You’re all well aware of my thoughts and opinions towards artificial colors and flavors! So why would Easter Egg dye be any different? I love the tradition of dying eggs, I just don’t like the health problems associated with it. The problem is, artificial dyes don’t exactly have a great track record health-wise, say experts at the Center for the Science in the Public Interest. So why risk cooking or baking with them, especially when it’s so simple to make natural food coloring at home?
No matter what color you need, there’s a way to get it by using fruits, vegetables, and spices that get their pigment from Mother Nature. And don’t worry—since you only need a few concentrated drops of your homemade food coloring, it won’t have an impact on the flavor or texture of the food you add it to.
Red and pink: Beets
Green: Spinach OR Matcha Powder
Blue: Red cabbage and baking soda
Fun fact: When you combine red cabbage with a little bit of something alkaline, like baking soda, the cabbage turns blue. To make blue dye, boil a head of shredded red cabbage in enough water to cover it, until the cabbage is completely limp. Strain the liquid, add half a teaspoon of baking soda, and watch as your liquid changes from purple to blue. But be sure you only add half a teaspoon – using too much can create a soapy flavor.
Purple: Purple grape juice
To get the most royal purple possible, bring grape juice to a boil and then simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Use it just like you would other homemade liquid food dyes. A few drops should add plenty of color without infusing the grape flavor.
What about other colors?
Once you have the basic primary and secondary colors, you can mix them to make all kinds of other hues. It might take a little bit of experimenting to get exactly what you want—but that’s part of the fun, right? Here are a few basic combos to get you started:
- Magenta: Red + purple
- Teal: Blue + green
- Salmon: Red + orange
- Indigo: Blue + purple
- Olive: Green + yellow