5 natural alternatives for red food coloring

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Here at SoBakeable, we love making our bakes beautiful, with a huge focus on the decorations & look of our final product! We use toppings, sauces & frosting techniques to do this. Sometimes, we even include colors in our actual bakes (like red velvet). To do this, we often use food coloring, but sometimes it’s nice to keep things natural. So here are 5 natural ingredients we hear are perfect for replacing red coloring.

Beets
Take 3 beets (without roots & greenery) & slice them up. Place in a saucepan & cover with water. Simmer until the beets are tender & the water has halved. The remaining liquid is great for coloring (& you can eat the beats for lunch)! Beets do have a strong flavor, so keep in mind that it might alter the flavor of your recipe.

You can replace 1 teaspoon of red coloring with 1 teaspoon of the beet liquid.

Hibiscus flowers
You can buy food grade hibiscus flowers (these are safe to eat), look for flowers that are dark red as these will give you the best color. Steep the flowers in boiling water (as you would when you make tea) & allow to cool. Strain out the flowers, pour the red liquid into a small saucepan & bring to the boil. Let the liquid boil until it has reduced by half. You’ll be left with a red syrupy liquid, perfect to replace red food coloring.

You can replace 1 teaspoon of red coloring with 1 teaspoon of the hibiscus liquid.

Raspberries
Place 1 cup of raspberries (frozen will have a brighter color) with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let reduce to just a few tablespoons of liquid. Strain the liquid to get rid of the raspberry seeds & flesh. This will give you another wonderful red coloring replacement! Just keep in mind that using raspberries might give your recipe a fruity taste.

You can replace 1 teaspoon of red coloring with 1 teaspoon of the raspberry liquid.

Cranberries
You can use cranberries in the same way as the raspberry coloring was prepared above (you can use either frozen or canned cranberries) by boiling, reducing down & straining. Cranberries tend to have a bit of tart flavor, so you may want to add some sugar to the water as it reduces down. While this is a great coloring replacement, the strong cranberry flavor might change the flavor of your recipe.

You can replace 1 teaspoon of red coloring with 1 teaspoon of the cranberry liquid.

Pomegranate Juice
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate & blend. Strain the flesh from the liquid, & you’ll be left with a bright pink liquid perfect for coloring!

You can replace 1 teaspoon of red coloring with 1 teaspoon of the pomegranate juice.

So the next time you’re thinking of baking up something the color of love, try one of these natural options for something unexpected!

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Xoxo

The SoBakeable Team


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