DIY: All Natural Food Dye

Made from…you guessed it, FOOD! Will wonders never cease! Did it take just under a couple of hours? Yes. Do I have enough to freeze and use for a very long time? Yes. Is natural food colouring better for us than the fake stuff? Obviously…

Without getting into all of the research/findings regarding fake food dye (I’ll let you get to that on your own don’t say I didn’t warn you), let us simply celebrate in the beautiful array of colours and the wonderful potential in baking that these pretty little jars hold.

Besides, as you may have been able to surmise by now – the biggest reason that I try to bake with less sugar, using natural ‘alternatives’ whenever I can, is so that I can give my kids treats that I feel good about feeding them and their little brains. When we feed kids we are in fact feeding more than just their bodies – we are feeding their mood! Much like as with us grown-ups – a realization that for a myriad of complicated reasons – is a very difficult fact to heed in how we eat every day.

See? It’s impossible for me to share a healthy recipe without explaining myself in some, if even small way. Onto the good stuff.

What You’ll Need:

Oh and also…various glass jars for storing. I used what I had handy. A mix of mason and spice jars, making freezing for future uses a breeze. OBVIOUS TIP>>> I simmered all food ingredients requiring as such at the same time, to whip these colours off in about an hour and a half. 

How You Do BLUE >>>

Step 1: Cover your blueberries with filtered water in a bowl and soak them overnight. I used frozen ones – which were ideal! I got amazing colour off of them.

Step 2: Simply pour through your cheesecloth lined strainer into a jar for storing. Blue is easy.

 How You Do YELLOW >>>

Step 1: Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of water and mix. You won’t taste it in icing or baked goods, or anything else you want to add colour to and eat. For serious.

Step 2: Simply pour through your cheesecloth lined strainer into a jar for storing. Yellow? Also easy.

 How You Do PINK >>>

Step 1: Wash a pint of raspberries and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or longer. You can do it all dang afternoon you want – the key here is to get a nice concentrated colour. Drain those raspberries of all their gorgeous hue! This will smell divine and have you vowing to make raspberry jam come season. Or not. But if you are making homemade food dye? Then yes, you are probably like me and also make homemade jam. If you don’t see the point in or don’t enjoy any of these such things, then you are probably hate reading here. Hiiiiii!

Step 2: Remove heavenly smelling pot from heat and simply pour the goodness through your cheesecloth lined strainer into a jar for storing. Mash them up through the lined strainer if you so desire.

How You Do GREEN >>>

Step 1 & 2: Follow the same steps as with the raspberries. See pictures below.

How You Do ORANGE >>>

Step 1: Wash, peel and chop a bunch of carrots. (I used a 5 pound bag because I tag-teamed the effort to make some soup too.) Submerge them to cover and simmer on the stove for a couple of hours. You want the carrots to be cooked into a mush and to get every last ounce of colour boiled out of those carrots.

Step 2: Pour into a blender and puree until smooth.

Step 3: Simply pour some through your cheesecloth lined strainer into a jar for storing. When blended the consistency was nearly gel-like, which made straining pretty slow. As you can see I was impatient and I made a little bag out of the cheesecloth and squeezed all the colour out of that sucker. Much faster.

Step 4: Pour the colour into a glass jar for storing.

How You Do PURPLE >>>

Step 1 & 2: Follow the same steps as with the raspberries and the spinach/kale. See pictures below. (I used canned organic beets.)

How You Do RED >>>

Step 1: Add 1 teaspoon of paprika powder per cup of water and mix. Add in a bit of your purple dye from the beets to deepen the red if you want, as I did.

Step 2: Pour through your cheesecloth lined strainer into a jar for storing.

Now, my friends you are all done and you have these pretty, shiny jars of food colouring to inject into all of your Spring Solstice, Christmas, Halloween and Hannukah baking. Or just because. You don’t need a special occasion. After all they are good for you, so eat them up! Now to figure out a sugar free royal icing recipe. Impossible you say? Never say never!

Shelf Life: 7 days in the fridge, 6 months in the freezer. Please note: the colours won’t be as intense as with the fake stuff. You will however still get beautiful colour, more pastel than vibrant. Although I have yet to experiment with replacing all liquids with the colours in recipes, to try and get more intense colours. Perhaps.

Until the next. xo


  1. Reply
    Jennifer Avventura 25/03/2013

    You never cease to amaze me. Wow!
    Jennifer Avventura´s last blog post ..Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

    • Reply
      Selena 24/04/2013

      DITTO lady, ditto. We each have our ways.

  2. Reply

    […] whip this in last until uber creamy. You can leave it the nice creamy colour it is, or use all natural vegetable and fruit based food colouring for […]

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