According to studies by Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, the food we eat is often influenced by social media. If you have an Instagram or TikTok account, the chances are you’ve seen photos or videos of popular and vibrant butterfly pea flower creations with their dramatic blue hues. These beautiful flowers produce a remarkably vibrant shade of blue that can be infused into foods to add color naturally. The variety of foods infused with butterfly pea flowers grows each day, from tea to pudding. Butterfly pea flowers are not new to local cuisines.
One popular butterfly pea flower-infused food, blue rice, has been a part of Asian cooking for a long time. Butterfly pea flower’s benefits and dramatic beauty have made it a popular and trending ingredient for food blogs and Instagram accounts. Blue rice is just another way to enjoy the beauty of butterfly pea flowers.
What Is Blue Rice?
While vibrant blue-colored rice has been a recent trend on Instagram and TikTok, it has a long and storied history. You may have seen the Butterfly Pea flower being used in cocktails and even tea. But in Asian cuisine, its culinary benefits certainly outweigh its aesthetic appeal. Blue rice is a major component of a dish popular in Thailand and Malaysia, known as nasi kerabu. This dish also features an herb salad, a coconut and fish relish, and other spicy condiments and sauces.
Not only is this colorful rice beautiful, but it also tastes fantastic too. It has been said to add a fresh and aromatic quality to the rice. The dramatic blue color of blue rice may look like it is created by an artificial dye, but it is traditionally and naturally made by cooking the rice with butterfly pea flowers.
Benefits of Butterfly Pea
Are you having trouble with low energy or brainpower? Commonly used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, Butter Pea is known to help. Some of the most highly noted healing properties include boosting memory, reducing high blood pressure, anti-anxiety, anti-stress anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-asthmatic, and even insecticidal.
However, you can also use Butterfly pea for a variety of other treatments such as pink eye, itchy skin, brainpower, and anti-aging. Due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds, Butter Pea can cure common eye infections and improve eyesight. Not to mention, ease itchy skin conditions as the flower contains natural anesthetic and anti-itching properties. The leaves may also work as a holistic remedy for swelling when combined with salt.
Notice your skin losing natural collagen despite your healthy diet? Based on Thai medicinal traditions, Butterfly Pea is commonly used in treating premature greying and male pattern baldness. As Anthocyanin is a key ingredient in Butterfly Pea, it is said to increase blood flow in the scalp and strengthen hair follicles. When consumed, the acetylcholine found in Butterfly Pea also helps to facilitate communication with the brain and prevents messages from traveling slower, breaking down, or stopping altogether. It also helps to improve one’s cognitive thinking and natural balance.
How To Make Blue Rice
When you make blue rice, you must use jasmine rice, as this is the style of rice traditionally used. Make your rice as usual, but boil the jasmine rice and a few butterfly pea flowers in the water. You can also make blue rice the same way in your rice cooker. The best rice cooker is one with induction heating, as this will give you greater control over your rice. For one cup of rice, you should use six to seven butterfly pea flowers. Blue rice can go with a variety of dishes, especially all kinds of curries. Due to its natural fragrance, mild flavors will work best without overpowering the dish. If you prefer, you can also add more flavors like whole spices or lemongrass to the rice while cooking to make it even more aromatic and delicious.
Blue rice is best with Asian-style dishes and curries. Popular choices include a Thai coconut curry or a stir-fried chicken dish. You can also use blue rice to make a delicious stir-fried dish by parboiling the rice with the butterfly pea flowers and then frying it with vegetables and a protein of your choice. There are so many ways to enjoy the beauty and flavor of blue rice and when you do, make sure you join the trend and post photos of your tasty dish.