DIY Organic Food Colouring

Category Condiments
Here is a fun project that will show you how to make food coloring from organic fruits and veggies. Plus you can eat some of the produce for dinner.


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I 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


  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.
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  3. Strain out the cabbage water into a bowl. (Save the cabbage bits for a recipe.)
  4. Return the purple water to the pot and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in the baking soda, stir, and watch it turn blue.
  6. 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.
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  8. Push green mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
  9. To make purple, puree blueberries and 3 tablespoons of water in blender.
  10. Push through a fine-mesh sieve.
  11. To make pink, puree cooked beets with 3 tablespoons of water. Push through a fine-mesh sieve.
  12. To make yellow, in a small pot, boil water and turmeric for a few minutes. Stir well. Allow to cool.
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  14. Store colours in airtight containers in the fridge. They keep well for a couple weeks.
  15. 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.
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Food and Recipes Recipes CondimentsApril 23, 2020
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