Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Make All-Natural Food Coloring!

The lovely image above is a close up of a necklace pendant called, "Rainbow Colorful Whimsical Woman Necklace" and is created by Whimsies Folksies. Please check out her beautiful, fanciful original mixed media paintings, art prints, and other handcrafted art pendants in her Etsy shop!

There are harmful ingredients in artificial food colorings which are in many different kinds of foods including a plentiful array of children's foods. Please check out this informative article about how food companies fool consumers with food coloring ingredients made from petrochemicals:

However, have no fear there is a healthy, NATURAL solution...All-Natural Food Colorings! You can either purchase them at a health foods store or you can attempt to make your own! My sister, Andrea, and I have made several natural, "from scratch" cakes with our own all natural food colorings. We have used natural ones that we purchased from a health food store, but our favorite ones that we like to use are the natural food colorings that we make ourselves. We have made natural food coloring from red cabbage, spinach juice, and beet powder...however our ultimate favorite natural food coloring ingredient is turmeric because it produces such a vibrant yellow and it is very easy to achieve. Here are some pictures of our natural food coloring cake creations:

Princess and the Frog Cake

Sponge Bob Square Pants Cake

Pac Man Cake

Big Bird Cake

Mario Star Cake

Barbie Cake

...and here is our newest cake creation; for our Nana Sharee's birthday we made her a high heel and martini cake! The beet powder we used made a beautiful pink speckled frosting!

Here are the two sites with information on how you can create your own all-natural food colorings at home! Best of luck to you and happy cake creating! :-D


Andrea said...

Boy, what fun cake decorating is; especially when you know that the ingredients are naturally derived. Birthday parties (or any occasion that deserves a cake) should be a fun event where you aren't having to feel as if you are cheating or putting yours or your child's health on the back burner for the moment.

Something else I would like to consider next time we make a cake, Jessy ... is for us to consider the glycemic index of the meal/dessert. We already sweeten the icing to a nice sweetness with powdered sugar, but not too sweet. With the cake, we follow the recipe generally to a T; maybe a little under measurement on the sugar.

However, I've been reading in "Optimum Nutrition for Your Child's Mind" that including protein and fiber with your sugars helps to slow the digestion down of the meal and keeps the meal's glucose (sugar) levels from flooding your blood stream. Serving nuts (mixed, walnuts, macadamia, etc.) for the protein source, and a veggie tray for the fiber source can help out with this. <:o)

Jessica Woody said...

I totally agree! I would like to try adding more honey into our cake recipes (I have done half honey, half sugar in my cakes at home and they turn out great)! I would also like to try out organic coconut palm sugar:

Yes, regular "white sugar" can be quite hazardous and really needs to be reduced if not taken completely out of ours and our children's diets. Here is a fascinating article titled "The Harmful Effects of Sugar and Choosing Healthy Alternatives":

Ha ha, can you tell I am a fan of Natural News?! ;-D

Christine (Remember December) said...

Thanks for sharing about natural food coloring! The colors on the cakes look great!

I'm studying nutrition therapy so this is particularly helpful. Bookmarking & following your blog :)

Elen said...

Thanks for sharing this :) One question: once you make the coloring, how long can you keep it? does it have to be used immediately?

Jessica Woody said...

Thank you for the sweet complements ladies! Christine, I am happy to have helped you with your studies; I love studying nutrition...natural cake making is so much fun and rewarding!

Elen, to answer your question, I found a really good answer on the Hub Pages link I listed in my post (first link I posted about how to create your own natural food coloring). I found it under the comments section and this is what it said: "I think the food dyes from red cabbage and hibiscus can be refrigerated for up to a week. The turmeric and green tea powder can be stored for months and months without being refrigerated, as long as you keep the container tightly closed." I absolutely agree; furthermore, beet powder can also be stored for months and months in a concealed container for many months.

With keeping this concept in mind, I assume that the liquid (or juice concentrates/extracts) can last up to a week being refrigerated; and the powders and dried herbs/spices can last several months in your pantry. ;-) Best of luck to you with your natural food coloring experiments! The two links I listed in my post about how to create these all-natural food colorings are very informative and give you lots of options!

Andrea said...

I have purchased natural decorating food colors from India Tree at Whole Foods Market, and find the shelf life to be great for the yellow (from curcumin); however, I prefer turmeric for the price ... and the blue (from red cabbage) is consistent with color as it has aged too. Regretfully though, the red (from beet juice) has turned brown. Hopefully this helps ladies. :-)

NekiNaturals said...

my husband will love this! thanks

Andrea said...

Furthermore, I use the "now brown" beet juice coloring for skin tones, and Jessica has purchased some beet powder, which I'm thinking will be more likely to stay consistent in color: red.

Jessica Woody said...

Neki, my husband loves all-natural food colorings too! Yes, Andrea the beet powder keeps its color for a very long time and stores wonderfully! I guess beet juice doesn't keep its red/pink color very long so if you were to use it in a frosting, you would want to create the fresh beet juice for the cake either the day before or the day of the event...of course, unless you needed it for skin tone color! ;-)