Colors, just like smells, wake up our appetite. Think of the bright red of fresh strawberries, the deep yellow of ripe pineapples, or the vibrant green of fresh mint. The distinct, beautiful colors of fruits and vegetables are endless. So are the food coloring ingredients that are natural and healthy.
When it comes to desserts, color has a tremendous impact on how appealing a dessert looks. Artificial colorants are widely used because they are cheap, easy to store, and can be easily mixed with other ingredients to color foams, creams, and doughs. However, these colorants are not natural; they are man-made chemicals with zero nutritional value that may cause adverse health effects such as allergic reactions and cancer.
Are you wondering how to add beautiful color to your desserts without the use of artificial colorants?
Here are our 5 favorite food coloring ingredients to use in your desserts in a 100% natural way:
1. Wild berry powders
Dark blue, purple, deep red, pink, orange… There is a variety of natural, intense colors in wild arctic berries that can be used as colorants. When freeze-dried fresh and powdered, berries maintain their characteristics, including their beautiful colors that are attributed to the high amount of antioxidants. Berry powders are easy to mix in all kinds of desserts, smoothies, and shakes. They are especially useful when no extra liquid is wanted in the mixture. Read more about Arctic Flavors berry powders.
Vegan, non-GMO, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, no added sugars or preservatives.
2. Beet juice/powder
For deep pink, beets are unbeatable! It’s perfect for coloring for creams and foams, where adding a little bit of liquid is alright or preferred. You may find beet juice sold as such in some specialty stores. However, the most natural version without preservatives or sweeteners can be made at home, simply by boiling beets in water. You can easily adjust the intensity of the color by adjusting the amount of beet juice.
Vegan, non-GMO, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, no added sugars, or preservatives added.
3. Matcha powder
If you’re looking for soft green color, matcha powder is what you want. The Japanese green tea powder has a delicate green tea flavor and is high in antioxidants. It works well in creams, smoothies, and foams. However, beware that some matcha powders contain added artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free.
4. Mango juice
For a bright orange pop, our favorite is mango juice. Mango has a natural intense sweet flavor, and it blends well with other ingredients. It has high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene. Adding some mango juice to creams, mousses, or cream cheese transforms the color to a beautiful orange instantly. Look for an organic option with no/minimal added sugar.
Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free.
5. Cacao powder
For chocolaty shades of brown, cacao powder is our go-to choice. It transforms almost any dough, cream, or foam from a plain to chocolate version. At the end of the day, who doesn’t love chocolate? Cacao is a good source of fibers and antioxidants too. To avoid artificial added sweeteners and preservatives, look for a powder that is made of 100% cacao. These powders are intense in color and flavor and might be bitterer than sweet – just like the very dark chocolates.
Vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free.
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We hope you enjoyed reading about our favorite ways of natural and healthy coloring for desserts.
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Thanks for reading!