Make Your Own Natural Food Coloring
Pick Your Color
Purple = 3 beets
Green = 1 bunch spinach
Orange= 3 carrots
Blue = ½ red cabbage + 1 tablespoon baking soda
Yellow = 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
Red = 1 tablespoon dried paprika
Brown = 3 bags black tea
Large saucepans, masher or blender, strainer
Vegetable-based food coloring
Roughly chop the vegetable. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, cover the chopped vegetable with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the water is the desired shade, 25 to 30 minutes.
For the red cabbage: to turn it blue, add 1 tablespoon baking soda.
Let cool. Using a masher or blender, puree the vegetables with their cooking water. Strain and transfer to a clean glass jar.
Spice-based food coloring
In a small saucepan over medium heat,combine the turmeric or paprika with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a clean glass jar, no need to strain.
Tea-based food coloring
In glass measuring cup or heat proof container, cover the tea bags with ½ cup boiling water. Let cool. Discard the tea bags and transfer the tea to a clean jar.
When mixed into frostings, natural food coloring will make lovely pastel color rather than vibrant, neon hues.
Store, tightly sealed, in the fridge and use within 1-2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a zip freezer bag for longer storage. Thaw cubes before using.
Makes about ½ cup food coloring per color.