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Creating Natural Food Colors

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Raw Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Here I used some turmeric in the frosting to add some richness to the presence of lemon in the recipe.

This is sort of a new avenue for me to venture down.  I have always been aware of using Tumeric as a safe food dye when I am trying to achieve a yellow hue in recipes, but I haven’t dabbled a whole lot into other colors.  For the most part, we really don’t need to, raw foods are so vibrant in color as is.  But sometimes it is fun to get a tad bit more creative.  So right off the top of my head I came up with yellow, the red family and green family for food dyes.  Be watchful of the amounts used when trying to create colors that you don’t alter the flavor of your recipe!  Always start off with small amounts,  you can always add more but you can’t take away.  Other ingredients within your recipe could also effect the color out come.  For example if you are using dates in your recipe, which are brown, can you substitute to a different sweetener that isn’t so rich in color such as honey?  I would love to gather input from others on this subject matter.  Please share your comments below.


  • Tumeric is mild Indian spice has been scientifically studied for its protective effects against inflammation and cancer. Turmeric’s health benefits and yellow color are due to a group of flavonoids called curcuminoids. Medicinal uses of turmeric include the healing of stomach ulcers and the relief of oxidative, free-radical stress in patients with inflammation. Turmeric powder is readily available in the spice section of most supermarkets

Red, Pink, Magenta

  • Beet juice or cranberry juice mixed with any icing creates a magnificent pink to deep magenta color.
  • The cleansing virtue in beet juice is very healing for liver toxicity or bile ailments, like jaundice, hepatitis, food poisoning, diarrhea or vomiting. A squeeze of lime with beets juice heightens the efficacy in treating these ailments. The choline from this wonderful juice detoxifies not only the liver, but also the entire system of excessive alcohol abuse, provided consumption is ceased. The cellulose content helps to ease bowel movements. Drinking beets juice regularly will help relieve chronic constipation. There are all sorts of health benefits to beets!  They do sell beet powder too.


  • Spiralina.  It contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb. It’s the highest protein food- over 60% all digestible vegetable protein. It has the highest concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace minerals and the rare essential fatty acid GLA. These make spirulina a great whole food alternative to isolated vitamin and minerals.


  • Blueberries (frozen blueberries, thawed, blended, strained) Blueberries are rich in anti oxidetns, Vit. C, B complex, Vit. E & A, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron.



Examples: White raw frosting base

Here’s how to make light colors (tints, pastels). Adding to white lightens colors.

  • Pink: Add a small amount of red to white.
  • Salmon pink, coral: Add a small amount of red to white. More red for coral.
  • Peach: Add a small amount of orange (yellow and red = orange) to white.
  • Cream (off-white): Add a small amount of yellow to white.
  • Mint Green: Add a small amount of green to white.
  • Lavender: Add a small amount of violet to white.
  • Orchid : Add a small amount of purple to white.

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One thought on “Creating Natural Food Colors

  1. amie-sue says:

    I loved your story about the staining of the highchair with curry. haha It’s funny how we stumble upon things isn’t it? :) I would love to hear if you or anyone else discovers new natural ways to color foods.

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