By Sayward Rebhal, Networx
The 21st century world is a very unnatural time to live in. And for the most part, that’s just peachy keen. The Internet, for example, is one modern invention I’m pretty fond of. And I’m glad we have, you know, like . . . doctors, grocery stores, fire-resistant roofing materials and robotic vacuum cleaners that do all the work for you!
Yes, postmodern living has its perks. But there’s a dark side, too, in this hyper-processed wonderland. Medicine is fine and dandy and robots are just plain awesome, but what about eating? What about health? What the heck has happened to our food?
The truth is that synthetic replacements just can’t stack up the real thing, and science doesn’t always have the answers. That’s probably why we’re seeing a widespread resurgence of natural living; a return to a holistic lifestyle.
All of our needs can be met using real, ground-grown produce instead of laboratory engineered products. (Passionate gardeners from Dallas to Anchorage are hard at work for this reason.) For example, take food dyes. Artificial colorings have been linked to brain tumors and bladder cancer, and affect everything from allergies to attention span. They’re wreaking havoc on our kids, and yet they’re totally unnecessary. So the next time you find yourself reaching for that little bottle of food coloring, why not try some of these alternative ideas instead? Every single one of them is baking-friendly, so your birthday cake will be just as beautiful, and your body will really thank you.
Pink and Red
You can use any number of options, but for a ton of color with almost no flavor, beets are your best bet. Use the juice from the canned kind, or make your own by either boiling or juicing the raw vegetable. Learn exactly how to make frosting colored by beets from Joy the Baker.
Alternately, you can also use any red fruit, like raspberries or pomegranate. Just know that these may change the flavor – which can be a great thing! Lemon cupcakes with real raspberry-infused frosting just so happen to be a favorite around these parts. To procure your dye, pulverize the berries in a food processor or blender, then strain out the colored liquid using a mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
Next: orange, yellow, green, blue and purple