Food coloring comes in handy when you need to brighten up anything from frosting to cookie dough to homemade popsicles. However, not everyone likes adding artificial chemicals to their food. It's nice that only a few drops of food coloring can get the job done, but regardless, peace of mind might not be fully achieved. Instead, using natural food colorings like the vibrant butterfly pea flower is a way around that.
Natural food colorings can come from many sources. These include berries and vegetables, like raspberries and spinach, which can be pureed before adding into food. Food coloring can also be extracted from powders, like matcha and turmeric. When steeped in water like tea, flowers become a vivid source of color. Hibiscus flowers are often used for their red-pink hue, but more unknown is the blue butterfly pea flower. Blues are hard to find in nature because it takes more energy and special chemicals on a plant's part to reflect this color. Yet the butterfly pea flower is an exception, so trade in food coloring for this special flower next time you want the perfect blue hue.
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Butterfly Pea Flowers Take Dried And Powder Forms
Although it's not a pantry staple, getting your hands on butterfly pea flowers is worth it to achieve a vivid royal blue. Butterfly pea flowers are native to southeast Asia, where they are used to color clothes and teas. The flower's natural sweetness is agreeable to baked goods and sweet drinks and its mild floral taste imparts a unique flavor without overwhelming the food. You can find butterfly pea flowers in two forms: the first is bright blue powder and the second is dried flowers. Powder is arguably the more versatile form of the two. It can be used in the dough of a baked good, stirred into a frosting, blended into a smoothie, or added to oatmeal. Altering the amount you use can result in either a pale blue or a more saturated color.
The second option for purchasing butterfly pea flowers is its dried form. Dried butterfly pea flowers can be steeped in hot water to make blue tea, and this liquid can be used to add color to a cocktail or lemonade. However, the flower's blue color will change into a bright pink or red when its pH is altered through the addition of acidic ingredients like lemon. Your blue lemonade will end up looking pink — important to know if you don't appreciate unexpected results.
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