Think Pink! How to Make Natural Pink Food Coloring
|February 8, 2013||Posted by Stacy under Healthy eating at home, Recipe|
With Valentine’s Day a week away and Cupid’s arrow getting ready to fly, I’ve been pondering how hard it would be to make homemade pink food coloring for an all-natural red and pink party. Would it be tricky and time consuming? No, in fact, it wasn’t! And the pink treats that I made with the homemade dye would be enough to make Pinkalicious weep with joy.
To make the coloring, I boiled two medium-size beets with skin on for about 45 minutes (until tender). I then threw them in my Vitamix with some water and whirred it up. Next, I strained the beet puree using a sieve over a glass bowl and collected the deep pink juice (you can skip this step as long as you puree until smooth and don’t mind a little “sediment” in the lemonade).
To see how it would work, I used the beet juice to make pink lemonade. I added just a drop to lemonade made with fresh-squeezed lemons. You really don’t need much! I tested it on my fairly suspicious 7-year-old son, who deemed it “just as yummy as the other [i.e., artificially colored] kind.” (I took it as a compliment.) Then, I tasted it myself. Not a hint of beet flavor! The pink lemonade can be made in advance for a party or special occasion; it kept perfectly overnight in the fridge. And in case you’re wondering, I purchased this cute glass Mason Jar Sipper with accompanying pink Stripey Straw for $5 at my local grocery store but it can be ordered as a set of 12 from Acme Party Box Company ($48).
Adding a drop of beet juice to homemade cream cheese frosting gave it a pretty soft pink hue.
Just so you know, I tried using raspberry juice (obtained by thawing frozen raspberries in a bowl) and it just didn’t produce the same beautiful pinky color.
And in case anyone is wondering why I’d go to all this trouble: We have made the decision to avoid synthetic food dyes in our house. Small studies small have linked certain ones (including Red 40 and seven others) to hyperactivity in children and cancer in animals. Concerns over their safety have prompted the British government and European Union to require warning labels on foods that contain them. For more information, check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s A Rainbow of Risks report.
Do you have a homemade food coloring recipe that you’d care to share? I’m always looking for new ideas! Please leave it in the comments section below.