Using Beetroots, Make Vegan, Natural Red Food Colouring
Did you know most red food colouring is either made synthetically with toxic and carcinogenic, chemicals Red #3 and Red #40. But there is a safer option and that is simply using organic beetroots . In this article Using Beetroots Make Vegan, Natural Red Food Colouring, I will show you how to do it.
First a little bit more information about store bought ‘natural’ food colourings. These are more often than not made from using E120 colour Cochineal and Natural Red #4 Carmine – in other word dead crushed beetles and aluminum salt of carminic acid. See Artificial Additives And Preservatives In Food Causing Us Serious Harm
But there is a safer option and that is using fresh, organic, Beetroot to make bright red, natural, food colouring.
How To Make Vegan, Natural, Red Food Dye Using Organic Fresh Beetroots
Their are a couple ways to use Beetroot to make natural red food colour, depending what you are trying to colour.
Beetroot Food Colouring can be made juicing fresh organic beetroots, but it tends to leave a beetroot taste and is too wet to use to colour fondant and icing, but to turn cake batter pink or red it is fine. There are two ways to make a natural bright red beetroot food dye and these are outlined below.
Making Dehydrated Beetroot Powder To Use As Food Colouring
Five organic beetroots, peeled and sliced, will make about 3-4 tablespoons of beetroot powder.
First blanch your peeled and finely sliced beetroot to kill off any bacteria in boiling water for a couple minutes then plunge into a tube of ice water, to cool quickly to retain colour.
Next lay out the beetroot slices evenly spaced on either trays in a food dehydrator or on eco, unbleached baking paper, lined oven trays. If you are using an over you need to dry the beetroots out on the lowest heat possible, as you want to dry them and not cook them.
Keep dehydrating the beetroot till 100% dried out and they will have shriveled down to about half their original size.
Allow the pieces to completely cool and then your next step is to blend your dehydrated beetroot pieces into a superfine, smooth powder using a powerful blender that can make flour blends.
To finish you must also sift your beetroot powder thoroughly in a manual stainless steel flour sifting tin to ensure no lumpy bits.
Making Organic Beetroot Syrup Red Food Dye
I can’t take credit for this recipe as I found it on the internet in a site called Perfection Is My Enemy, but I choose to use fresh organic beets and not canned as she does.
* 3 Beets will give you 2 tablespoons of syrup.
3 fresh organic beetroots – finely sliced and diced and put into a stainless steel pot.
Filtered water just to cover the diced beetroot in the pot
Heat but do not bring to the boil. You need to gently heat the beets around 20- 30 minutes or longer, until they are soft and tender enough to mash down.
Then using a potato masher once the beetroot is tender, mash and squash it down inside the pot and continue cooking on very low heat for another 10- 20 mins. Again do not allow to boil.
Next remove from the heat and strain out the beetroot juice using a super-fine, stainless steel, mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Be sure to push down firmly on the beetroot pulp to extract all the juice.
Return the juice to the pot and stirring continuously with a stainless steel spoon over a low heat, reduce the beetroot liquid until it becomes a thick syrup.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool before storing and you now have your vibrant, bright red food colouring.
Colouring Fondant and Icing Red Naturally Using Beetroots.
To colour home-made fondant as I have done with the Lightening McQueen Cars cake above, I found that the beetroot syrup didn’t get the fondant o a bright enough red. This is more than likely due to the fact that the fondant I make is a vegan, heavy fondant- see recipe here and not a marshmallow fondant. So what I did to achieve the brighter red you see, is to first cover the cake in the lighter red, beetroot coloured fondant and then I painted on a bright red paste of icing sugar mixed with some of the beetroot syrup and a little water and this worked perfectly and gave the car a nice shiny finish too!
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See more of my naturally coloured cake recipes and designs in my articles