diy food dyes

| simple living

many of you might have heard about the recent debate over artificial food dyes. to sum up the issue, most artificial food dyes are toxic in nature and are derived from petroleum sourced bases. many have been found to be carcinogenic and have been linked to several disorders found in children. you can read more about the issue in the new york times and npr, but today- i want to discuss an alternative- DIY food dyes.


colorful inspiration by mommy makes

as i was baking a cake for a dear friend's birthday yesterday, i was searching for an alternative to using artificial food dyes for the icing. after some quick research, i discovered many ways of coloring food, all naturally! for a beautiful deep pink icing, i simply heated up some frozen cherries i had and used the juice to whip into my white icing. it worked wonderfully- and tasted good, too! here are several other ways you can color your foods, naturally.

- beet juice
- cherry juice
- raspberry juice
- juiced cranberries
- pomegranate juice
- paprika powder

- avocado (smash with a fork, then stir into icing)
- juiced kale or spinach

purple & blue
- juiced blueberries
- blackberries
- acai juice
- grape juice

yellow & orange
- juiced yellow bell pepper
- juiced carrots
- turmeric powder

- coffee powder
- cocoa powder

have you made your own food dye before? please share with us any advice!

simple living


  • Great post. Whether we’ll ever know the exact level of toxicity and danger in these artificial dyes…I’ll take spinach, blueberries, avocado over “red No3, orange No76, blue No7” anyday!
    Thank you!

  • oooh beet juice.. wonder how that would taste on cupcakes.. hmm

  • We used turmeric to dye the handmade paper for our wedding invitations. It worked great.

    • kia, what a great idea! i bet they were beautiful!

  • Would this make your food taste different?

    • hi moriah! i don’t believe so, the amount is so little that it has a very small effect on the taste of the food. :)

  • How much do you put in? like do u smash 1 tbsp or what?:)

  • hi moriah! this is something you’ll have to play with a bit, as i haven’t made all the versions. start with a little and go from there (1 tbs sounds like a good starting point), it will mainly depending on what color you want. good luck! :)

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