It was SO fun experimenting and figuring out ways to use whole foods to create natural food dyes for things like homemade sprinkles and my coconut cashew frosting. This is the fun part of baking…. testing, experimenting, playing around, trial and error to see what works. I felt like a food scientist for a minute 🙂
OHHH and you know what else they’re great for…. decorating Easter eggs! It is that time of year. This is the first year I think we’ve ever had Easter in Ohio, since growing up we always went to Florida over Easter break. If it wasn’t for the weather being amazing in Ohio right now I would probably be complaining that we weren’t in Daytona eating endless crab legs by the ocean.
So my initial thought process was to take whole foods that already have bright colors like beets, spinach, and carrots, blend them individually in my vitamix with a tiny bit of water then extracting the juice to create the dye. This method worked to create some food colors, but some colors were much easier than that and I didnt even need to use the blender!
DIY Natural Food Coloring
To achieve both a light pink and a dark, hot pink, I use beets.
All you have to do pull out a hand held grater and grate the beet. Beets have a ton of water that makes it perfect for extracting juice.
Dark Pink: Grate half a beet. To extract the juice either use two lined paper towels or a nut bag and squeeze out the beet juice.
Light Pink: Dilute the beet juice with water. I used equal parts water to beet juice to get a lighter pink, but you can play around with how much water you use to achieve the desired pink you’re looking for.
Orange: Turmeric works great for creating the yellow/orange shades. The turmeric root is a bright orange color, but using the root would require more work and maybe not as good of a result than using turmeric powder. For orange, I mixed 1.5 tsp turmeric powder with 1 tbsp water.
Yellow: Dilute the powder even further with twice the amount of water to create a light yellow color.
Dark Green: I used a wheatgrass powder mixed with water for dark green food coloring. You can also use chlorophyll or spirlina powder. I used a 1:2 powder to water ratio to get the dark green color.
Light green: To get a lighter green color, it took a little more work, but not too much. I used my Vitamix to blend one cup packed spinach (about two hand fulls) with 1/2 cup water to create a green juice. Then, like the beet juice, I extracted the juice using paper towels to get the dye.
For purple, I used blueberries. I’ve seen people use cabbage to achieve the purple/blue hues, but I have not tried that yet. I blended up 16 oz of blueberries in my Vitamix without adding any water. The juice was a bit thick, but created a light purple color that you can use to dye your foods.
To create a brown, I used cocao powder combined with water. A 1:2 ratio cocao powder to water should do the job.
What’s great about using powders with naturally dense, bright colors like cocao, wheatgrass, and turmeric is that if you’re adding it to a frosting or icing, you can add the powder directly without using any liquid or water.
All of these ingredients used to make homemade natural food coloring requires some playing around with depending on what you’re using it for and the exact color you’re trying to achieve.