By now it is very well known that artificial food colourings are linked to kids behaviour problems. So why not give our kids the best start in life and avoid artificial additives as much as possible. It’s not only food colouring bottles that we need to throw away, but also to start to look at the ingredients lists and eliminate artificial additives as much as realistically possible. The post Food additives: What is your daily dose? explains food additives in more details and the Food Additives Table in pdf format there is free to download .
How to make natural pink food colour
The nature gave us foods in so many beautiful colours, yet somehow it became a norm to colour it artificially to “enhance” the appearance, especially food marketed towards kids. Often colour is used to make food more appealing as there are no ingredients of natural origin. My personal preference is to skip any colourings and let the fresh and natural ingredients show their true colour. Exception, however, is our kids birthdays or special occasions. In that instance, I give in, but take time to make homemade, natural and often organic food colours. As we have a gorgeous girl, pink is a favourite and easiest to make.
Homemade natural pink colour: step-by-step with photos
Beetroot is one of my favourite veggies: it’s loaded with nutrients, can be eaten raw or cooked and has vibrant colour – perfect for food colouring. Beetroot juice is also great for colouring homemade natural playdough.
Here’s how to do it:
Finely grate cooked or fresh beetroot (on the photo below the beetroot is cooked)
Press through a fine sieve to extract the juice.
I’ve used it here to colour royal icing
Add a small amount of beetroot juice. You can always add more if necessary. The royal icing will turn from stiff peaks to soft.
If you need runny royal icing for “flooding” add more beetroot juice or water if you happy with colour depth.
Here I’m using it to make white and pink butterflies.
And let them dry… For the assembled butterflies see the top photo.
The cake and cupcake icing below are also coloured using beetroot juice. The pink is slightly different as it’s mixed with yellowish crème patisserie producing a vintage shade of pink.
Colours other than pink
Our son isn’t that much into pink, so there are other natural food colours:
- yellow: turmeric
- gold: turmeric and cocoa
- green: powdered green tea
- reddish pink: raspberries (can turn blue or gray if food you’re colouring is acidic)
- purple/blue: blueberries, blackberries
- brown: cocoa or chocolate
There are other possibilities, like spinach and avocado for green, but suitable for savoury dishes. Or use flowers (as above) and herbs (mint, parsley) for a nice contrast.
Please share with us your favourite ways of using nature’s rainbow!