food coloring alternative - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-20-2010, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberg007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm making an Elmo cake for my DD's 2nd birthday and I want to stay away from food dyes. ANyone has recs for alternatives? I need red, orange, and black. TIA
amberg007 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-20-2010, 07:26 PM
 
cristeen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Red - beets
orange - add turmeric
Black - even artificialy, black is difficult. You'd be better off shooting for a dark brown... Chocolate

Cristeen ~ Always remembering our stillheart.gif  warrior ~ Our rainbow1284.gif  is 3, how'd that happen?!?! 

We welcomed another rainbow1284.gifstillheart.gif  warrior in May 2012!! 

2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012

cristeen is offline  
Old 09-20-2010, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberg007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ok thanks. how is the flavor when using those tho? and I don't mean to sound ignorant but I'm not exactly a baker...how would I use them to color the icing?
amberg007 is offline  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:12 PM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, to put it honestly... This is coming from a person with extensive experience(I do lots of baking, with NO artificial color ever)... You'll never really get a true red from natural food colors. Using beets and turmeric WILL leave their flavor stamp in your food. It was really hard for me to come to peace with this... Baking and cookie/cake decorating is a big hobby of mine, and switching to no fake colors baking was something I really believe in... I still miss the squeeze bottles of nasty toxic rainbow colors.

My best advice... Go ahead and try to put the dreams of glowing colored confections behind you. You can still make gorgeous treats, but they won't be the paint-bright colors you're used to.

I think if I were trying to do an Elmo cake, this is the angle I would take...

I would use melted chocolate chips or really intense chocolate frosting for the black details. For his red fur, I would get some of those really cool freeze dried strawberries(bright red for the most part, right?) and powder them in a food processor and after frosting with vanilla or whatever I would powder him down with the pulverized strawberries until I achieved "red enough". For his orange nose, I think I would simply use a dried apricot or similar orange dried fruit. I've made some really lovely stuff using fruits, chocolate, and naturally colored candies. Honestly, the commercial candy making people have way better luck finding ways to color treats with natural colors without funky flavors... They have scientists and professional chefs working for them. *haha* You can come up with some very nice mellow pinks, yellows, purples, shades of brown using fruit juices and spices. But red? Really, I've never really gotten true red with artificial color without using nearly a whole bottle of color, and then it was still more like a very dark pink... I have NO clue how they make the bottled stuff truly red, and it frightens me!
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberg007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thank you so much for the great ideas! I think I will do some experimenting beforehand and see what works out best. FOr her first birthday I put in alot of time and effort on the cake too. It was a bit easier then though since she wasn't as interested in characters and such. It's a shame that the food dyes are junk. I really really like the strawberried idea however! Thanks again!
amberg007 is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:04 AM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,316
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Yeah, red and black are hard. Even with super-concentrated gel from the cake decorating shop, you have to use a lot to get it not-pink. And black... man, that fake black colouring is NASTY. It smells vile and gives me a headache.

Could you use licorice for the black bits, if it's for piping or just filling in small spaces (ie eyeballs)? Of course, maybe licorice itself is black because of nasty fake colours, I dunno.

I think you can get food colourings that are "natural" to a degree - might be worth looking for. I was recently at a party and the mother said the sprinkles were naturally-coloured...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
Old 09-21-2010, 01:34 AM
 
JessicaS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 42,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just Tomatoes sells dried fruit powder

http://www.justtomatoes.com/powder.html



Or just pulverising them would work too I am not sure what would turn out the "reddest" maybe you could call them and ask?

Not all those who wander are lost 
JessicaS is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
amberg007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
Just Tomatoes sells dried fruit powder

http://www.justtomatoes.com/powder.html



Or just pulverising them would work too I am not sure what would turn out the "reddest" maybe you could call them and ask?
what a great site! Thanks!!
amberg007 is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:50 PM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ditto on that website! SOOOO cool!
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 09-21-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Ophelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MinneSNOWta
Posts: 2,406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This site sells natural food coloring, I have not tried it yet myself.

http://indiatree.com/products/decora...ors/index.html

DS 2006 nocirc.gif DiaperFreeBaby angel1.gif March 2010, DD 2011

Ophelia is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 05:03 AM
 
lil_miss_understood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
This site sells natural food coloring, I have not tried it yet myself.

http://indiatree.com/products/decora...ors/index.html
nak
as you can see from their photos, you'll not get a true red from these colourings either, unless you use their raspberry red sugar.

in addition to India tree there is also these but i've not tried them

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
lil_miss_understood is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
amberg007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Awesome! I LOVE getting ne resources! This time around, I don't have time to order anything but I am going to try the dried fruit powed idea, which I LOVE btw, I bought dried cranberries for it since they seemed to be the most Elmo like red hue and apricots for the nose, which I'm also just gonna do in pictures. Now if I can just tap into my artistic side to make it look spectacular for my dear pumpkin.
amberg007 is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 12:22 PM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to see pictures when you're done! Cranberries do seem redder... Did you get them freeze-dried or dehydrated? I'm not sure if dehydrated would "powder" like the freeze dried as they are sticky. Keep us posted!
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Liz_H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
nak
as you can see from their photos, you'll not get a true red from these colourings either, unless you use their raspberry red sugar.
Actually, our Raspberry has more blue in it than I think you would want for an Elmo red. Jacqueline, StrongBeliever and Smokering are exactly right about natural red food coloring, too. It's really hard to get a true red. As the mum of a ten year old whose school colors include bright, cherry red, I'd love it if that weren't true..but we put a lot of work into color research and ended up with the lovely, deep, jewel-toned but undeniably pinkish red. I think of it as pomegranate. On the other hand, our orange is spectacular, in both the Marigold sugar and by blending the natural food colors. Love the idea about dried fruit powder.

Good luck with the cake and thanks for bringing me out of lurking status to post!

Edit: I thought the quote function would include the quote that Jacqueline made of Ophelia, so for clarification, I'm responding to the comment about India Tree's natural colors and sugars. Sorry for the rookie mistake.
Liz_H is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Magelet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 2,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've used the india tree natural food colors and they are the palest of all the natural food colors I've used. Dancing deer had some really great ones (Still pale but less so) that were gels in little glass jars but I can't find them online right now. they may not make them anymore?

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
Magelet is offline  
Old 09-22-2010, 05:09 PM
 
lil_miss_understood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I came across this last night as well. That dough looks really red to me. I wonder where one would get trai gac powder?

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
lil_miss_understood is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 01:18 AM
 
WorldsBestMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 476
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beet definitely can be used as fruit coloring.

Worlds Best Mom
WorldsBestMom is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 11:33 AM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
I came across this last night as well. That dough looks really red to me. I wonder where one would get trai gac powder?

OMG! That is REALLY RED! Awesome! Now I must find some, whatever the heck it is.... Supposing it isn't something creepy like ground up beetles. I think the blue was also very impressive... Clitoria flowers, eh? I wonder if I can grow them?
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now I am on a mission! Seems like trai gac is hard to find online. You can get the seeds for the clitoria flowers online though! I totally just asked my Vietnamese friend on FB if she could find me some. *haha* Her husband was born in Vietnam, and her MIL lives with them... So maybe there is hope! that vibrant red hue just has me drooling! It's a fruit... I wonder if it imparts any flavor to the recipe?
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 09-23-2010, 01:26 PM
 
lil_miss_understood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
Now I am on a mission! Seems like trai gac is hard to find online. You can get the seeds for the clitoria flowers online though! I totally just asked my Vietnamese friend on FB if she could find me some. *haha* Her husband was born in Vietnam, and her MIL lives with them... So maybe there is hope! that vibrant red hue just has me drooling! It's a fruit... I wonder if it imparts any flavor to the recipe?
I was wondering the same thing...
If you do happen upon a source online, could you let us know? And where'd you get the flower seeds?

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
lil_miss_understood is offline  
Old 09-25-2010, 11:18 AM
 
StrongBeliever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Southwest MO
Posts: 706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yay! My friend thinks she may be able to find me some trai gac powder! If she is, I'll ask where she got it... I'm betting it's one of those things you find at obscure Asian markets or something. I'd love to see some online retailer hopping on this... It could totally be huge for the natural baking community!

As for the flower seeds, JaquelineR... I just Googled "clitoria seeds". Clitoria ternatea is the variety used for dye. There were a bunch of different sources. I've not purchased any yet, but I probably will in the spring for the new growing season!
StrongBeliever is offline  
Old 07-13-2012, 01:26 AM
 
Alice Versluis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

molasses is what gives licorice its black colour. Gladly mollasses is good for you!

Alice Versluis is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off