Even though companies are being forced to be more transparent about the ingredients that go into our food, it doesn't stop them from using chemicals and unnecessary additives in their products.
The best way to keep track of what is in your food is to make it yourself. There are plenty of homemade alternatives to prepackaged food products and they can be very easy to make with items that you may already have in your pantry.
Artificial food dye has been one of the most controversial food additives around mainly due to the alleged use of petroleum to create them. If you're an avid baker, you might want to cut back on how much of it you incorporate in your creations and look for more natural options.
Fruits, vegetables and spices are perfect for creating all-natural food coloring. You might have to make some adjustments to your recipe due to the consistency of the dye you get from them but it is worth it.
Here are some ways in which you can create your own dye from scratch:
Use fresh or canned beets for colors in the red family including pink. Simply blend the 1/4 cup of the vegetable with 1 teaspoon beet juice and strain it before use.
Turmeric, a spice that gives curry its yellow hue is perfect for tinting foods. You'll just have to boil 1/2 teaspoon of the spice with 1/4 cup of water for 3 to 5 minutes then let it cool before adding it to a recipe.
Berries are your friend when it comes to purple food dye. Blend 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries with 2 teaspoons of water until smooth then strain using a fine-mesh sieve to separate the skin from the liquid.
Not only is spinach loaded with iron, it can also produce a beautiful green color for your coloring needs. For the quickest results, pulverize 1 cup of frozen or thaw spinach with 3 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor then strain it before use.
Check out this video by Bigger Bolder Baking to see how the natural dyes are created.
You can also get more detailed instructions on creating these dyes from the Leite's Culinaria website. Enjoy!
[Images: Bigger Bolder Baking]