Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring

Natural Blue Food Coloring--from a Surprising Source!

Ever since my son was born with life threatening food allergies and eczema, we knew that we needed to avoid toxins and eat as natural as possible. I started making everything from scratch, including dairy-free milk, homemade seasonings, and even ketchup, plus making whole food substitutes for things like DORITOS®, marshmallows, and white chocolate chips.

Most of the time I try to keep things simple in the kitchen since my life is really busy, but sometimes I like to have a little extra fun with some food coloring to jazz things up a bit.

But artificial food coloring just isn’t an option for us.

So when my boys wanted some fun chocolate cupcakes for an ice hockey party with blue colored frosting, I sought out a way to make natural blue food coloring…..

Now, I’d found other ways to use natural items to make natural food color, like in my Mint Fudge and Easter Fudge, but blue natural food coloring was a new challenge for me.

What’s Wrong with Artificial Food Colors?

We all know that those artificial food colors are not healthy and are suspected of having links to behavioral and health problems.  We have avoided them in our home completely since our son’s diagnosis with autism, but I wish we had done it sooner.

Did you know that a lot of artificial food colors have aluminum in them?  When you see, “FD & C Yellow Aluminum Lake” on an ingredient label, you can know that you will be eating aluminum. And if the label doesn’t say “aluminum,”  then you might be eating barium or zirconium.  No thank you!

Recently my son had a season finale for his ice hockey league (the Griffins Youth Foundation), and each team member was going to be presented with a cupcake decorated with colored frosting to match his uniform.  Ugh — my son’s team color was his favorite color, blue.  Why couldn’t he have been on the green team?  Then I could have used parsley like I did for my Saint Patrick’s Day Fudge.

Well, I initially told him not to get his hopes up — that there was no way that we were going to be able to make blue frosting naturally, but then I found out how.  And now I am going to share it with you!  You are probably not going to believe what vegetable you are going to use!

 

You could use this natural blue food coloring for any of the following:

  • dying Easter eggs
  • paper mache projects,
  • crafts
  • fun creative food ideas (blue mashed potatoes, anyone?), like –

CUPCAKES WITH HOCKEY UNIFORM NUMBERS ON THEM

Blue Food Colouring in Frosting

I think they turned out great, and my kids did too!  I’ll be sharing the chocolate/carob cupcake and peppermint icing recipes in the near future.  Chocolate and mint is one of my favorite combos.

One other thing to know about natural food coloring is that some of them are prone to fading.  The blue wasn’t that deep to begin with (we tried to get the first batch deeper, but ended up with a really bad baking soda taste :-(), but it faded even more in the days following.  So if you color frosting for cupcakes, eat ‘em up quickly!   I’m sure that won’t be hard!

(Money Saving TipUse filtered water for cooking the cabbage and then, though it is pretty well boiled, you can still eat the leftover veggies for dinner.  Try topping them with my Moroccan Vinaigrette and Chat Masala.)

What will YOU use this Natural Blue Food Coloring for?

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  1. Oh my gosh thank you so much! How did you firgure it out?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I tried the blue today using purple carrots and it worked perfectly. Chopped up the carrots and boiled them up, drained off the liquid and let it cool, then added some baking soda and voila! A dark blue liquid resulted. Added this to some icing sugar and it made a dark slate-like blue-grey, which dried to a definite blue. I am so pleased with the result, and so pleased I found out how to make my own blue colouring, as I’ve always been disappointed with the natural blue colours you buy from the supermarket here in Australia. They’ve always turned out more of a washed-out grey colour than blue. But this is brilliant! I’m so happy! My son is turning 10 next week and he’s having a ‘Despicable Me’ minions cake (actually multiple cupcake minions) so I needed a good solid blue for them, and this will be perfect!

  3. Been looking for this all day. Thanks for the recipe :)

  4. I was thinking of using this as a substitute for gel coloring in hard candy (a la Breaking Bad fake meth). Once the candy is cooked and then allowed to cool and set, do you think the color would fade very quickly? I was hoping to make the candy about a week in advance and it would be stored in a container at room temperature.

  5. I was curious to see if blueberries would have the same chemical reaction from baking soda, so while I was making blueberry puree for pancakes tonight I gave it a shot. The liquid was indeed purple to begin with, even more obvious when put in a small white dish. I added just a bare hint of baking soda and stirred, and it turned a lovely blue color. So for those wondering if they can use blueberries, the answer is yes.

  6. What a nifty idea? I wonder if you could make tie-die T-shirts with it.

  7. Mary Ann McMullen says:

    We have a wonderful blue flowering creeper called Clitorea Ternatea Linn. If you squash the flowers in a little warm water it releases a very good, edible, blue dye that the Malaysians use to colour some of their local sweets. If you can find these seeds, and have a warm place for it to grow, it will grow quite easily – just like a pea creeper really.

  8. Azura Minshif says:

    Hi!! thank you for sharing this great recipe!
    I would like to know whether this can be used as a natural dye for hair as well.
    If not,do you happen to know any other natural blue hair dyes that can be made at home?
    Thank you :D x

  9. I am hopefully making some blue meringue cookies for a baby shower, and I am going to try this even though I need to heat the meringue albeit on a low temperature. Am I doomed or could this work? Would using something other than baking soda like the green tea be a better idea for this application?

    • I am not sure but I am reading in several places that natural dyes are heat sensitive. That being said, low temps (like those used for meringues) should be better so I would try a small batch and see – sounds like fun!

  10. I was wondering why you can’t heat the blue dye? I’m looking for a way to dye cake blue to make a July 4th flag cake and this seems perfect. Will it not dye at all? Will it go back to being purple?

    • The color will change if you heat it. I am not sure how much but I have read this in several places that not only this mixture but also many natural colors will change if heated. Maybe make one cupcake and see or do the frosting instead?

  11. Angie Gentley says:

    So glad you posted this one again! I had forgotten all about it – perfect timing…16 days ’til my little boy turns 4! A cake is in order :)