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22nd of April 2018

Women



Natural Food Coloring for Icing

Don’t worry. We’re not boiling beets and cabbage to make natural dyes as we did for dyeing eggs. To make all-natural food colors for icing, we’re going to use fruit, vegetable, and tea powders.

I don’t mind a little food coloring here and there, especially for special treats and special occasions. I do find myself paying more attention to it these days, though. I don’t want it in things that don’t need it. I noticed food coloring in the ingredients list on a box of graham crackers recently. Why would graham crackers need to be colored brown?

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

Playing with natural food coloring is actually a lot of fun. Don’t limit yourself to what you see here! I want to hear what you’re using!

I recently discovered freeze-dried fruit. Sure, I’d eaten the strawberries in Special K cereal before. Bt I’d never purchased a bag of freeze-dried fruit. Now, I could happily eat an entire bag on my own, or add to chocolate chip cookies or use to make raspberry meltaways.

Powders are perfect for coloring icing because they don’t contain liquids that could mess with consistency and texture. If using freeze-dried fruit, you’ll just need to whir it in the food processor until it is a fine powder.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

For fruits with seeds, like strawberries, pour the powder through a fine mesh strainer before using.

Note: Freeze-dried fruits have a packet of desiccant in the package. Be sure to look for it and discard before processing. It’s easy to dump the contents into the processor and miss it. Don’t ask me how I know this.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

In addition to fruit powders, I picked up a few other natural powders from the health food section of my grocery store: acai powder, matcha (green tea), moringa (a “superfood” plant), and spirulina (a good-for-you microalgae—I know! It sounds scary, but the color is beautiful). Please don’t tell anyone you’re making them algae cookies.

Here’s the deal: once the icings are on the cookies, you don’t pick up much flavor from the additions. You really only taste “cookie.” The strongest tasting icing to me was the matcha, and I’m not a big fan of it. BUT once on the cookie, I couldn’t taste it.

   Natural Food Coloring for IcingNatural Food Coloring for Icing

To tint royal icing, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of powder per cup of icing to achieve these colors. You can use a royal icing made with or without meringue powder.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

In this photo, the colors are from (top to bottom): acai, blueberry, strawberry, and mango.

 Natural Food Coloring for Icing

In this one (top to bottom) the colors are: matcha, moringa, and spirulina.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

All of the natural colors have little specks in the icing.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

I think that adds to the charm.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

Fruit powders can also be used to tint and flavor buttercream. You’ll need more powder for buttercream, so I recommend sticking with fruit flavors. They’re beautiful both in taste and color. Use an entire package of fruit made into powder for one batch of buttercream. This one is tinted and flavored with blueberry, and it’s a dream.

   Natural Food Coloring for Icing

I love these natural colors as an alternative to traditional food colorings. I think they’d be especially pretty for a set of ombre cookies, like varying shades of pink hearts. So sweet!

   

Bridget

Bridget Edwards likes cookies. She’s been decorating them for over a decade and eating them for as long as she can remember. The author of two cookie books, Decorating Cookies and Decorating Cookies Party, Bridget believes: 1.) Cookies are made to be eaten, not to be perfect. 2.) Making pretty shouldn’t require an art degree or a fancy overhead projector. 3.) Your time is better spent EATING cookies with family and friends than slaving over decorating them. Bridget shares cookies and recipes for all things sweet on her blog, Bake at 350. She resides in the Lone Star State with her husband, teenage son, and two kitties.

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