Blueberries are one of the most popular and nutritious fruits around. Their sweet, tangy flavor makes them an irreplaceable ingredient in muffins, pies, jams, and more. Blueberries also make for a delicious healthy snack on their own. But if you’ve ever bitten into a blueberry, you may have wondered – do blueberries have seeds?
The short answer is yes, blueberries do have seeds. However, blueberry seeds are very small and soft, so you likely haven’t noticed them. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at blueberry seeds, including what they are, what they taste like, and whether you can eat them.
What Are Blueberries?
Before diving into blueberry seeds, let’s first go over some background on blueberries themselves. Blueberries are small, rounded berries that grow on bushes in clusters. There are three main types of blueberries:
- Highbush blueberries – The most common variety found in grocery stores. They grow on tall bushes and have a mildly sweet flavor.
- Lowbush blueberries – Also called “wild blueberries,” they grow close to the ground and have an intense, tangy taste.
- Rabbiteye blueberries – A native Southern variety with a robust, complex flavor.
All types of blueberries belong to the heather family, along with cranberries and bilberries. Blueberries have a deep purple-blue color when ripe, thanks to their high antioxidant content.
Blueberries provide a number of health benefits. They’re packed with vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. Research suggests blueberries may boost heart health, improve memory, lower blood pressure, and help control blood sugar.
No wonder they’re considered a superfood!
Do Blueberries Have Seeds?
Now back to the main question – do blueberries have seeds?
The answer is yes, blueberries do contain tiny seeds within their flesh. On average, each blueberry has around 10-20 very small, soft seeds.
Blueberry seeds are small and slippery. When you bite into a juicy, ripe blueberry, you likely won’t even notice the seeds. However, once blueberries start to spoil, the seeds may begin to harden.
Blueberry seeds are perfectly edible and safe to swallow. In fact, the seeds contain just as many nutrients and plant compounds as the fruit itself.
What Do Blueberry Seeds Look and Taste Like?
Since blueberry seeds are hidden within the flesh of the fruit, you can’t see them from the outside. If you were to cut open a blueberry and closely inspect it, you would see dozens of tiny, oval-shaped seeds.
Blueberry seeds are about 1-2 millimeters long. Their color ranges from light brown to almost black. On their surface, they have a rough, matte texture.
In terms of taste, blueberry seeds basically take on the flavor of the fruit. Since they are small and surrounded by juicy flesh, you’ll barely notice the seeds when you eat blueberries. The seeds add a slight crunch but are largely undetectable in texture.
Overall, don’t be afraid of the seeds when eating blueberries – they’re perfectly safe and edible!
Health Benefits of Blueberry Seeds
Not only are blueberry seeds safe to eat, they also provide some great nutrition. Blueberry seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber, and a number of essential vitamins and minerals.
Some key nutrients found in blueberry seeds include:
- Manganese – An important mineral for bone health and metabolism.
- Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant that protects cells.
- Vitamin B6 – Plays a role in immune function and energy levels.
- Copper – Helps form red blood cells and keeps nerves healthy.
- Dietary fiber – Improves digestion and heart health.
Research also shows that blueberry seeds are rich in proanthocyanidins – antioxidant compounds that may reduce inflammation and prevent chronic disease.
In some cultures, blueberry seeds are separated from the flesh and consumed specifically for their dense nutrient content. But for most people, eating the entire blueberry provides the best nutrition.
Can You Extract and Plant Blueberry Seeds?
If you want to grow your own blueberries from scratch, you may wonder if you can extract and plant the seeds from blueberries you buy at the grocery store.
The answer is yes, it is possible to remove and plant blueberry seeds. Here are some tips:
- Use a very ripe blueberry – Seeds from unripe fruit may not germinate well.
- Cut the blueberry and scoop out the seeds.
- Mix the seeds with a damp paper towel in a sealed bag and refrigerate for at least one month. This cold stratification prepares them to germinate.
- Plant the blueberry seeds in pots using a loose, acidic potting mix. Cover lightly with soil.
- Keep the planted seeds moist and somewhere sunny or under grow lights.
- Transplant seedlings when they are a few inches tall.
With ideal conditions, some blueberry seeds may sprout in as little as 2-3 weeks. However, germination rates are often low. It may take months for seeds to sprout or they may fail to germinate at all.
Using young blueberry plants is an alternative way to grow blueberries that bypasses the seed stage. But starting from blueberry seeds can be an interesting experiment for avid gardeners!
Frequently Asked Questions about Blueberries and Their Seeds
Why do some blueberries look silvery or white?
The white “bloom” on the skin of some blueberries is completely natural. It’s called wax and acts as a protective coating against mold and bacteria. The waxy coating is safe to eat.
Can you eat frozen blueberries without thawing?
It’s fine to eat frozen blueberries straight from the freezer. They may be harder and less juicy compared to fresh thawed blueberries. Letting them thaw for 10-20 minutes improves their texture.
What’s the best way to store fresh blueberries?
To extend their shelf life, store fresh blueberries in the refrigerator in a shallow container lined with paper towels. Do not wash them until ready to eat. Blueberries will usually last up to two weeks in the fridge.
Are blueberries hard to grow at home?
Blueberry bushes require acidic soil and plenty of sunlight, but home gardeners can certainly grow blueberries with proper care. Using young plants from a nursery simplifies the process. Blueberries make an excellent edible shrub.
Do you have to hull blueberries to make jam?
Most blueberry jam recipes do not require hulling or removing the green stems before cooking. The stems and skins get strained out after the berries cook down. However, some people prefer to hull them first for aesthetic reasons.
Can dogs eat blueberries safely?
Yes, blueberries are safe for dogs to eat and contain antioxidants and fiber. Feed dogs blueberries in moderation, as a sudden large amount may cause upset stomach. Only feed your dog fresh or frozen blueberries, not in baked goods.
Hopefully this article has answered your question “do blueberries have seeds?” As we learned, blueberries contain tiny, soft edible seeds that provide extra nutrition. While blueberry seeds often go unnoticed when eating the fruit, they offer unique health benefits worth being aware of. Next time you enjoy fresh blueberries, remember the tiny seeds inside are doing your body good!
Bethany is an experienced food writer and recipe developer whose popular site Grangefarmschool.org provides home cooks with approachable recipes, cooking tips, and practical kitchen advice. Her thoroughly-tested recipes and inviting photography aim to make cooking fun and fulfilling for cooks of all levels.