While I hadn’t been posting recipes on my blog for a really long time, I still have been working in the kitchen and making smoothie bowls. I get most of my inspirations from Instagram where there’s a growing number of accounts that features mainly vegan food which includes smoothie bowls and nice-creams. Recently, there has been a trend of blue smoothie bowls using blue natural food dyes extracted from Blue Pea Flower (Butterfly Pea Flower) or this blue spirulina called Blue Majik. You could basically get any colour you want from fruits and vegetables but the colour, blue, is really hard to obtain unless you turn to artificial food dyes. Thankfully, blue pea flowers can be found abundantly throughout Asia as the plant itself can thrive under our warm climate. That is why the flower is used as a natural food dye in several Asian dishes.
You could make pretty galactic drinks with the blue pea flower tea and with a dash of lemon juice, it turns into a dreamy purple tea. However, when mixed into smoothies, the blue colour intensity is not that fantastic. The blue pea flower has a slightly darker tint of blue – most probably due to oxidation of the coloured pigments, anthocyanins. I’ve tried experimenting with the fresh and dried forms of Blue Pea Flower. Of course, the dried ones are easier to work with especially the powdered form where you can obtain an intense deep blue dye out of it. The powdered blue pea powder which I’ve tried was from Blue Chai.
Blue Chai offers several coloured organic teas which come in various forms – from whole dried flowers to the grounded forms. For me, I have tried their Blue Matcha which is simply grounded dried blue pea flower and also their Pink Matcha which is finely grounded rose blossoms.
The powder is stored in bamboo containers which were eco-friendly but it was a little difficult to twist the cap open. Some of the blue matcha spilt out as I was trying to twist the cap open.
With the blue matcha or grounded blue pea flower, you can simply soak in hot water to make blue pea flower tea with it. It doesn’t have much of a taste. I just use it as a natural colour dye to add a pop of colour to my smoothie bowl. You can use this natural blue dye in baking goods to make it look more attractive.
As for the pink matcha, it has more of a purplish colour. It tasted exactly like rose petals. Some people like the floral scent of roses but they may not exactly like the taste of it. To me, it was pleasant.
I added a pinch of both coloured matcha into some water and mix in so you guys could see how the colour turns out. From the photos, you can see that the natural blue dye has a darker intensity while the pink matcha has got an intense purplish hue.
So how does it look like when I mixed into nice-cream or banana-only ice cream?
I simply mixed in the finely ground blue and pink matcha into the smoothie mixture and this is how it turned out. The pink matcha gave this pastel pink hue to the smoothie while the blue matcha gave it a dark blue tint.
As of now, I am just glad that there are such natural food dyes around which I could play with without worrying if it contains any artificial chemicals in it.
If you would like to find out more about these matcha products, head over to their website at https://bluechai.com. They do international shipping too.