How to make natural food colouring from plants

If you've got a party or other special occasion coming up, this simple guide might be useful if you're planning on adding some colour to your food: cakes, icing, jellies and drinks can be turned all colours of the rainbow using natural options!

As one online chef suggests, "Remember that working with natural colouring will be different than the artificially amplified colours you're probably used to. In general you can expect a paler, more pastel-type of result. It is best if you experiment, play around with quantities and combinations, add a little at a time, and always taste as you go. Most importantly, let your creative juices flow, and have fun with it!"

The infographic below from Instructables user Igioteno is a great guide for using common items from your fridge or pantry to make some great colours:

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To extract dye from vegetables and fruits, try cooking and/or blending the plants, then strain out the coloured liquid using a cheesecloth or a sieve. If you've got a juicer, even better!

Interestingly, red cabbage can be used to make both purple and blue food dye! For purple, cut and boil the cabbage until the water is very dark and concentrated dye. For blue, use the same process, but then slowly stir in baking soda, a bit at a time. The soda will react with the cabbage juice, making it turn blue!

These natural dyes can also be used for craft and DIY, such as egg-painting or children's' activities.

What natural options have you tried for making food dyes? Let us know in the comments below!

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Images: Shutterstock

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