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Articles by Erin McDowell

Erin McDowell is a test kitchen assistant at Food52.

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I’m not really against food coloring, but I’ll happily go the natural route when possible. There are so many amazing colors in food — so why not use them? There are some brands that are now selling natural food colorings, but I love to DIY.

There are a few points to keep in mind if you want to try it yourself at home.

1. Choose the source of color

Sources for natural colorings can be found all over the place, and many may already be in your pantry or fridge! More about how exactly to turn these ingredients into food coloring below, but here’s how you can make certain colors (the ingredients I used to make the colors you see in this post are in bold).

Pink: strawberries, raspberries Red: beets, tomato Orange: carrots, paprika, sweet potato Yellow: saffron, turmeric Green: matcha, spinach Blue: red cabbage + baking soda Purple: blueberries, purple sweet potato Brown: coffee, tea, cocoa Black: activated charcoal, squid ink

Food52/Mark Weinberg

2. Consider the flavor

One thing that natural food colors have that commercial colors don’t is taste. Because the color comes from real... Read more

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