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Beetroot Juice for Food Dye

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Beet-Juice1This post is all about me sharing with you a kitchen shortcut.  There are many wonderful tidbits that I could share about beets.  But I am going to do my best to stay focused here today.  :)

There have been many times in  those recipe creating moments when I have needed a red food coloring.  I won’t use the typical #40 red food dye that you find on your local grocery shelves, and to be honest, the natural food dyes… well, I find that they lack the  luster and vibrancy that I like .  I know that beetroot juice is wonderful and natural dye… I have a stain on my chef’s coat that always reminds me of that. hehe

But here is one issue that I always come up against…  I never seem to have any fresh beets on hand when inspiration hits me.   And an 18 mile round trip to the grocery store is a sure bet inspiration killer.   Beet powder is always an option, specially when you don’t want to add additional liquid to a recipe but even that can be hard to find.

So, I decided to juice some beets and freeze the juice in 1/4 cup portions. Within my collection of mason jars I fell in love with my itty-bitty 4 0z jars.  They hold 1/4 cup of juice beautifully!  And yes, that sentence does require an exclamation point… because I find this down right exciting… don’t you?  :)   Of course you can freeze it in any increment you want.  Ice cube trays work perfectly as well.

Please note that the quantity of beets needed to create a certain volume will always vary.  It will depend on the freshness and quality of the beets.  So, please just use the amounts given as a guideline.   So, when the time comes that inspiration hits and you find yourself in dire need of red food dye… pull a jar of juice from the freeze, allow it to thaw and surrender to the creative gods of raw!  This is where I typically would go on and on as to how healthy beets can be for us, but I promised to stay focused.  So for more reading enjoyment you can check this site out.  A nutritious food dye… gotta love that.  If you scroll down towards the end of this post, I shared some information I found about what they are finding in studies about food dyes.  Scary.

Ingredients: 2 cups

  • 2-3 lbs of red beets roots

Preparation:

  1. For the purpose of beet juice as a food dye, I juiced only the root, not the stem or leaves.  These do add great nutrients to the juice if you want to create a drink though.
  2. Trim the stem from the beetroots and give them a good scrubbing under running water.

Juicer method:

  1. Rough chop the beets according to the chute size that your juicer has and juice accordingly.
  2. Pour into freezer safe jars or in an ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

Blender method:

  1. Rough chop the clean beets and place them in the blender.   I recommend only filling the container up half way.
  2. Add roughly 1/4 cup of water and blend until the beets are completely broken down and in liquid form.
  3. Pour the juice in a nut bag and squeeze the juice from the bag into a large bowl.  The pulp can be save for cracker making if you wish.  Otherwise, place it in the compost.
  4. Note:  Beet juice stains!

Beet-Juice2

 Artificial Food Dye Dangers (source)

Red 2 – carcinogenic; increases bladder tumor risk; found on Florida oranges.

Red 3 – thyroid carcinogen; banned from external use products; found in maraschino cherries, sausage and candy among others.

Red 40 – most common food dye; linked to allergies and ADHD in children; found in candy, cereal, desserts, drugs and cosmetics among others.

Yellow 5 – currently undergoing testing; linked to behavioral problems in children; found in beverages, candy, cereal, gelatin, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics among others.

Yellow 6 – currently undergoing testing; suspected of causing adrenal tumors and hypersensitivity; found in baked goods, cereal, candy, gelatin and cosmetics among others.

Blue 1 – currently undergoing testing; suspected of causing kidney tumors; found in beverages, candy, cereal and pharmaceuticals.

Blue 2 – currently undergoing testing; suspected of increasing tumor risk – especially of the brain; found in beverages, candy, pet food and pharmaceuticals.

Green 3 – currently undergoing testing; suspected of causing tumors of the bladder and testes; found in personal care products, ice cream, beverages, lipstick and other cosmetics.

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13 thoughts on “Beetroot Juice for Food Dye

  1. elana says:

    Thank you for this great idea. Can you recommend a juicer?
    Also I am wondering if you use soy milk maker To make raw nutmilks and if you do can you recommend which one you like.
    Thank you.
    Elana

  2. Laurie says:

    As usual Amie Sue, a wonderfully informative article, in many ways! I don’t think people realize just how many “simple things” in their food that is procured from a manufacturer, can cause major problems in their bodies. Of course each person has a different sensitivity level, making some at more risque than others.

    Your write-up brought to mind a recent discussion our guest from German had with us. Martin was commenting that too many people over-feed their pets and when the obese animal doesn’t eat, the person thinks something is wrong with it. He then commented that they do not know that, just as in humans, they are killing their pets. Causing all kinds of problems that go hand in hand with obesity.

    Then Martin switched it to talking about over rated expensive pet foods that people buy just because it’s expensive. He talked about these foods and then said that he couldn’t believe people went so far to buy ORGANIC pet food. I saw my opportunity! I said, “Wait a minute. Organic sounds perfectly sensible. Expensive yes, but no more than it is for humans, when you consider how long that $40-60 bag of food lasts for that pet compared to the human’s upkeep cost. PLUS! Going back to the very subject you brought up about people causing health problems in their animals due to over feeding, there are people who not only know this, but they also know that the quality of food put into their animal will help prolong the animals lives and they will hopefully have less illnesses that require a visit to the vet’s office. So, I will not fault a person who spends a lot of money on their pet, feeding them organic food. They know the benefits.”

    Between you and me, Martin will not admit he hates animals and feels that to have pets is idiotic. He had brought up the over feeding pets discussion more than once during his visit, so when he switched to bringing in thinking that people are stupid for feeding expensive organic food I saw my opportunity to prove him wrong. And, it stopped him in his tracks with a moment of complete silence. He hadn’t thought of it from that view point and he knew he had no argument on this one. After all, we had already had many discussions on the benefits of organic foods for human consumption.

    So Amie Sue, my point is, based upon your article, is that “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”. If organic foods are good for humans, don’t forget to include your pets if you have the ability to. There are all kinds of wonderful pet treats you can make with the pulps from juicing, just as a start. =)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Laurie,

      It sounds like you had some in-depth talks with Martin and you were presented with a wonderful opportunity to plant a very important seed within your friend. :) So many people lack the interest to implement the idea of preventative care, and that goes for ourselves and our pets. That investment alone has a tremendous ripple effect.

      Thank you for taking the time to share this with me/us Laurie. I always love hearing from you. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  3. sherry massa says:

    Hi Amie Sue!

    I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoy your blog and website!!!
    It’s so user friendly and very well done!!!
    I appreciate all your hard work, tips, advice and of course your recipes… I look forward to reading it everyday…!!!

    Thank You,
    Sherry (from Ohio)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Sherry. That really means a lot to me. It tickles me that you enjoy it so. Please do keep in touch and many blessings to you and those in Ohio. :) amie sue

  4. mari says:

    I have a juicer called Norwalk and been using it since 1987 and I feel it is the best in the world. You can buy used to keep the cost down. Anyway I do slso make beet juice for lip color. And always juice beets in my juice everyday.

  5. elana says:

    Thank you for recommending the juicer. I will check it out. The reason I asked about a soy milk maker is for an easier way to make almond milk. I read about the soyabella which seems like a nice idea but hesitate to buy it. Just looking for an easy way to make almond milk daily for my family. Do you have tips maybe?
    Thank you again.
    Elana

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Elana.

      I want to apologize, I didn’t look into the soyabella before answering you. I thought it was a “starter”… oh don’t ask, I am not sure where my head was at that time. haha I just got got done spending time on looking at the unit. I have to admit that it does look easy… but I am not sure if it is worth it. You still soak the nuts, whether you do this in the soy machine or a high speed blender, it takes the same amount of time. On the videos I have watched, with the soy machine the nut pulp stays in the mesh container. My question is.. how wet is that pulp? Does it still require a mesh bag to really press all the liquid out so you can use the pulp for other recipes. If so, I don’t think it is worth it or find it easier than just using a blender and nut bag. I will keep investigating but so far that is what I have come up with.

      Are you familiar with making nut milks with the blender and nut bag method? I am all for kitchen gadgets so lets work on this together. Never know, it just might be a cool thing. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

      • amie-sue says:

        Ok, I am back. After more research I have learned that a I would still have to run the pulp through a nut bag in order to use it the way I normally do. So for me, I will stick with my blender/nut bag method. I hope some of this helped. amie sue

  6. elana says:

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. One last question… How do you care for your but milk bag that you drain with? I have a feeling I will end up using my vitamix and a bag but never done it before. Thanks.
    And just want to add… I made the California mudslide pie and it was the biggest hit. You are a food magician :) thanks for sharing all your magic with us.

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh you are welcome Elana. I learned some new things through the process so it benefited both of us. :) Making your own nut milks is so easy. I have a post written up on that. Let me get the link for you…(plays Jeopardy music) ok, here you go: http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/smoothies-juices-nut-milks/nut-milk/. If you have any further questions beyond that, never hesitate to ask me.

      But to answer your question about the bag… I tend to rinse it out in the sink with a drop of dish soap, then I drape it on the faucet to air dry, the sun comes in there. They dry pretty darn fast. Nut milk bags last a for quite a while but watch for a few things; don’t squeeze it so hard you force the nut pulp to squirt through it, this stretches the holes out, watch for snags in your nails and watch out if you have rings on… one hole is a ruined bag.

      I have tried many nut bags over the years and so far this one is my favorite… http://nouveauraw.com/equipment/nut-milk-supplies/nut-milk-bag-new-improved/

      I don’t know how you feel about freezing things but you can freeze nut milks. I helped a friend out by making their family almond milk for about 5 months. They weren’t into raw foods but she wanted a pure almond milk. So, I would make jars and jars (1 1/2 pint freezer-safe jars / http://nouveauraw.com/equipment/storage-containers/ball-wide-mouth-24-ounce-jars-with-lids-and-bands-set-of-9/) and freeze them for her.

      Nut milks will separate once they settle down a bit, this isn’t a bad thing, just shake the jar before serving. Same goes for it you freeze it, once thawed it will be separated. Anyway, I feel that I am rambling. I hope this helped.

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed the California Mudslide pie… it is a good one! Have a blessed weekend, amie sue

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