I was cleaning up after my daughter’s birthday yesterday and was disgusted at the frosting from the cake. The blue frosting stained the plates, the kids hands, the table cloth. I could only imagine what it was doing to the kids insides.
In our house we don’t eat a lot of sweets or junk food. So I don’t think too much about what I serve at a party. I consider it a special treat. But after seeing what the food coloring had done, I started to wonder if there was a more natural way to decorate the cake.
The fact is, that it has been known for awhile now that artificial coloring in food can be potential toxic and should be avoided. Artificial coloring has been linked to a variety of tumors and also is know to cause hyper activity in children. I can always tell when my son has had a red Popsicle, he ends up with “ants in his pants” and can’t sit still. So between the fact that artificial food coloring cause cancer and are behavior altering, I went looking for a more natural solution.
Here is what I came up with:
- Reds or Pinks: To make a natural dye for foods you want to be red or pink you can use beets , raspberries or pomegranates.
Steep the beets in boiling water until the water turn a nice bright shade of red. Then you can strain out the beets and allow the water to cool ,use a dropper to add small amounts of the red water to the frosting to get the desired color.
The raspberries can be put in cheese cloth and squeeze the juice out of them into a bowl. slowly add the juice to the frosting until it gets to the color you want.
2.Orange: To make a natural orange food dye, boil carrots in water until the water turns orange. Strain out the carrots and allow the water to cool. Add small amounts to the frosting to get the desired color.
3.Yellow: Saffron, yellow Beets or Dandelion fluff can all be used to naturally dye foods yellow. You can boil the beets the same as the carrots or red beets. With the saffron and dandelion fluff it can be added directly to the frosting. I highly recommend the dandelion. It has a naturally sweet flavor similar to honey.
4.Green: To make green food dye, spinach is the way to go. Boil the spinach same as the carrots or beets to dye the water.
5. Blue or Purple: To make various shades of blue or purple you can experiment with straining juice from blue berries and blackberries. Add small amounts of the juices until you get the desired color. Boiling purple cabbage is another way to get a nice natural purple color food dye.
Next year’s birthday cake will not be staining my kids with unhealthy artificial food dyes.