Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell

What are the new classic blue food trends this year?

When we think of blue foods, most likely blueberries pop to mind. Perhaps because outside of fun foods like cereal and candy, there are not a ton of known blue foods. When Pantone announced Classic Blue as their Color of the Year for 2020, I became curious about new blue foods. To my surprise, I found a few that I believe we are going to see a more of in the future.

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I discovered the Butterfly Pea Flower a few months before the Classic Blue announcement. As a huge tea drinker, I came across The Republic of Tea’s Daily Beauty Herbal Tea, which contains the flower. Native to Southeast Asia, Butterfly Pea Flower happens to be deep indigo with a hint of purple in color. Magically the blue changes completely to purple when an acid, like lemon juice, is added. The flower is high in antioxidants, and it is a nootropic and diuretic as well. The beauty industry has found use of it for hair growth and anti-aging benefits. A final search on Pinterest produced everything from Butterfly Pea Flower latte’s to cookies to ice cream. It makes me want this blue ingredient in my life, especially this spring season.

Did you know there was both green and blue spirulina? Or maybe I should ask, do you know about spirulina? A kind of wonder algae, high in protein, boosts energy, removes heavy metals from the body, and the list goes on-this algae is a favorite in the holistic health and plant-based community. You will find it in a powder form to mix into smoothies and baked goods, and if you’re buying from a reputable source, be prepared for the high price tag.

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Green spirulina is the most known, and now the blue variety is gaining ground. The difference between the two is the water-soluble Phycocoyanin, only found in spirulina, is extracted from the blue-green algae and made into a blue powder. Green spirulina supposedly has a fishier taste than the blue.

Unicorn Superfoods sells blue spirulina and provides gorgeous photos of pancakes, smoothie bowls, and donuts on their Instagram page that will entice you to try. Leave it to the kombucha creatives at GTS Synergy Kombucha to use blue spirulina in their recent 25th Anniversary “Sacred Life” kombucha. The beautifully designed bottle and label come to life with against the natural bright blue hue-and the kombucha tastes terrific!

Another truly blue food is the blue olive originating from Sri Lanka. Often a street food in the Far East, the locals eat them boiled or fresh, mixed with fruits or vegetables and seasoned. When ripe, they are a little sour, and the texture is like an avocado. Brilliant in color both inside and out, I am now in search of them.

I cannot go without mentioning a fun blue food that I spotted at the grocery store recently. Blueberry Cheerios! The color of these Cheerios might get kids to eat their whole grain oats!

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