The Wonderful Purpleness of Low Bush Blueberry Fruit Bread

Arctic Lowbush Blueberry Bread batter_n

This unusual bread became an instant favorite. What we didn’t slather with butter and devour straight out of the oven soon disappeared in our lunchtime peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and as breakfast toast. 

I was tickled purple with the color of this bread batter.

Blueberry on tundra at Shishmaref_n

Unlike the fat, juicy blueberries we used to pick at farms in Oregon, in the Arctic diminutive plants that grow mere inches off the ground produce tiny, tart berries. These berries ripen in August and, like cloudberries, are around only for a few weeks. But a lot of flavor comes in these small packages, and the dark purple color produces beautiful freezer jam. In Shishmaref, the berries grew only a short walk from our home on Sarichef Island. Here in Point Hope we rely on friends who drive Hondas (ATVs) out to the hills 20 or more miles away where the berries grow. Scanning the tundra for bright red leaves slightly smaller than shelled almonds leads to ripe fruit. The bush in this photo, growing among crowberries (the green foliage), barely rose above our shoe tops. (See Summer Blueberry Picking on the Arctic Tundra.)

Arctic Lowbush Blueberry Bread w butter_n

Low Bush Blueberry Fruit Bread


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups whole fruit blueberry jam


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter and applesauce. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened.
  4. Stir in fruit jam.
  5. Pour into 2 greased bread pans (8 in. x 4 in. x 2 in.)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 – 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

We make two loaves at a time using the above recipe. Keep one in the freezer for a quick, delicious bread.

7 thoughts on “The Wonderful Purpleness of Low Bush Blueberry Fruit Bread

  1. tundra berries are work to pick, but so worth it for the flavour! i loved getting out in the fall (well, early winter, sometimes!) to pick blueberries amongst the crowberries and cranberries whilst watching over my shoulder for bears – so lovely! i bet your bread is sublime 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.