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Blueberries turning batter green in muffins?

lyntc10 Feb 23, 2010 06:01 PM

I made blueberry muffins for the 2nd time this week and again, I noticed that my batter was green on top (where there was contact with air), but once I stirred it, hte underside was just a purplish bluish tinge (used frozen berries, some of the juice mustve stained the batter). Why is this? I also noticed the cup where I had stored my berries and later mixed my flour, baking powder, and baking soda, some of the bits of flour were green. What causes this?

  1. todao Feb 23, 2010 06:20 PM

    Blueberries contain certain pigments that will cause them the turn green in the presence of alkaline. Your muffins probably included baking soda as an ingredient and that's enough to create the color change.

    1. s
      smtucker Feb 23, 2010 07:20 PM

      Try tossing your blueberries in a bit of the flour. I have found that this reduces the color bleed, and allows the berries to remain distributed throughout the batter instead of sinking to the bottom. My kid tosses the berries with sugar for the same reason, and she likes stuff sweeter than I do.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smtucker
        TerriL Mar 9, 2010 06:10 PM

        Tossing the berries in a little flour or sugar will coat them enough that they shouldn't 'bleed' into the batter.

      2. l
        lyntc10 Feb 23, 2010 07:22 PM

        So then, should I not add the baking soda to the flour that I'm tossing the berries in since that's whats causing the green color?

        1 Reply
        1. re: lyntc10
          hummingbird Feb 23, 2010 07:37 PM

          I'd say yes, put the baking soda in with the flour for the batter, and as an aside use another bowl to put the blueberries in and then sprinkle with a bit of flour, just enough to coat, and try and keep the berries stil frozen. Then you'll have less bleeding, plus it helps to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

          Just fold the floured berries into the batter before putting into the baking pan, or muffin tins.

        2. j
          janniecooks Feb 24, 2010 03:43 AM

          Or, find a muffin recipe that uses baking powder as the leavening, My fallback blueberry muffin recipe--purported to be the actual Jordan Marsh muffin recipe--uses just baking powder, no baking soda.

          2 Replies
          1. re: janniecooks
            todao Feb 24, 2010 09:07 AM

            That may help, but keep in mind that baking powder too is a combination of both alkaline and acidic ingredients to it too may generate that greenish cast to your baked goods. If you want to eliminated the greenish colors, Blueberries actually worked best in yeast leavened recipes which, of course, wouldn't include muffins. You might want to try a very small amount of red food coloring in your muffin batter which, when combined with the green shades, should create something closer to a light brown/tan which would be more natural.

            1. re: todao
              ChristinaMason Mar 9, 2010 11:08 PM

              good idea!

          2. r
            rainey Mar 10, 2010 07:27 AM

            I knew you were going to say that it was frozen blueberries. Personally, I think frozen blueberries are good for purées and smoothies and not much else.

            Use fresh blueberries and you won't have that problem. And, as fresh berries come into season, it might be worth knowing that you can greatly extend their life by rinsing them in hot tap water -- not warm, really hot -- for 40 seconds or so before you put them in the fridge. This rinse will take the attractive haze off blueberries but it *won't* affect the texture in the least. Meanwhile, berries you used to throw out after 48 hours (if they made it that long) will last the best part of a week.

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