Solutions: DIY Natural, Nontoxic Food Coloring

As we have reported here on CFL numerous times over the years, artificial food dyes have even been linked to potentially harmful outcomes in scientific studies around the world, including allergic reactions and hyperactivity*. For people who prefer to stick with natural ingredients, these food dyes are fun and easy to make at home. Here are five natural food coloring recipes:

Pink natural food coloring

natural food colorings-beets

To make pink food coloring, all you need is a can of beets.  Read more here.

Yellow natural food coloring

natural food colorings-turmeric

Start by combining half a cup of water with a teaspoon of ground turmeric.  Read more here.

Purple natural food coloring

natural food colorings-blueberries

To make purple food coloring the main ingredient is some blueberries!  Read more here.

Green natural food coloring

natural food colorings-spinach

To make this healthy dye, you’ll need 2 cups of spinach and a half cup of water.  Read more here.

Blue natural food coloring

natural food colorings-cabbage

Natural blue dye is one of the hardest to make, but it’s possible! You’ll need half a head of purple cabbage, water and baking soda.  Read more here.

*Artificial Food Coloring Triggers Hyperactivity in Some Kids, California Report Finds 

A recent state assessment of research conducted on products with synthetic food dyes has found they may increase or contribute to hyperactivity in kids.

Scientists at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment concluded that levels of the artificial food coloring determined to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration are too high for children. The scientists reviewed 27 human clinical trials, as well as animal and cell studies to shed light on how food dyes impact human health. Some of the studies were published after the FDA completed its review in 2011.

See the scientific review here.

Journal reference: Joel T. Nigg, Ph.D., Kara Lewis, Ph.D., Tracy Edinger, N.D., and Michael Falk, Ph.D.   Meta-Analysis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms, Restriction Diet, and Synthetic Food Color Additives. U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, PMCID: PMC4321798,  NIHMSID: NIHMS660113          PMID: 22176942.   Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2012 Jan; 51(1): 86–97.e8. .  doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.10.015