors and textures compared to their more common counterparts.

While not many naturally blue fruits and vegetables exist, unique varieties do occur if you keep an eye out for them. Incorporating some blue/purple produce into your diet can add cool new colors and extra antioxidants.