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16 Ways to Substitute for Food Coloring

16 Ways to Substitute for Food Coloring

Here’s everything you need to know about ways to substitute for food coloring.  Use fruits, vegetables and spices in your baking and recipes. 

As the mom of kids who refuse to live in a world of black and white, I have started to resort to finding alternatives to food dyes.

Our journey to avoid food dyes began many years ago when my daughter was just about 3 years old. You should read our story about how food dye almost ruined our lives.

Lets just say when my daughter has anything with food dyes, we pay dearly. We still love to make things like cupcakes with colored frosting, all things red velvet and more.

It’s amazing how beautiful and colorful food can be! While food dyes are created to have no flavor, a natural substitute for food coloring has a ton of flavor. So that is something you really need to think about. 

Something else to think about is the fact that a natural substitute for food coloring won’t have the same amount of brightness as food dye.

Which natural substitute for food coloring will you use?

You can buy freeze dried fruits that you make into a powder thanks to a food processor. Or you can use a liquid form of natural food dye through juices or purees. Make your own juices and purees in a food processor, using an immersion blender or a blender.

Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy colored food with natural substitutes.

substitute for food coloring

Raspberries, Beet root, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, tomatoes, cherries

raspberries, strawberries

Pumpkin, Carrot Juice, sweet potatoes, paprika 

Turmeric powder, saffron flowers, butternut squash

Spinach or Kale Juice, matcha powder


Purple Potatoes, Blackberries

Coffee, tea, cocoa powder

Keep in mind you want to use small amounts of each coloring. These are foods after all and since they are being juiced, their tastes will be strong! Start out with a little bit at a time, 1 tsp to start, as you can always add more as needed.

Check out these delicious recipes using natural food dyes:

Beetroot Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache! 

How long do these natural food dyes last? 

You can keep your food dye substitutes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 2 weeks. 

Supplies you might need to make these Natural Food Dye Alternatives

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Monday 13th of December 2021

When baking I bake from scratch,not using box mix that do always know actually what in it.

Brandon Omalley

Saturday 4th of December 2021

I'm gonna try the red and green!!!


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

good ideas

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