3.21.2013

Homemade Purple, Blue and Sea Green Food Coloring


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My 4 year old daughter decided on the theme Blues Dance Party for my 2 year old's birthday party.  Our 2 year old loves the color blue and loves to dance, so it only seemed appropriate.  I was super excited about this theme... until I tried to find blue food.  It's very rare.  There are blueberries (which are actually purple), blue potatoes, blue corn and the rest is nonexistent where we live.  

So, I rounded up all the blue food I could find then set out to make my own blue food WITHOUT conventional blue food coloring (for these reasons).  I couldn't find a dye that would work with sweet food, so I had to get creative.  I decided to put blueberries on top of white icing and then dye some savory food blue with my homemade food coloring. Check out how I did it. 

Purple, Blue and Sea Green Food Coloring

What you'll need:
1 large pot
1 head RED cabbage 
water (enough to fill a pot)
1/8-1/2 tsp baking soda
strainer
bowls

What you'll do:
1.  Wash red cabbage and cut it into large chunks.
2.  Place cabbage in large pot and fill with water.
3.  Boil water and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes until cabbage becomes pale in color and water turns purple.
4.  Remove pot from stove and strain water into a large bowl. Divide water into three bowls.  Leave the first bowl as is for purple dye (that was easy, huh?).
6.  To make BLUE dye, add a SMALL amount of baking soda to one of the bowls.  I only added about 1/8 tsp to a large bowl.  
7.  To make a SEA GREEN, add a little more baking soda than you did for the blue dye.  I added about 1/4 tsp to a large bowl for the green.                    
8.  Save the cabbage for eating another day or add some onions, peppers, and hot sauce for a side dish for dinner.  :)  Or give it to your dad because your refrigerator is too full, that's what I did.
What you can do with your food coloring:
1.  Soak boiled eggs (after they've been halved and you've emptied the yolk) in the dye for stuffed eggs (that's how I used the dye for our party).  You can soak them for as little or long as you'd like.  
2.  Soak boiled eggs still in the shell for dying eggs.
3.  Add to any savory white dip.

What you should not do with your food coloring:
1.  Give it to your kids as a glass of fun colored water.  Even though it is fun colored water, they will most likely spew it out and leave a mess.  :)
2.  Remember - you made this with cabbage!  It does have a SLIGHT cabbage taste.  It isn't overpowering, but this dye really only works in savory dishes.

Don't want to make your own food coloring? Check out India Tree natural food coloring sets, sprinkles, and more.  I would LOVE to purchase this set some day!  

Have you ever made your own food coloring?  I'd love for you to share your results in the comments below!

*I have included an affiliate link in this post.  


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