In the food biz blue is often refuted as a color that categorically does not make people hungry. Red is the go to, green the stand-by, plus any other warm neutral. However there are some blue edibles found in nature that offer culinary delight and should not be neglected for their mystical hue.
One of these is the flower, butterfly pea or clitoria ternate. This flower is used culinarily and medicinally primarily in Southeast Asian cultures. It first came to my awareness on my first trip to Thailand, where street stalls sell many varieties of colored sticky rice. The blue varieties, and I believe the purple as well contain butterfly pea flower. The medicinal properties attributed to it include alleviation of depression and nootropic benefits. This seems to be a common theme will blue foods as I discuss here in my other blue drink blog post, Blue magick coconut kefir.
The most basic butterfly pea flower recipe you will find is steeping it as an herbal tea.
For the tea:
steep approximately 10 dried flowers per cup of water, for 2-3 minutes. Or you can use these convenient tea bags! Strain the flowers. Serve hot or cold. Sweetened or not! If you add citrus like lemon or lime to it, the color will transform into a fuchsia purple, like in the recipe below!
For purple neroli blossom tea:
First prepare the butterfly pea flower tea as instructed above using 20 dried flowers, and 2 cups of tea, or use tea bags as directed.
Add to this:
2 TB lemon or lime juice
1-2 teas. orange blossom water (start with less then add more if you like it more floral)
Sweeten if desired. My preferred sweetener, even for tea is very smooth date paste! Get the recipe here
! It’s a great way to sweeten while adding fiber, iron, potassium and other trace nutrients.