Oct 262015
 
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Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring

 

Although this blog post is about my experience making Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring for Halloween, it can just as easily be used for many other holidays including Eid, St Patrick’s Day, Pakistan National Day and Christmas.

 

 

Every Halloween, I browse through Pinterest looking at the cute little healthy Halloween ideas posted by super-creative parents. There are the little banana ghosts and the clementines cleverly made to look like mini Jack-o-Lanterns. Every year I promise myself that I am going to make these healthy treats, but somehow every year time gets away from me and I don’t quite manage it.

 

But this year is different – I am making Spooky Green Lemonade for a Halloween party. And I am dying it using homemade Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring.

 

Synthetic food colouring is something I have never felt totally comfortable with – all those artificial additives and preservatives. Making your own food colouring takes a little more effort than buying a small vial of food dye, but it’s a much healthier alternative. And honestly, it’s not that difficult.

 

There are many amazing blog posts out there about how to make natural food-based dyes, and I am looking forward to experimenting with a whole rainbow of colours. But for my Spooky Halloween Lemonade, I only need green.

 

There are a few different ways to make Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring. I decided to use spinach as my base because most people seem to use spinach with very good results. Some people recommend using the spinach raw (simply juicing it or blending it with water and straining it). I prefer simmering the spinach in some water for 15 minutes to reduce the risk of pathogens (after all, I am making this for children so I want to be extra careful). After a quick blitz with my blender, I strain it through a fine mesh colander and voilà – Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring!

 

Of course, I did a test-run before the actual party to make sure that (a) it really does colour the lemonade green and (b) it doesn’t make the lemonade taste like spinach. It passed on both counts. Yes, even (b). I taste-tested it on my family, and guesses ranged from lime to mint to green frogs. But no one guessed spinach.

 

Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring can be used to colour any light-coloured drink such as lemonade, coconut water, elderflower juice, vanilla or banana milkshakes. It may also work on pale-coloured food (ie. mashed potatoes, oatmeal) but I haven’t tried it so I can’t personally vouch for that yet. I did try mixing it into buttercream frosting, but I found it difficult to blend and the colour was very pale. But for drinks, this homemade green food colouring definitely works a treat!

 

Although this blog post is about my experience making Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring for Halloween, it can just as easily be used for many other holidays including Eid, St Patrick’s Day, Pakistan National Day and Christmas.

 

Share your thoughts: Do you make homemade natural green food colouring? If so, please share your tips in the comment section below.

 

 

Healthy Natural Green Food Colouring

 

 

HEALTHY NATURAL GREEN FOOD COLOURING

(makes 2 cups / 400mL)

 

Ingredients: (recipe can be halved)

6 cups (9 oz / 255g) fresh spinach leaves

2 cups (400mL) water

 

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, place the spinach and the water.
  2. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat slightly to a rolling simmer.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.
  4. Blend using a hand-blender or a regular blender (if you use a regular blender, allow the spinach and water to cool down a little bit before blending).
  5. Place a fine mesh colander in a large bowl or pot (you can line a colander with cheesecloth if you do not have a fine mesh colander). Pour the blended spinach and water through the colander into the bowl. Run a spoon in the colander to help the liquid ease out (if you are using cheesecloth, gather it into a ball and squeeze out the liquid). There will be some pulp left in the colander which should not be forced through. You can discard the pulp or save it for another use.
  6. Allow the liquid to come to room temperature. It is now ready to use.
  7. (Optional) If you want a very smooth food colouring, you can refrigerate it for 24 hours and then strain it through a fine mesh colander again to remove the last of the very small pulp. However, this step is not necessary unless you want to be super-particular about it.
  8. The green food colouring can be kept in the refrigerator for upto 3 days. It may separate in the refrigerator, but just give it a good stir and it will be mixed again.
  9. Some websites say that it can be frozen in ice-cube trays and then transferred to a freezer bag for later use.
  10. To give you an idea of proportions, I used 50mL of food colouring for 1.75L of lemonade.

 

Share your thoughts: Do you make homemade natural green food colouring? If so, please share your tips in the comment section below.

 

 

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