Red food coloring is used on cakes, cookies, and other baked foods to make the food more appealing. Instead of using food additives with chemicals you can opt to using beet juice as food coloring for a more natural punch.
When it comes to the holidays, I love putting up decorations in my house. And because I like painting and coming up with my own decorations, I make sure the dye I use has no chemicals. I usually make dyes from fruits mostly like beets that have a beautiful red colour or turmeric for its bright yellow hue. It’s easy and fun and I don’t have to worry about getting allergies.
Beet juice benefits
Beets are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some of the health benefits of beet juice.
Lowers your blood pressure
Beets contain high levels of nitrates that are converted into nitric acid in your body which expands your blood vessels. This increases the flow of blood and oxygen in your body lowering your blood pressure.
Detoxifies your liver
Betaine found in beets is good for your liver. By removing toxins in your body, your liver is able to function better.
Increases your energy levels
Drinking beet juice daily gives you more energy and you’re able to exercise for longer and other physical activities without getting tired. The nitrates are converted to nitric oxide that increases the flow of oxygen throughout your body.
Helps to maintain your weight
Beet juice is very low in calories and no fats which make it perfect if you want to lose weight. Just use it to make your morning smoothie and you feel fuller and full of energy the whole day.
Rich source of potassium
Potassium is a mineral that is responsible for the proper functioning of your muscles and nerves. Low potassium levels can cause you to feel weak, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Beet juice helps to increase your potassium levels.
Betanin pigment in beets
Beet juice has a natural deep red or purple colour and a natural sweetness. They also contain antioxidants that can make an excellent addition to your desserts. Beets contain betalains that are soluble in water. Betanin is a pigment of betalain that gives beet juice the colour red or purple depending on the concentration. It also contains probetanin, isobetanin, and neobetanin pigments. Betanin begins to degrade once exposed to light, heat, or oxygen but is more stable when frozen or used in a dry state. The red pigment is more stable in the acidic environment and rapidly degrade in alkaline situations turning to a yellow-brown colour.
Using beet juice as food coloring
Red food coloring is an artificial and synthetic dye that has been linked to allergies and hyperactivity in children. Making food dyes using natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables is a much healthier option. You can use beet dyes for your Easter egg decorations, cupcake frosting, your kid’s birthday decorations, and cream frosting on cakes, lip gloss, natural makeup, and many more.
Other common ways of using beet juice as food coloring would be in soups, tomato products, sugar coatings, ice cream colouring, and making your kid’s sweet candies.
How to make natural beet food coloring
Using raw beet juice
When you juice raw beets you get a deep red dye that gives you a bolder red colour however, you will still have the beets flavour present. A simple way you can make beets food coloring at home would be to cut a few raw beets and slice them in chunks. Boil them in water till they become soft then strain the red liquid to use it as your food coloring. The cooked beets can make a beautiful salad or puree for eating with snacks.
Another way is to grate or shred raw beets and put them in a strainer or cloth then squeeze the juice from them. You can also juice cooked beets to get the juice. Extracting beet juice can be messy sometimes so be careful and protect your clothes with an apron and your countertops with a plastic sheet. If you don’t want to go through all that trouble of making beet juice you can buy it from your health food store or use the juice in canned beets. Click here to learn how to make food coloring using beets.
Next time you don’t have to buy food colour, just use beets
Artificial food coloring can contain harmful chemicals that can cause allergies and hyperactivity in your children and even cancer. However, you can make natural food coloring using fruits and vegetables that your kids can have playing with and learning without having to worry about chemicals. Beet juice has a beautiful red colour that can make red food coloring for your food and decorations.
Is beet food coloring safe?
Some artificial food coloring have been said to cause allergies and hyperactivity. However, artificial food dyes and beets are safe but it’s always good to be on the safe side.
Do dyes cause cancer?
It’s said that food dyes can cause cancer. Some dyes carry carcinogens while others cause allergic reactions.
Can you make your own beet food coloring?
You can use beet juice or beet powder to make red food coloring. Other foods you can use are turmeric or golden beets to make yellow food coloring.
Can I substitute beet juice for red food coloring?
The red colour in beet juice has more of a purplish colour and it can be used instead of artificial food coloring. Simply mix to your desired colour hue.
Is it safe to drink beet food coloring?
Although it’s not the best thing to drink food coloring is safe to drink beet food colour provided in small doses. Drinking beet juice is safe.