With the pervasive toxin exposure, whether through the air we breath, the water we drink or the food we consume, more and more people are in search of ways of controlling their environment to lower these toxic exposures. Artificial food colouring is one such toxin. Becoming a mother to a toddler has sparked the creative child in me and colour has found its way into my baking and hence the need to find alternative means of using colour naturally!
I’ve discussed toxins and ‘detoxification’ in a previous article and so I’ll not go into detail on the dangers of environmental toxins whether inhaled or ingested. My approach with regards to all areas of life, health, and well-being is moderation and balance! It is absolutely impossible to avoid all toxins unless you plan to build yourself a vacuum to live in, and so it is up to each individual to avoid and minimize their exposure according to their ability. Unfortunately, a lot of times that ‘ability’ translates into financial means. Whether you’re able to afford that super nine-filter reverse osmosis system, or if you can buy all your vegetables and fruits organic and your meats free range?! It’s a decision each family needs to make based on their needs and means. With the ‘organic’ and ‘toxin-free’ trend, it is hard not to feel judged by others if you can’t afford to live a completely ‘clean’ life. This article is not to pass judgement on those who choose to consume food colouring freely. However, remember that as adults we have a larger capacity for detoxification compared to children and so a child’s toxin exposure and elimination becomes much more important.
And with that, here is the list of vegetables and spices I used to obtain my [half] rainbow of colours, plus some useful links that will demonstrate how to obtain natural food colouring. (I admit it is difficult to get the full-range of colours that you can find artificially but even eliminating a drop out of the ocean of toxins for me is an improvement)
Bright green: Spinach
Dull blue: Red Cabbage ( a note of caution: due to the use of baking soda to reach a blue hue, you may experience stomach gas (burps) and so I suggest you add baking soda to your red cabbage extract slowly and do a trial run before you feed natural blue to your guests)
Pastel purple: Red Cabbage (without baking soda)
Bright yellow: Saffron and/or turmeric
For directions on how to extract colour from these vegetables, refer to the following links:
Here are a few pics of my baked goods using natural food colouring!