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Holiday Recipes With A Blueberry Twist

Tanaya Ghosh |
November 26, 2013 | 4:44 p.m. PST

Food Writer

Blueberries can be used in many ways, and they pair well with Rioja wines (Tanaya Ghosh)
Blueberries can be used in many ways, and they pair well with Rioja wines (Tanaya Ghosh)
When you think of blueberries, do you think healthy snack, or fruity dessert?

Now that blueberries are available year-round, there are even more great ways to incorporate them - not only into your everyday diet, but into recipes for special occasions in unexpected ways.

For example, who knew that dried blueberries could pair so well with chili-roasted sweet potatoes? Or that they make a lovely dip for mashed potatoes on a stick?

Incorporating fruit into savory dishes has become an emerging trend in the food world as of late, and blueberries are not only packed with vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients, but are also deliciously dynamic and pair nicely with many other flavor profiles.

Here are some recipes to help you create a unique appetizer and a standout side this holiday season, whether it be for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the next family gathering:

Mashed Potato Pops with Blueberry “Not Ketchup”

Recipe by Erika Kerekes for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Mashed Potato Pops:


2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 T butter

½ tsp salt

⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper

grapeseed or canola oil, for frying

1 egg

1 C panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated potato flakes

Equipment: Deep-fryer or heavy deep pot; toothpicks, skewers or lollipop sticks


Put the potatoes in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot, empty pot. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Let sit until potato mixture is cool enough to handle.

In a deep, heavy pot or a deep fryer, heat the oil for deep-frying to 350° F.

Scooping out about 1 Tablespoon of the potato mixture at a time, roll the potato mixture into 2-inch balls.

Set up a breading station with two shallow bowls and a plate: Beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of water in the first bowl, then put the panko breadcrumbs or dehydrated potato flakes in the second. Roll each ball first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs or potato flakes; put the coated mashed potato balls on the plate. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are coated.

Drop several of the mashed potato balls at once into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the mashed potato balls on a rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat until all the mashed potato balls are fried.

Stick a lollipop stick or toothpick into each ball. Serve hot with Blueberry “Not Ketchup” (recipe follows).

Blueberry “Not Ketchup”


2 pints fresh blueberries (or 1 32-ounce bag frozen blueberries) 

½ C apple cider vinegar

½ large red onion, chopped

¾ C turbinado sugar

2 T honey

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp dry mustard powder

¼ tsp white pepper


Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.

Transfer the blueberry mixture to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to prevent the blueberry mixture from burning. 

Keep the mixture at a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the mixture is thickened and glossy.

Remove the Blueberry “Not Ketchup” from the heat and transfer to a glass jar. It will thicken a bit more as it cools. Store the Blueberry “Not Ketchup” in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Makes about 24 2-inch mashed potato pops

Chili-Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Dried Blueberries

Recipe by Erika Kerekes for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council


4 lbs garnet yams or sweet potatoes, skin on, scrubbed (look for long, thin sweet potatoes rather than the big fat ones)

2 T olive oil

1 T chili powder

1 tsp garlic salt

juice of 1 lime

1 C dried blueberries


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sweet potatoes into rounds about 1 inch thick. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chili powder, garlic salt, and lime juice. Add the sweet potato slices and toss to coat.

Spray two baking sheet pans with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the sweet potato slices on the pans in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turn the slices over, and continue to roast until the sweet potato slices are tender and golden brown, about 50 minutes total. 

When the sweet potato slices are almost ready, scatter the dried blueberries on the baking pans. You just want to warm them up - don’t keep them in the oven more than 5-10 minutes.

Scoop the sweet potatoes and dried blueberries into a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

Reach Tanaya Ghosh here or follow her on Twitter.



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