I am so excited about all of the natural food dye alternatives I have been able to find lately!
Some of us have food dye allergies to contend with. Also, the media has shared the harmful effects that artificial coloring can have on you. It’s scary!
I’m doing my best to try to limit the amount my traditional food dye that my family consumes. Here are some of my favorite tips!
What is Natural Food Coloring Made From?
Fruits and veggies! The brighter the shade of the rainbow, the better! Depending on the fruit or vegetable being used, the coloring comes from the skin, or another area of the plant. Before synthetic food dye was invented, this was the go-to when it came to dying both food and products!
What is the Best Natural Food Coloring?
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Luckily, nowadays there are plenty of great options when it comes to buying or creating your own natural food dye. The options can almost be overwhelming!
India Tree Natural Decorating Color is a favorite in my house. Not only are they non-GMO and chemical free, they are also Kosher. It makes me feel good to know that I am not filling my kids’ baked goods with unhealthy ingredients. India Tree also offers Natural Sprinkles and Natural Baking Sugars (sugar sprinkles), too! Another good brand for organic sprinkles, is Let’s Do Organic Sprinkles (they are also a bit cheaper than India Tree–trust me on ordering the 2-pack bundle, they go quick!).
I’m not going to lie, it’s expensive, especially the initial switch to healthier products. I consider food dye and sprinkles to be investment pieces in my baking arsenal, because when stored properly, they last forever! Plus, I believe that either we pay now, by using healthier food products and personal products, or we unfortunately pay later. Using natural ingredients to dye food sounds like a much better alternative. Besides, if enough of us put our foot down, demanding healthier products, supply and demand will work its magic and prices will go down, as healthier food becomes the norm.
How to Make 14 Natural Food Dye Alternatives at Home
There is also the option to make your own! Save money and have fun trying these great homemade recipes, and make natural food dye for frosting, or any of your other baking needs. Follow this chart, from Nourishing Joy, to make your own natural food dye in so many great colors. Check out the rest of these amazing recipes:
- Thanks to this cool recipe from Eating Vibrantly, you can make your own rainbow sprinkles with natural food dye!
- All Natural Recipes has a great way to make red Jello without the box, and without red dye.
- Make this amazing rainbow cake, from Hostess With The Mostess. It’s full of bright colors, using all natural dyes for every layer.
- I love this natural food coloring for dying Easter eggs! The tutorial from Your Homebased Mom is easy and informative!
- Make your own red food coloring from beets, with this easy recipe from The Minimalist Baker.
- Back to the Book Nutrition has the best recipe for making naturally colored sugar sprinkles for cookies and cupcakes!
- Try fresh strawberry buttercream icing , from Better Homes and Gardens, on your next cake, and it will be free of red dye!
- Thanks to this yummy recipe from Super Healthy Kids, you can make delicious snow cones minus the dye.
- Make your favorite colors of frosting with this great tutorial from One Handed Cooks!
- If your little ones love to paint, make them a dye-free version of their favorite finger paints, with this lovely idea from Fun At Home With Kids!
- Use the natural color of spinach to make your own green food dye. With this recipe from Food Hacks, it IS easy being green!
Does Natural Food Coloring Stain Skin?
Any vegetable that has a strong enough pigment to be used as dye, does have the potential to stain the skin (blueberries vs. a fresh mani, anybody?). Just proceed with caution–don’t wear your Easter dress while dying eggs. If you are concerned about this, use gloves while working with the dyes, and rock a cute matching apron set while you’re at it!
Worst case, a combination of water, baking soda, and white vinegar might do the trick. You can also try a little bit of salt and lemon.
Natural Food Dye For Homemade Cosmetics and Bath Products
Think outside the kitchen, when it comes to more uses for natural food dye alternatives! One of my favorite ways to spend girl’s night in with my other mom friends is by making our own lip balm and body scrub. You can even use natural food coloring for soap making. These natural food coloring recipes above will teach you how you can safely add color to your creations!
Natural Food Dyes For Play Dough
The uses for natural food dye are limitless! The next time you make homemade play dough, use some of the natural food dyes you might have created for the recipes listed above. Here are a few of my favorite homemade play dough recipes, that you incorporate natural dye into:
- Unwinding Play Dough Recipe
- Candy Cane Play Dough (this one remains a favorite in my house, year-round!)
- 100 Homemade Play Dough Recipes
More Natural Food Movement Inspiration
It really bothers me that healthier, organic options are more expensive, when it should be accessible to all. The good news is that like everything in life, there are loopholes to be found, and bargains to be had, even with healthy food! Check out these articles with healthy food tips, and fun ways to engage your kids into having interest in their fruits and veggies:
- Farmers Market Fun For Kids
- How to Feed Your Family Organic Food On the Cheap
- My Child Won’t Eat Vegetables
- Easy Healthy RecipesUsing the #1 Technique For Vegetables Kids Love
Do you have any natural food dye alternative hacks you would like to share? Comment below!