Natural Food Dye
I am sure you have all seen those gorgeous rainbow cakes doing the rounds on Pinterest? Pretty, yes! But it did have me wondering just how much artificial food dye was used to make the colours in those towering beasts. Food colouring is most commonly used to add a bit of somethin’ somethin’ to kids foods. The problem is that food colouring is not necessarily good for them (some would even say it’s very bad for them).
To purchace natural food dye can be expensive when you only need a drop. So why not make your own? I have mixed my colours with a basic white icing sugar to show the results clearly, but you can use natural dyes for all your cooking and baking. It was actually a lot of fun, Harry helped – you should see his Spinach-Green Play-dough.
How to do it?
Unfortunately I can’t give you exact quantities because it depends on what you are cooking, so you may have to experiment a little yourself.
There are two ways of extracting the colour.
- You can boil the food and use the cooking liquid.
- You can juice the food. If you have a juicer – great, if not just cook (if required) and puree, then push the pulp through a sieve. Add a tablespoon of water if needed.
I found juicing the food produced a more vibrant result.
Best Colour Matches
Here are the colours that worked for both colour and flavour. You can always add a drop of pure vanilla extract to mask any subtle flavours.
Red – Raspberries
Thaw frozen raspberries and puree until smooth. Push pulp through a sieve to extract juice.
Pink – Beetroot
Juice or puree the cooked beetroot or use the juice from quality canned beetroots.
Orange – Carrots
Juice raw carrots in a juicer, or puree adding 1 tbsp water, and push pulp through a sieve to extract juice.
Yellow – Orange
Juice orange using a juicer. Or push pulp through a sieve to extract juice.
Green – Spinach
Juice spinach leaves in a juicer, or puree adding 1 tbsp water, and push pulp through a sieve to extract juice.
Blue – Blueberries
Thaw frozen blueberries and puree until smooth. Push pulp through a sieve to extract juice. OR, microwave berries until the skin bursts, then pour the juice through a sieve.
Purple – Blackberries
Puree blackberries until smooth. Push pulp through a sieve to extract juice. OR, microwave berries until the skin bursts, then pour the juice through a sieve.
Do you have any other ideas? Please let us know if you have tried other colours and flavours so we can share them with everyone.
- When making your own food dye you may need to use more dye than the recipe requires (usually double).
- You may need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe to compensate or add a little more dry ingredients.
- Remember a white base is always best, if you are making icing for example opt for a white based recipe rather than a yellow buttery one.
Nutrition Note: Our natural food dyes are 100% natural. You can feel good knowing there are no artificial flavours, no artificial colours, no preservatives and no additives and you can feel even better knowing you are adding in some wonderfully healthy vitamins and minerals from the fruit and vegetable juices. How good is that!
Note: remember the four day rule when introducing new foods to your baby.Join us on Facebook for other foodie bits and pieces.