Monday, February 25, 2013

Natural Food Coloring

natural food coloring, natural color

Do you know? that even the most safe synthetic food coloring is not safe!! Synthetic food coloring can never be made without carcinogenic substances. One or two drops might not be dangerous, but one or two drops every week for like 15 years can lead to cancer risk. They say, "your are what you eat". And they are right!! You eat carcinogenic things, you become cancer. I mean, your cells become cancer.
Nature actually give everything we need. It even provide us natural color pigments which are safe for foods. Look around!! Nature is colorful!!
Well, let's see how we can make natural food colorings.

Anybody knows this red fruit?
natural red color
Yes, it's beetroot, or just beet. The color of this fruit is deep red. It's usually found on salads. You can find the fruit in your local supermarket. It's very good on giving red color to foods, such as cookies, cakes, candies, and many others. The very deep color makes you need only a very small amount of beet juice. To make red food coloring from beet, make juice of it with your blender, but without any water. Use only the juice. You have to strain after you mix it with juicer or blender. Half of beet makes a half cup of beet juice. The amount of coloring you need is depend on how deep the color you want. Start with a tea spoon, the you can add more if you want deeper color. Don't worry, it will not ruin the taste of your food. The most interesting things about beet is that they have a lot health benefit. It reduce the risk of cancer and can boost your immunity. Google it up! Other source of red food coloring is teak leaf. But it's harder to find.

In my homeland, turmeric is used to color many foods since ancient times. Just one centimeter of turmeric root, can turn a whole food in medium sized saucepan into bright yellow. It's used in many kind of foods. It will not ruin the taste of the food, since you need only a little.

natural yellow color, natural food coloring, natural color

The way to get the color is to mash it up, and take the water (juice). But be careful, it really can yellow your skin and clothes. So, use something to cover your hand and clothes. Nowadays turmeric are mostly sold in powder. So you don't need to extract the juice. Just pour a little of turmeric powder. But i like the root form of turmeric more than the powder form. It's more yellow.

Dracaena angustifolia. It sounds unfamiliar, but you can find those on herbal store. It looks like these:

natural green color, natural food coloring, natural color

Mash it on your blender, and strain. Take the juice only. It really do wonder on green, and it has no  smell at all. These are example of food using Dracanea angustifolia as the coloring:

natural food coloring, natural color

But if you think that it's hard to find this plant, use spinach juice :)

A little hard to find this color on fruits. But guess what? You can find it on flower!! Butterfly blue pea flowers give beautiful blue to your foods, better than blueberries.

natural food coloring, natural color

It's easier to use this flower, since you don't need any blender. Just boil this flower with little water until the water turns blue. Shut off the fire, and wait until warm. Do not remove the flowers. When it's already warm, squeeze the flower to get more blue. If you think it's already blue enough, remove the flower.
But if you want to color some cookies, using water is not wise enough. You can put the flower in warm water for a couple of seconds, and than squeeze it on strain, so it's not to watery and safe for your cookies. But you'll need more blue pea flowers.

Well, we've got all the primary colors. To make other colors, use your creativity to mix the color. For example, red and blue will turn purple. Red and yellow will turn orange, etc.


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