Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to make natural food dye

Commercial food dyes are neurotoxins, so dying cakes and cookies is hard if you are avoiding food dyes. Ah, but it really isn't!!! There are some "natural" dyes on the market but if you've ever priced them, you'll be happy to know the options below are MUCH cheaper! Here are some suggestions for natural food dyes, and keep reading for a sample cookie frosting recipe. Please remember these are "food" dyes and may alter the taste so color and taste a little at a time. But to be honest, I've tried all of the below and the only one I noticed a taste in was the cocoa. But don't take my word for it, please taste as you go =) These can all be used for frosting OR batter.

Green: Juice spinach or kale

Purple: You could juice blueberries. Or I like to buy Wyman's frozen blueberries. If you let them defrost in a bowl, it will produce a beautiful purple dye.

Yellow: Tumeric

Brown: Cocoa powder

Pink: Pomegranate juice, cherry juice. Mash a handful of fresh raspberries and push through a sieve. Beet juice.

Orange: Carrot juice

Blue: Spinach or kale juice and tumeric
Now I haven't tried this, but a friend of mine wanted blue and was surprised blueberries didn't make blue =) She had some green frosting, so she mixed the green and purple and ended up with an aqua type color. It actually looked really good!

Here's a great cookie frosting recipe. It dries hard and shiny. Great for all kinds of decorating on cookies.

3 cups organic powdered sugar
4 TB organic milk
1/2 ts organic vanilla extract
2 ts agave nectar OR 4 ts organic light corn syrup

In a bowl, stir together the milk and sugar. On a low speed, mix in the other ingredients until smooth and shiny. Slowly add in your food dye. I would suggest a teaspoon at a time. (If it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar slowly. If it's too thick (after you've added the dye) add a tiny bit of milk at a time.)

The firetruck cookies below used 5 ts of spinach juice, there was no taste change: (The kids helped frost and we aren't perfectionists, haha, so disregard the mess)

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