Natural Food Coloring? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-03-2006, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds will be turning one in about a month, and I'm hoping to make a healthier cake for him. The cake part I think I can figure out, but I'd like to decorate it with colorful icing, and I know standard food dyes are terrible. Has anyone seen natural food dyes sold anywhere? Whole Foods? Sun Harvest? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
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#2 of 7 Old 08-03-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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Not sure where you are located, but here in the NW we have a store called New Seasons. When I was there a few months ago I saw that they had natural food dyes. They came in the squeeze bottles like regular food coloring, but were made with beet, annato, etc. I filed it away for future reference... Let me go and see what I can find online.
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#3 of 7 Old 08-03-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Ok, here was a site that I was able to find. Not sure if this is the same brand I had found before or not, but looks like they are all food-derived. Hope this helps!
http://www.seelecttea.com/index.php?cPath=41
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#4 of 7 Old 08-03-2006, 08:49 PM
 
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I used white icing for our first cakes, but I was happy to find some Dancing Deer food coloring that I've got in the pantry (a package of five colors.) "Earth-Grown Food Colors" is the name of their product. I got it at a local natural foods store (a small one) but I first saw Dancing Deer baked goods in Whole Foods a few years ago. I just did a quick Google search on "Dancing Deer" and food coloring and saw some blurbs about people not being able to find it/trouble keeping up with demand, but I turned up this website that seems to have them available.

http://www.aha-yes.com/shop/product_...vate_product=1
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#5 of 7 Old 08-03-2006, 10:21 PM
 
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It's not that hard to make your own. A small amount of carrot or beet juice in icing makes a nice orange or pink. Any colorful juice, really- a few drops go a long way.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#6 of 7 Old 08-04-2006, 08:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
It's not that hard to make your own. A small amount of carrot or beet juice in icing makes a nice orange or pink. Any colorful juice, really- a few drops go a long way.
Great thought -- thank you for sharing from experience, Ruth. I wonder if I'd have ever just tried it on my own, even though I see it (beet, spinach) as an ingredient in foods colored naturally. I wonder if a bit of turmeric in icing would color nicely without influencing taste? I can see that working, but it's the kind of thing I probably would not end up trying because I wouldn't want it to botch the batch, and I don't typically make cakes/icing enough to have a convenient "trial" for experimenting. Plus, would I think just to try it? Thanks again.
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#7 of 7 Old 08-04-2006, 08:34 AM
 
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I've had mixed results with the natural food colorings. (I've purchased both the paste/gel kinds and the liquids.) If it's important to you that your son's cake look "just so", experiment first. I've had "blue" cakes that look more gray.

I've found they work best when the original ingredient is totally white to begin with. I usually make my own buttercream frosting which ends up a cream color due to the vanilla. The natural food colorings I've tried don't seem to be strong enough to overcome the brown tint, so blue looks grayish, green is olive green, etc. I've wondered if there is such a thing as clear vanilla extract to overcome this problem, but I've never seen it. My mother suggested just leaving out the vanilla in the frosting -- it would still taste good without it. I'm going to try that next time.

The other issue is taste -- the green paste coloring I've tried is tinted with spinach powder. I once used it in some of our Christmas cookie frosting. It made a lovely pine green, but the green frosted cookies tasted faintly of spinach! : The liquid coloring seemed to be better -- perhaps it is less consentrated.

Do some experimenting, or go ahead and use them and just see what you get! Your ds certainly won't mind! Hope he has a fun first birthday!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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