How To Make Blue Frosting Without Food Coloring – Blue is a very rare color in the natural food palette. And among the so-called blue foods, some of them contain pure blue (not purple or green) pigments. But naturally with the lack of naturally blue foods, you have to take what you can get, so please forgive me if some of the foods on my list are plain blue. Until now, the study of color has been able to focus on relatively simple plant foods and how to keep them colorful. But things get weird in the blue. I felt like a mad scientist researching and experimenting with this article — (pH strips, mold, boiling pot of blue liquid). Most of the blue foods I’ve discussed get their pigment from anthocyanins. Most anthocyanins are pigments that are unstable depending on the pH they are exposed to. Red cabbage is a classic example, and depending on the acidity it is exposed to, it can be bright red, purple, blue, or dark blue-green. Most color-changing anthocyanins are in the blue/violet range under basic conditions and in the violet/red range under acidic conditions. So you found blue food? Maybe if you add acid it will turn purple. And add more acid if there is purple food? Maybe red. And there’s an important point about this interesting pH-altering thing: almost all foods are acidic. Yes. So how to cook with blueberries? Well, there are some exceptions — foods and cooking methods that add a little acid to preserve the blue color (and cheat with a pinch of baking soda here and there). And there are a few exceptions to the variable anthocyanin rule that will give you a different cooking technique but still give you some blue color. I have grouped these blue foods into anthocyanins (color changers) and others. So put on your lab goggles, get out the pH strips, and get ready for some weird, blue food adventures.
Blueberries appear blue when picked, but turn red/purple when crushed. Skin pigments are blue at neutral pH, but turn red when exposed to berry acids. With blueberries, I usually find flavor more important than color, and the more acidic it is, the better the flavor. Blueberries will even turn green if exposed too much to a base like pancake batter or muffin mix. To avoid this discoloration, reduce the baking soda/powder in the recipe or add more acid like lemon juice or buttermilk.
How To Make Blue Frosting Without Food Coloring
Egyptian blue varieties are loaded with anthocyanins. Under acidic conditions, blue corn appears purple, under basic conditions it is more blue. Try replacing yellow oatmeal with blue oatmeal in cornbread or tortillas.
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Red cabbage is the most common natural blue food dye in the state. Cooked red cabbage leaves soaked in a slightly basic solution will eventually turn blue-purple. To prepare the blue dish, cut red cabbage leaves and boil them for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze the cabbage, reduce the liquid until it is thick and syrupy (the whole cabbage cooking liquid will reduce to a quarter of a cup. You now have a bright purple syrup. Add the tiniest pinch of baking powder (you) here, of course, slowly. – (Go slowly or you may turn the whole batch green). Add very little baking soda until the color turns blue. It’s important to add enough baking soda not only for color but also for flavor. A small amount of baking soda will have a negligible effect on flavor, But if you add too much, it will taste terrible. Now you have a blue stain. The aftertaste is not very obvious. Use it with a light touch to add blue color to frosting, cake batter, and cookies. But remember that the color still changes. Maybe. If you add it to acidic food, it immediately turns purple.
Purple potatoes are a vibrant purple color when raw, but when cooked, the balance turns bright blue-purple. I’m reaching my chemistry limits here, but this color change has a different character than other acid/base changes. Cooked purple potatoes are prone to acid discoloration, but less so than red cabbage or collard greens. And when exposed to high concentrations of acid, purple potatoes bleach and take on a very light purple color – not unlike the intense purple color found in raw potatoes. Purple potatoes are also not prone to fading. All of this is a great way to add unusual color to a plate without worrying too much about pH. Rich in anthocyanins, purple potatoes have a leg up on the nutritional front of white and yellow potatoes. Try substituting them in potato recipes.
Cornflowers or bachelor buttons are usually bright blue in color. The flowers are edible, they can be added fresh to salads or added as a side dish to a dessert plate. Dried flowers can be added as a garnish. The flavor is very mild and grassy (you use it for color). Some loose tea blends include sorghum flowers, which look great contrasted with dark strands of tea leaves. As always with flowers, make sure you know your supplier and see if the flowers are organically grown or treated with only food-safe chemicals.
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Borage is an Italian herb with blue flowers. Often grown near tomatoes and eggplants, the borage plant produces large hairy leaves and clusters of tiny five-pointed blue flowers. According to some folk medicine traditions, borage flowers are supposed to lift your spirits. And really, how could adding some pretty flowers to your plate not lift your spirits? Add fresh cucumber flowers as a side dish to salads or desserts.
The last and most spectacular of the blue anthocyanins is the butterfly pea flower. These pea vines produce beautiful, dense blue flowers. Thai, Malaysian, Burmese and Chinese cooking traditions use this wonderful flower. Pulut Tai Tie, a Malaysian sticky rice cake with coconut and pandan, traditionally dyed blue from pea flowers. And the intricately shaped Thai dumpling, Chor Lada, looks like a bright blue flower. The flowers are also used in Thailand to make iced herbal tea, which is refreshing and cooling. The flowers can be used dried or fresh to create a wonderfully vibrant blue infusion. I managed to get my hands on some dried butterfly pea flowers – and they are amazing. The taste is very mild and herbal with a hint of cucumber. The only catch? Bright, electric blue turns bright violet in the presence of acid.
Because I’m moving away from the plant kingdom with this inclusion, blue cheese doesn’t get its blue color from anthocyanins. The blue comes from mold cultures added during cheese processing. The specific mold varies depending on the type of blue cheese, but they all belong to the category Penicillium. Yes, it’s that penicillin. (If you ate enough blue cheese to cure a sinus infection, you might die of a heart attack first). The blue color is usually very dark and does not tend to bleed. When serving cold dishes with blue cheese, try using a string to slice the blue cheese into thin layers – a speckled surface can be very interesting and more attractive than sliced.
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What happened to my pickled garlic is usually this chemical reaction? When raw garlic is pickled, small amounts of sulfur can react with the copper in your water or cooking pot. So the garlic starts out looking normal and then after a few weeks (I got two) the garlic turns blue/green. If you don’t want the garlic to turn blue, you need to boil it a little before putting it in the brine. Apparently, it is not blue anthocyanin, but a trace amount of copper sulfate. Although small amounts of pickled garlic are harmless, large amounts of copper sulfate are toxic.
If we’re going for color, they look a little more purple than blue to me… but they’re called blue, and they look really cool and have a great, unique flavor. Bluefoot mushrooms are available in specialty stores in the United States (and as a rare mushroom, they carry an exclusive price tag). Blewit is related to the mushroom but hard to find in the states. Blewwhite mushrooms are uniformly blue/purple, while bluelegs are blue only at the base. Bluefoot mushrooms have a rich, woody meaty flavor. As with all fragrant mushrooms, cooking with cream infuses the flavor wonderfully. It is easy to dye cold naturally with the help of vegetables, fruits, herbs and herbs.
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