Safe Red Food Dyes for Valentine’s Day Baking

My daughter, for one, used to get very high on her horse (read
belligerent and very cranky), after she would eat food which contained
artificial food dyes.

Fortunately, as she has gotten older, this has
been less and less of a problem for us. However, young children are
especially vulnerable to chemicals that affect the central nervous
system, and it is no joke that one by one, the artificial dyes are
taken off the market as they are discovered to cause cancer or be
highly neurotoxic!

Here is how I safely dye my Valentine cookies and cupcake frosting red!

Simply take any of the juice of red fruits and vegetables that stain clothing, such as that from beets, strawberries, raspberries and cherries, and use that to dye the frosting or baked goods.

I often buy canned beets, for example, and just drain off the juice to use for these projects. (And then you can eat the beets for dinner!)
Or, thaw some frozen berries, and use the resulting juice (there will be plenty).

Sometimes the additional liquid of the fruit or vegetable juice is a problem, so in those instances, I simply substitute the fruit or vegetable juice for some of the recipe’s liquid.

And if you’re worried about your frosting tasting like beets, don’t worry: The sugar seems to obliterate the taste.

By Annie B. Bond

13 comments

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Nimue Pendragon
Nimue Pendragon3 years ago

Thanks Annie.

Claire M.
Claire M.5 years ago

Wow thank you so much, I have been looking all over for a solution to this dilemma.

gail d.
gail dair5 years ago

thanks

Stacey Jacob
Stacey J.5 years ago

brilliant! thank you--- i had known about the dye, but never thought of substitutes-- rather, i just avoided attempting to bake anything red. thank you so much!

Yulia B.

Thanks )

Heather B.
Past Member 6 years ago

Great idea! Thank you, Annie.

Nona E.
Nona E.6 years ago

Great information for a "great" grandmother. I haven't had children to entertain for a while, but new ones are due. I need to be prepared to not pollute them!

Tonya B.
T B.6 years ago

Fabulous idea! I will have to try some of the darker fruit juices (i.e.> blueberry, cranberry, pomegrante)out on a red velvet cake!

Linda T.
Linda T.6 years ago

It is too bad that the photograph accompanying this article shows a red velvet cupcake. I have refused to make red velvet cake/cupcakes for 55 years because it requires a SHOCKING amount of horrible red food coloring (like an entire bottle of the stuff!) and I'm willing to wager real money that the pictured cupcake was made with artificial food coloring. There is no way that dark a scarlet red color could be achieved without using it. Shame on Care2 for not showing a product using the suggested substitutes.