No more Dye

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nope- not talking about hair dye! Artificial dye. I'm sure you've heard talk and rumors of the effect artificial dyes have on your system. Its amazing. If you haven't read research on this check this out: No more Dye & Red Free Dye

Food coloring; Pictures, Images and Photos

I am hardly a "No Dye Nazi" but I do try my darnest to not allow artificial coloring in the things we eat and buy. When it happens I notice a HUGE change in the boys behavior. They are children and boys will be boys, but when they eat that cool red, white, and blue popsicle they had to have from the ice cream man, their behavior is almost instantly changed. (could be from the sugar intake as well).

Anyway, in my need to cut out anything that is potentially harmful to my son's and really that makes them crazy Satan boys, I started looking around the web for different ideas for food coloring alternatives. Here is what I found;

Itty Bitty Bistro has the coolest idea for all natural food coloring for frosting. Yummy....butter cream frosting....I say who needs color anyway when you have a bowl of buttercream frosting. Really awesome blog too. Fun and super healthy recipes for your little ones. Can't wait to try some of them.

(taken from her blog, hope she doesn't mind)
I made a big batch of my favorite buttercream frosting (the Cook's Illustrated recipe - 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp of heavy cream, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt) and added some dyes. My thoughts:The spices (turmeric, paprika) added the most easily, but leave a hint of their flavor behind. Not as badly as I thought they would, and I would definitely not hesitate to make yellow or light orange this way.The juices (blueberry juice, beet juice, pomegranate juice) yield the best tasting frosting, but their sheer liquidity is a problem. I had to stir in a lot of extra sugar to compensate for the liquid, and they are still separating a little. For a "real" cake, I would probably try my hand blender to really emulsify the liquid in.The avocado actually works well, but tastes avocado-y. I should have pureed the avocado better before adding it in. It is a nice green, and I would probably just stick to using it for accents, like flower petals, rather than trying a whole green cake/cupcake.No blue - I thought the blueberry juice would be closer to blue or purple, but it's really just magenta. I Googled and found some people use red cabbage or onion skins, but... ew. I can't imagine frosting my cake with water that cabbage was boiled in. If I'm desperate to make something blue, I'll use my India Tree dye.

I just want to add that I am going to try juicy pureed strawberries for red dye and also going to check with the local health food store and see what they've got.


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