Kids, and even adults, get tempted by delicious foods. And the first point of contact to “assess” the tastiness of the food? – visual impact! Needless to say, a little color will spice up the appearance and even subconsciously the taste of the food. But I bet that there’s a certain level of resistance to empty a bottle of artificial food coloring. For all the anti-artificial food coloring camp, below is a list of easy-to-make, and oh-so-yummy homemade food coloring.
Red Cabbage – Bright Blue/ Purplish Hue
- Wash an organic red cabbage, remove the stems and chop finely.
- Place it into a pot and add water till cabbage is fully submerged. Simmer for 10 mins or till water has turned purplish.
- Drain the mixture. Using a fork, gently press the cabbage against the strainer to capture all the good cabbage essence.
- For a more bluish hue, add solutions that are slightly acidic, such as vinegar, lemon or lime juice. For a more purplish hue, add solutions that are alkaline, such as green tea and baking soda. Take care not to add an overdose as the sourness or bitterness may affect the taste of the food.
Usage: For food dying, such as vegetables, flour mixture. Allow the cabbage essence to seep in for at least half an hour for non-floury mixture.
Cornflower – Pale Greyish Blue
- Also known as Centaurea Cyanus, cornflower is a bright and vivacious flower species that is edible. It is probably difficult to spot a fresh plant or even dried cornflower petals, but it should be available in most grocers specializing in condiments.
- Grind the cornflower to a fine powder and add a pinch of salt.
- Very popular dye with South-eastern Peranakan or Nyonya dishes.
Usage: For food dying. Also can be used to color icing.
Ingredients: Finely-Grounded Tumeric
Mix finely grinded tumeric powder with water and be careful not to stain your clothes as the stains are difficult to remove. Gives an intense yellow color with just a little tumeric. Tumeric is known to improve function, lowers cholesterol, as well as fight cancer.
Usage: Icing and Color frosting
For Non-Sweet Dishes: Beetroot
- Place fresh organic beet into a blender, blend till fine. Strain and keep the beet juice.
Usage: Food coloring, frost and icing coloring
For Sweet Dishes: Raspberry
- Simmer fresh or frozen raspberry over low heat and stir the mixture gently till it thickens. Sieve to remove raspberry pulp. Add a little organic raw sugar to taste.
Usage: Food coloring, icing or frost. Extremely pretty when used with confectionery.
Ingredients: Dried green tea powder, spinach juice
- Using organic fresh spinach, remove stalk, and juice the leaves.
Usage: Icing, color frosting