Are you tired of shopping for a healthy, non toxic alternative to food coloring? Do you or your family member suffer corn or gluten allergies, and you wonder what food colors are safe, natural and free of allergens? Have you ever considered making your own healthy food coloring?
Those who have corn and/or gluten allergies, or those who want to avoid toxins and other additives, need to learn how to make their own food coloring. This gives you the ability to produce a safe, natural product for you and your family to use.
Once you make this type of food coloring you can use if for any of your cooking needs; or you might want to use it for crafts such as painting, dying fabrics or making children's play dough.
Today's markets make it nearly impossible to find a food coloring that doesn't include chemicals in the ingredients. Many of these processed coloring agents use allergens and toxic ingredients, which are harmful to your health. This is why people are seeking options that will work, while still providing the needed results.
Using natural ingredients allows you to create a botanical color mix. This gives you the pleasure that comes from making your own product that is healthy and eco-friendly. In addition, you will also have a product that smells good. Perhaps the best thing about creating your own food coloring is that you can adjust the recipe to get the shade you want.
The use of plants and herbs to create natural dyes has been around for many centuries. Many spices, fruits, berries and plants are known to contain staining agents that can be safely used to make a number of products. Here are some ideas to get you started on the path for making safe, plant based food coloring.
Boil 2 cups of water in a pot on your stove. When a full boil is reached you can take the pot from the burner and let the water cool for about 30-60 seconds. Now add a small amount of turmeric to the water. Once you have obtained the shade of yellow you want you can quit adding this herbal coloring agent. If you will use stale, outdated turmeric instead of a fresher version you can get the natural color without the strong herbal flavoring. After the colored water has cooled it can be stored in a glass container with a tight fitting lid.
Great Green Color from Spinach
* Cover two cups of spinach leaves with cold water.* Boil the spinach for 60 seconds.* Decrease heat and continue to simmer for ten minutes.* Cool and strain through a cheesecloth or strainer.* Store in a glass jar.
The Royal Color of Ruby Red
Add a few beets to a pan and cover the beets with water. The beets are simmered for about 45 minutes, or until they are tender. Remove the beets and use a paring knife to peel them after it has been cooled down. Slice or chop the beets and then add these vegetables back to the pan containing the boiled water. Let beets sit undisturbed for several hours in the water so the water can absorb the deep, ruby coloring from the beets. Pour the liquid through a piece of clean cheesecloth or a fine, mesh strainer. You will have about 1-1/2 cups of water. Optional - Combine the colored water with 2 teaspoons of a vinegar (careful many vinegars are made from corn). Fill the red food coloring in a jar and store it.
Berry Blue Food Color
Add 1-2 cups of water and 1 cup of blueberries to a pot. Fresh or frozen berries can be u Allow the berries to simmer on the stove for 20-40 minutes. After the liquid has cooled for about 15 minutes you can pour it into a blender and pulverize the mixture for 1 minute. Once this process is completed use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to separate the berry particles from the liquid. Once straining has been completed this natural blue food coloring liquid can be safely kept in a glass container. Always make sure the lid to the container is one that forms a tight seal.
HELPFUL TIPS TO CREATE THE BEST NATURAL FOOD
Store your food coloring in glass containers for two reasons. First, you don't want the dye to absorb chemicals found in the plastics, and secondly - even though it is safe food coloring, the dyes can still transfer to the plastic and leave it permanently colored. You can experiment your own signature recipes that allow you to make your food coloring recipes. There can be personalized shades that you can increase or decrease in intensity based on the ratio of food based ingredients that you can use.
Posted under Allergies
This post was written by Martina Berger on February 17, 2011