Summertime Blues Makes Us Happy
By Jami Badershall, Communication Manager, Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council

Is there a more iconic Maine fruit than the wild blueberry? Maine produces 10 percent of all blueberries in North America, including wild and cultivated production. But did you know how fascinating blueberries are? We’ve all heard about the antioxidant power of these delicious little blue marvels, but in my research, I found some amazing facts.

According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the lowbush blueberries found in Maine are native to northern New England and Atlantic Canada, where it thrives in acidic soils. “In Maine, this crop is not planted but inhabits large fields on mountain tops and in glacial outwash plains which formed 10,000 years ago. Any given field can have as many as 1,500 genetically distinct wild blueberry plants that create a patchwork of berry flavor, shapes, and colors, which is why many people refer to them as wild.”

I learned from a 2019 Bangor Daily News that while the low bushes seem small, about two-thirds of the plant actually grows underground and spreads underground until a single plant can end up the size of a football field and “every shoot and berry within that plant is genetically identical…” We’re so lucky for the abundance of wild blueberries in our state, and the myriad of recipes that call for the delicious indigo globes.


The morning after blueberry picking (and sometimes for supper that same night), you’ve got to go for the blueberry pancakes. This recipe from gets a little fancy with the addition of ricotta and a blueberry sauce on top. Just a note, I like to use maple syrup in my sauce with blueberries rather than sugar. If you plan to pick blueberries this summer (or purchase any fresh or frozen), save the website. They have so many delicious recipes, you’ll want to try everything. 

And don’t just limit yourself to blueberries for breakfast and desserts. Toss them into your salad, one with walnuts and a maple balsamic dressing. Pair them with your salmon or pork dish – maybe a maple (yes, maple again) blueberry sauce. Blueberries can also go with sweet potatoes or squash dishes.

Of course, we can’t forget the obligatory blueberry smoothie. Honestly, smoothies have made me feel so much better as a mother, especially when I get to the end of the day and realize that my child lived off mostly bread and pasta that day. A blueberry smoothie (she loves the purple color) with milk, yogurt, a dash of, you guessed it, maple syrup, a handful of oats, and a little spinach or frozen avocado snuck in for added nutrition really makes up for my poor decisions. If none of your ingredients are frozen (like the avocado, spinach, or blueberries), throw in a couple of ice cubes to make it nice and cold.