Homemade Beet Food Coloring Recipe

Food coloring is banned in my house. Or rather, it isn't... We do have food coloring in out house, its just used to print things in our printer. No, seriously. (See here how we fill our ink cartridges with food coloring.)
Whether or not the FDA approves of food coloring's safety makes no difference to me- I don't trust that its fully safe and that there will be no harmful side effects from ingesting food coloring, even if only rarely, so I will never put food coloring into our food.

But what do you do then if you actually want to make your food prettier, like if you want to make colored frosting? Well, I don't have the solution to all the possible colors you might want, but here's how you can take advantage of nature's food and make your own magenta food coloring out of beets.

Homemade Beet Food Coloring

1. Take a whole, raw beet, chop off both ends, and peel it.

2. Chop the beet into smallish pieces, then stick it in the food processor until you get it as small as you can.

3. Line a bowl with a cloth/cheesecloth, and pour your chopped beets into it.

4. Gather the ends together, and twist, making a little bundle. Twist it really tightly so that all the juice comes out, and then use your hands to help squeeze out as much as you can. 

Yes, I know, it looks like a crime scene. Lol.
5. Here's the juice you get left with. The flash made the color a little wonky- it was somewhat purplish pinkish red, like a really deep magenta. This is your food coloring. The more you use, the more purplish/magenta'ish your end product will be. If you use just a little, then your food will be more pink looking. (Actually it was more of a cross between pink and lavender, but either way a pretty color.)

I tossed the beet pulp left behind into my chicken soup. You can also add it into burgers, tomato sauce, meat sauce, etc...

Want to see the beet food coloring in action?

The frosting here was colored with beet food coloring. Isn't it a pretty color?

And no, you couldn't taste the beet in the frosting at all.

(How I made these cookies- coming up tomorrow.)

P.S. I once tried to make green frosting using spirulina. Bad idea. It tasted really odd.

Do you use food coloring in your house? If not, what do you do when you want to make food a pretty color? Are there any other colors of food coloring that you make?
Do you think you'd ever try this one out?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. can you freeze the beet juice for later use or do you have to use it all up right away?

    1. Did you ever find an answer to your question?

    2. Hi Richard, Tiffany and Joyous Howell - I have used vegetables out of my organic garden for years and freeze beet juice for later use. I use the beet juice to add to my hummingbird sugar mixture (which they just love), in my diabetic dog treats and in our GF desserts after dinner. Freezing the beet juice does not seem to change it but I must say that I juice the organic beets and keep the juice separate from the pulp. I use the pulp for other purposes such as in my dog's food, as they all love beets or in some of our casseroles. Hope this information has helped.

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