Does anyone have experience with natural food coloring? I'm planning my daughter's birthday cake and ideally would like to use a subsitute for artificial food coloring. Does anyone have any recommendations? I've seen products online such as India Tree. They seem to be foodbased, and I would guess safe for child consumption (and free of the health concerns of the artificial dyes), but I know nothing about them.
I also could make my own, but thought it may be fun to try the prepared ones.
It depends on the color you're going for but concentrated juice of certain fruits and veggies might work. Either juice them or put them through a blender and strain. Then put the juice in a pot and reduce. I've had it work with beets (pink/red), spinach (green), golden delicious apple peels (yellow), strawberries (red), blueberries (bluish purple), and pumpkin (orange, takes lots of reducing). The colors aren't on par with regular food coloring but they work ok.
I've used the india tree food dyes - the yellow is turmeric-based, the red uses beet juice, blue is red cabbage. Yes, you can absolutely just use the real thing if you have those veg or spices around, but it's handy having them around (keep in the fridge so they keep their color better) and they work pretty well.
Slightly less intense and more natural looking colors than the other food dyes, of course. They also seem to mask any of the flavors of the colorings which can sometimes be an issue when you use the real foodstuffs to color your food.
Let me know how they work! I am also planning DS's birthday cake and would like a little color this time.
SAHM, college student, AND expecting #2 EDD March 20 2014! (25) * DS (10/2010) *
Loving life with DBF (24) since 10/2009
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I just made my son's pink birthday cake with the India Tree dyes - they worked beautifully.
Last year, I made a really yucky cake with homemade natural food dyes. The beet juice worked fine, but the whole cake had an odd sort of curryish flavor from the turmeric in the yellow part. Needless to say, I was the only one who would eat it, although everyone loved looking at it and insisted that they really did like it.