Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring – It’s easy to make homemade natural food coloring from a variety of colorful foods you may already have in your pantry. These colorants can then be used to color sugar crystals and other foods.

We recently went back to visit a fun family making homemade marshmallow-like Easter treats. When I first made them a few years ago, it was the first time I tried making my own food coloring at home.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

I tried coloring some sugar crystals to cover my marshmallows and didn’t want to use artificial food coloring. On the other hand, I didn’t have natural colors either. So I decided to use what I had in my kitchen.

Colored Sugar Cubes

Although it’s not difficult to make your own food coloring in the end, I spent some time experimenting unsuccessfully.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

How many times have I tried something online (like a recipe) and it just doesn’t work. It seems some people copy someone else’s recipe without testing it and assume it will work.

Natural food coloring was one of those topics where almost all the posts I read (when I first posted this post in 2015) used a method that wasn’t very effective!

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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One popular method for making natural food coloring at home was to boil spinach in water. The theory is that once the water-covered spinach is cooked long enough for the water to evaporate, you’ll have a perfectly concentrated food coloring solution.

The idea certainly makes sense, but in practice it’s just not very effective. Water doesn’t absorb enough paint to do anything. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of spinach leaves making pale, brown, greenish water that wasn’t strong enough to color anything. Coloring the sugar crystals didn’t work at all.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Don’t let this scare you away from using spinach to color your dishes. Fresh, raw spinach can be mixed into smoothies and other foods for a beautiful green color. I’ve already shown you how to use spinach leaves to make a natural green shamrock smoothie. (I also used it to color my Paleo Homemade Chocolate Mint Ice Cream.)

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So boiled vegetables wouldn’t cut it? What’s the best way to get great colors from food?

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

I decided to look for other methods of extracting substances from plants. If flavors can be extracted, for example when making an extract, it makes sense to extract colors in the same way.

Homemade vanilla extract really got me thinking. When I extracted the vanilla flavor from the vanilla bean, I inevitably extracted the brown color. Frankly, in Vanilla’s case, this was more of a problem than an advantage. Using real vanilla extract turned my white treatments beige or light brown when I didn’t want that to happen.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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The best thing about using alcohol to remove food coloring is that it also acts as a preservative. (Read more about natural preservatives in my Beginner’s Guide to Canning .) Because it’s a preservative, you can use alcohol to make homemade paints that will keep for more than two days in the refrigerator. (With no preservatives, you should refrigerate and use almost immediately.)

Another advantage of alcohol is that it evaporates faster than water. During my quest to create colored sugar crystals, I started making natural dyes. In order to color the sugar successfully, it is important to add the color without too much moisture so that the sugar does not dissolve. It is also important that the sugar dries relatively quickly. Alcohol-based coloring can do just that!

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

While I personally haven’t (yet) attempted this to create a homemade dye, I have used glycerin in the past to make alcohol-free extracts. I made cucumber and chamomile extracts for home cosmetics and they absorbed the color from the plant material just like the alcohol based extracts.

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While I’m not sure how strong the final color will be, I imagine glycerin will work as an alcohol-free way to remove and maintain color. In fact, I think many of the more natural food colors for sale use glycerin.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

To extract using glycerin, place food (dry or fresh) in glycerin for a few days or long enough to get enough color. If the color is not strong enough, you may need to strain the food and replace it with another.

For safe protection, keep the glycerin concentration above 50%. Before you try to dilute, remember that some foods can add moisture to glycerin, so the concentration of glycerin may be lower than you think.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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I imagine you could also use fruit like raspberries, but beets have such a bright and strong color that I stuck to them.

When I first wrote this post, I had recently made beetroot powder at home. So I used powder to create my color. The process was simple…

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Beetroot powder is a versatile food, its vibrant color is perfect for home cosmetics. It is easy to prepare and use as a food coloring or a healthy addition to your diet.

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Mix a small amount of vodka or high-proof alcohol with a small amount of beetroot powder. You can leave the color to soak in alcohol for several hours. If you use this method, you can filter out the solids later using a cloth or coffee filter. It’s completely unnecessary unless you’re picky about the small amount of beetroot powder left behind.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

I mixed the beetroot powder and vodka and immediately added the mixture to some white sugar. I was so happy to see my sugar crystals turn a beautiful pastel pink!

It can also be used to tint some cosmetics like powder blushes, but it has to be ground very, very finely or it won’t adhere well to the skin. I only use the dust collected on the lid of my coffee grinder as a powder coloring agent. I find it impossible to grind it fine enough for cosmetic use.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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Even when finely ground, it can still crystallize in oil-based products like lipstick because it is water-soluble.

While many spices and food powders work beautifully to color soaps naturally, others, such as beets, produce unexpected results.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

If you don’t have beetroot powder on hand, you can easily use fresh beets. This year I juiced half a beetroot to make my pink dye.

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While you can use beet juice directly to color your food, I found it best to dilute the water first. The pure juice turned my shredded coconut dark pink, which I didn’t really like.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

I diluted the juice with rubbing alcohol, but if you’re using everything right away, you can just use water.

One thing I noticed is that the color obtained from beets can vary greatly depending on the beet itself.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Colored Sugar Sprinkles For Food Decoration. Whole Background. Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 22854017

When I first wrote this post, I used beets I bought at the farmer’s market. The resulting bright fuchsia pink (as you can see in these photos) was absolutely gorgeous!

I’ve since used beets from the supermarket and although I can get a pretty pink color out of them, they’re not as amazingly vibrant as the first beets I fell in love with.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Also, remember that not all beets are pink! Beets can be found in different colors!

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When looking for beets for food coloring, you may have to use several sources to get the shade you’re looking for.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Hibiscus powder also works well for coloring foods bright pink. This is how I made the light pink house doll earlier.

Alkanth root, also known as rattan jute, is a reddish root commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has a very bright and vibrant red, perfect for use in home cosmetics.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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I used alcantara root powder to make my homemade blush stick because it’s one of the few natural colorants that spreads evenly without clumping in oils and fats.

Annatto (or achiote) seeds are often used in cooking in Latin America to add an orange color to dishes. It has its own flavor, but I find it quite bland.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Annatto, like alcantara root, is one of my favorite natural pigments to use in natural cosmetics. It also disperses well in oils and fats, making it perfect for use in homemade lipstick or other makeup recipes. (I think this would work great in homemade Halloween makeup too!)

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I followed the same process I used with the beetroot powder. I mixed turmeric powder with vodka and immediately poured the mixture over my sugar crystals.

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

Since then, I have tried to filter out the solid material of the powder. My sugar crystals made with filtered paint turned out brighter. However, I didn’t keep the powder in the alcohol long enough for it to infuse the color more.

I imagine you could also use fresh turmeric

Dying Sugar With Food Coloring

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