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Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

Last post Tue, Mar 12 2013 11:25 AM by MarthaMFI2. 15 replies.
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  • Tue, Nov 27 2007 8:35 PM

    • tooney58
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Aug 25 2007
    • North Carolina
    • Posts 180

    Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     This is from Nancy Birnes book "Cheaper and Better".  I have not tried these but think they sound interesting.

                         Red

    1 cup beets, fresh or canned
    Water to cover
    2 teaspoons vinegar

                  or

    1 cup cranberries
    Water to cover

    1. If using fresh beets, cover them with water and boil in an enamel or a glass pan until barely done.
    Remove the beets and peel, slice, and chop them, reserving the juice.
    Return beets to the juice and soak them for 4 hours.  Strain liquid and measure out 3/4 cup add the vinegar to the liquid.

    1. If using canned beets, strain out 3/4 cup of the liquid and add 2 teaspoons of vinegar.

    3.   If using cranberries, cover with water and boil for two hours,
    mashing the cranberries as they soften, Strain liquid.

     

                             Yellow 

    Outer skins of 5 yellow onions
    1 cup water

                      or

    1 cup daffodil, acacia, or crocus blossoms
    Water to cover

    1. Boil the dark, dry outer skins from the yellow onions in a
    covered glass or enamel pan for 10 minutes, or until the liquid
    is dark yellow.   Strain the juice.

    2. If using flower blossom, cover with water in an enamel or a glass pan,
    bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
    Strain liquid.
     

                                    Blue 

    1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
    1 cup water
             or
    1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or canned
    Water to cover

    1.  Simmer the cabbage and water in a covered enamel or glass pan.
    until the cabbage turns dark green and is just tender.  Strain
    the juice, which will turn blue.

    2. For a darker shade of blue, cover the blueberries with water
    and simmer for 30 minutes.  Mash the berries and strain the juice.
    If using canned blueberries, strain the juice. 

                         Purple

    1/2 cup fresh-frozen blackberries

    1.  Use the pulp directly by allowing the frozen blackberries to
    soften at room temperature for 30 minutes and then blending for 30 seconds. 

     

                    Green

    Outer skins of 5 red onions
    1 cup water

              or

    1 cup grass clippings, spinach, or moss
    Water to cover


    1. Boil the outer skins of the  onions in the water in a covered enamel
    or glass pan for 10 minutes.  Strain the juice.

     
    2. If using grass, spinach, or moss, cover with water and boil
    in an enamel or glass pan for 1 minute and then simmer,
    covered for 10 minutes.  Strain the liquid.

     

                          Brown

    1 cup coffee grounds or 10 tea bags

    1 cup water

    1.   Cover coffee grounds with water or add tep bags to water.
    Simmer, uncovered, in an enamel or glass pan for 30 minutes.
    Strain the liquid.

    Hints

       If you plan on using any of the above colors on fabrics,
    you will have to boil the fabric in a fixer or  mordant before adding the colors.
    There are several different types of mordant
    you can use, and each will give a different shade when mixed
    with the dye.  You will have to experiment to get the exact  shade you like.

        You can choose either 4 tablespoons of potassium alum mixed with 1 tablespoon
    cream of tartar, or a teaspoon of chrome mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar. 

        To apply mordant to fabric, first dissolve the mordant you have chosen into 1 cup of water.
    Add this mixture to a large pot containing at least 1 gallon of water.   Use the above
    measures of mordant for each 8 ounces of fiber.  Add the fabric, making sure there is enough
    water to cover, and simmer for 1 to 4 hours, depending on the color intensity that you want to
    achieve.  Turn off the heat and let the fabric rest for another 4 hours; rinse, and dry.

       There are many other mordants, flowers, and leafy materials that you can boil for color.
    Experiment with flowers you have on hand;  interesting little rocks, berries, twigs, and
    even insects all yield pretty colors.

      
        Just be careful working with plant materials that are are unfamiliar to you--make sure no child ot pet tries to eat or drink the materials.

    Yield:  1 cup of each color 


     I think I have another book that has recipes in it for natural colors. 

    Linda 

  • Tue, Nov 27 2007 9:17 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     Good information, thank you! These dyes can be used on Easter eggs, too.

    Community Facilitator

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    Smartsource and MySavings
  • Tue, Nov 27 2007 11:14 PM In reply to

    • tooney58
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Aug 25 2007
    • North Carolina
    • Posts 180

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

      

    Pat:

     Good information, thank you! These dyes can be used on Easter eggs, too.

     

    Only the ones made from food.
  • Wed, Nov 28 2007 12:00 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     Yes, that's what I meant, sorry. That's what I get for being in a hurry. Smile

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  • Wed, Nov 28 2007 1:03 PM In reply to

    • tooney58
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Aug 25 2007
    • North Carolina
    • Posts 180

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     Happens to all of us.  Some days my brain doesn't kick in at all. Sleep Linda

  • Wed, Nov 28 2007 2:01 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     Some days my brain manages to kick into gear, but I just run out ahead of it. Wink

    At any rate, thanks for the information! 

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  • Wed, Nov 28 2007 8:09 PM In reply to

    • kabin
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 29 2007
    • Indiana
    • Posts 1,618

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

    Cool post! I have used onions for yellow dye, etc.../ Have also used blueberries to dye wool, but the color doesn't hold permantly. I hope you don't mind me adding this, because you are talking about natural food colors, but kool-aid is a great dye for wool. Too bad it's not natural.

  • Sat, Sep 11 2010 6:36 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

    bumping up for fall since we have all the produce coming in.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Sat, Sep 11 2010 7:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

    Missed this one first time 'round - thanks, that's great information!

  • Sat, Sep 11 2010 7:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Nature's Colors--Make your own Food Coloring

     My kids react to artificial dye. This stuff works great.  DS#1 still talks about his Spiderman Cake I made with beets.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
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