Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How To make All -Natural Food Coloring


 To be perfectly honest I was not even sure why Red dye #40 had such a bad rap when I started experimenting with making my own natural food color. I know it has to do with the very "un-natural-ness" of it but exactly what about it is worse than other dyes, no clue.
Here's what LiveStrong says about it:

Red Light
Red 40 may cause symptoms of hypersensitivity in some people, including swelling around the mouth, and it may also cause hives. The colorant might contain contaminants that may contribute to cancer in humans and could trigger hyperactivity in children. In a handful of studies, Red 40 damaged the DNA of mice, according to the CSPI.

Ok  not good, got it. I wanted to experiment with natural food coloring because yes I like being healthy and natural but more so because people are becoming more and more crazed with natural and 'good-for-you' stuff even when it comes to food that clearly isn't healthy ..... cake! But I also recognize that there is a difference from food that adds a few pounds if you eat it every day and food that possibly contributes to cancer or hypersensitivity, so in that case I'll buy into it all! Natural food train I won't be left behind in your healthy dust, I'm already on board!

I won't lie, the beetroot powder does have a certain earthiness to it if you are using large quantities to achieve a brighter red, but nothing a little or lot of numerous natural extracts can't help cover up.  I used the beet root powder to make the valentines themed sprinkle cupcakes and have plans to use the orange carrot dust for multi colored sprinkles.  If your a do-it yourself sugarpaste flower enthusiast these powders also work well for dusting finished flowers with.

I hope this helps you on your quest to be healthy and natural or just to stay ahead or with food trends before they steamroll you.

Enjoy life with cake!

How To Make All-Natural Food Color Dust!
Start with..ta da.. real beets!

Clean off the tops and peel.
 The leafy greens are tasty and super good for you, 
save them for salad or something 'crunchy'.

Chop into small even cubes, brunoise, if you want to get fancy.
The smaller the beets are cut the faster the beets will dry out.
The more even the beets are cut..you guesed it... the more even the beets will dry out.

Place them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and 
dry out for several hours, 5-6, in a 200F oven.

I put them on 200F for 3-4 hours then shut the oven off and go to
 bed by morning they are perfectly dried and look like little black stones.

Finally grind the beets to a very fine powder with a coffee or spice grinder
That's it! The color gives a speckled pink to frostings and fondant that I used it with and also worked very well as a petal dust for gumpaste flowers! I also tried this same method with carrots to get the orange-ish yellow color.  I haven't finished experimenting yet but I hope this will work for just about any color nature can offer!

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