DIY Organic Food Colouring

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September 5, 2018

DIY Organic Food Colouring - containers of food colors next to a swirled cakeI was chatting with a friend recently about how his kids are allergic to red food dye. It made me do some research, where I found that it contains plenty of chemicals, including petroleum. I decided to make my own food colouring from organic fruits and vegetables, and it was a total success! Here is how you can do it yourself at home. This is a great project to do with kids, too.


I used red cabbage to make a purple tone that turns blue with the addition of sodium bicarbonate. You can double the batch and only turn one half blue, keeping the other half purple, if desired. I added the blueberry step to show you how it makes another kind of purple tone. :)

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 5 colours


  • half a head of red cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • water to cover cabbage
  • 1/4 tsp natural sodium bicarbonate
  • half a cup of frozen organic spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup cooked beets
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
DIY Organic Food Colouring - small cups and pot of fruits, veggies, and spice used


  1. To make the blue food colouring, place red cabbage in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. DIY Organic Food Colouring - boiling red cabbage

  3. Strain out the cabbage water into a bowl. (Save the cabbage bits for a recipe.)
  4. DIY Organic Food Colouring - pouring through a strainer
  5. Return the purple water to the pot and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. DIY Organic Food Colouring - adding liquid from cabbage back to pot to boil a bit longer
  7. Sprinkle in the baking soda, stir, and watch it turn blue.
  8. DIY Organic Food Colouring - adding baking soda
  9. To make green, puree the spinach and 1/4 cup of water together in blender until totally smooth. You can add a bit more water if it gets stuck.
  10. DIY Organic Food Colouring - blending spinach and water

  11. Push green mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
  12. DIY Organic Food Colouring - pushing spinach through a fine mesh sieve
  13. To make purple, puree blueberries and 3 tablespoons of water in blender.
  14. DIY Organic Food Colouring - blending blue berries and water
  15. Push through a fine-mesh sieve.
  16. DIY Organic Food Colouring - pushing blueberries through the sieve
  17. To make pink, puree cooked beets with 3 tablespoons of water. Push through a fine-mesh sieve.
  18. DIY Organic Food Colouring - blending beets

  19. To make yellow, in a small pot, boil water and turmeric for a few minutes. Stir well. Allow to cool.
  20. DIY Organic Food Colouring - boiling turmeric and water
  21. Store colours in airtight containers in the fridge. They keep well for a couple weeks.
  22. DIY Organic Food Colouring - glass containers of food colors
  23. I use about a teaspoon of each for my batters and frostings. If you'd like a heavier tint, lessen any liquid in your recipe a bit, if possible, and add more colouring.
  24. DIY Organic Food Colouring - using food colors in recipes
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