Adding a little Valentine’s Day love to your baking can start with cookie cutters, but you can also decorate treats with naturally nutritious (and tasty) red, pink and purple food dyes that you make yourself. These healthy alternatives are perfect for your favourite people or pets and they make lovely gifts. Here we feature natural food colouring ideas in traditional Valentine’s Day colours, but you can also use the red for Canada Day and Christmas.
DIY Natural Food Colouring for Valentine’s Day Baking
Making natural food dye is as easy as 1-2-3. Although boiling does reduce the nutrient content, some will remain and it will still beat manufactured products.
1 part natural dye ingredient (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
3 parts water
- Simmer over low-medium heat until you are happy with the dye color (at least 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- If you don’t mind bits of the dye ingredient, pour through a strainer. If you prefer a clear natural dye, pour through cheesecloth.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover natural dye.
Pink – Red: Elder Berry, Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Beet or Cranberry juice.
Blue – Purple: Blackberry, Blueberry.
Other Ways to Add Some Natural Love to Valentine Treats
- You can use the whole fruit for scrumptious Valentine’s Day treats. Juicy berries like strawberries can be finely chopped and mixed into frosting, yogurt or cream cheese for a pink & red effect.
- Powdered, freeze-dried fruit make very pretty sprinkles.
- Freeze-dried fruit can create some cool effects if you rehydrate them and used the ‘juice’ as a substitute for the liquid in your recipe, along with the actual fruit. The freeze-drying process preserves even more nutrients than freezing.
- Concentrated fruit juice is often recommended for homemade food coloring, but with those come extra sugar and often artificial colouring.
- There are natural food dyes derived from plant sources available, and they usually won’t add flavor to the end product. Unfortunately, processing limits or eliminates the nutritional value of natural food coloring.
??? Do you have any natural decorating tricks to share?
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