How to Make Natural Food Coloring

by Allie Flinn

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Because unicorn food is trending.

It’s official: We’ve reached peak unicorn. This magical, colorful trend has permeated every aspect of our lives, from our makeup routines (yes, unicorn lipstick is a thing and it’s wonderful) to our food. You’ve probably encountered unicorn food on your Instagram feed, and places like The End in Brooklyn, NY and people like Miami-based food stylist Adeline Waugh are crafting up healthy ways to enjoy the trend (think unicorn lattes and unicorn toast).

In that spirit, we thought now would be the perfect time to talk about natural food coloring, so you can make your own unicorn food without artificial, chemical-laden food dyes.  After all, if you are what you eat, then we should all be dining on unicorn food. (And unicorns definitely aren’t fans of petroleum and artificial colors, i.e. what artificial food dyes are made of.)

Natural Food Coloring - Unicorn - The Wellnest by HUM Nutrition

(Above: Unicorn toast made with natural food coloring, by @vibrantandpure.)

Natural Food Coloring: Pink

You can make a pink natural food dye using beets! Simply wash the beet, and add it to a blender with 1/2 cup water. Blend it until smooth, then strain. The liquid is your natural food dye.

Natural Food Coloring: Yellow

We’ve waxed poetic about the amazing benefits of turmeric, but we haven’t discussed its natural food dye abilities. If you’ve ever used turmeric, you know it stains countertops, clothes, skin, etc like crazy, so keep that in mind when making this food dye and be cautious.

Mix 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric in a saucepan, and then boil. Allow to cool. Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Natural Food Coloring: Green

The combination of matcha powder and spinach creates a gorgeous green natural food coloring that’s perfect for creating a ‘grammable batch of unicorn cookies.

Combine 1 tablespoon of matcha powder, 1/2 cup fresh spinach, and 1/2 cup water in a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain. The liquid is the natural food dye.

Natural Food Coloring: Purple

Despite their name, blueberries make a gorgeous natural purple food dye.

Combine 1/4 cup fresh blueberries with 1/8 cup of water in a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain. The purple liquid is the natural food coloring.

You’d be surprised—because these natural ingredients are so pigmented, it only takes a tiny bit. Meaning: The taste won’t be overpowering.

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