Homemade Food Color

How to Make Your own Natural Food Colors?

“Avoid all toxic food. Choose homemade, be safe.”

We are all hearing such warnings from the experts but are guilty of not following them. Sometimes we aren’t left with options and resort to chemicals. One such toxic element that is a permanent member at home is food coloring.

Colors are beautiful, and it is proven that a colorful dish gets devoured quicker. However, do we need to bring those colors with chemicals? The answer is a big ‘NO.’ It is possible to make your homemade Organic food colors and use them to make the food appealing. The best thing is you can create beautiful food colors with basic ingredients. Let’s begin painting our food in delicious natural food colors.

Tips to make natural food color from kitchen ingredients

A dive deep into the world of food colors introduced us to its various forms. Bakers, chefs, and home cooks avail food coloring in three forms, i.e., powder, liquid, and gel. Though it may sound posh, believe us creating all these forms is as easy as the ABC. You need not be a cook to accomplish this task and can choose it as an opportunity to impress the one who cooks delicacies for you. And you need not rush to the store for the ingredients. A visit to your kitchen shall be sufficient.

Let’s jet into your kitchen and collect everything necessary for blending some magic.

How to make Red food color?

Natural Red Food Color in Powder and Liquid form

  • Take 4-5 medium-sized beets and peel them
  • Grate them well
  • Spread these on a large dish and allow to sun dry for
  • Ensure that they crack well
  • Once done, grind the beets
  • Sieve through a fine strainer
  • Store in an airtight container
  • Use dry or add a little water to make it natural liquid food color

Natural Red Food Color in Gel form

  • Take 2 medium-sized beets and cut them into small pieces
  • Remember to discard the peel and stem before using the beet
  • Add 1 cup water to the beets and blend into a fine paste
  • Use a cheesecloth to strain the mixture into a pan
  • Place the pan on high flame and add 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • Keep stirring the mixture and remove froth continuously
  • Once the mixture begins to thicken, switch off the heat
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and stir
  • Pour the contents into an airtight container
  • You can store this natural red food color gel for around 6 months

How to make Green food color?

Natural Green Food Color in Powder and Liquid form

  • Remove spinach leaves and discard the stem
  • Clean the leaves thoroughly
  • Spread them on a dish to dry in the sun
  • Once they crumble, grind them in a processor
  • Sieve the mixture
  • Your green food color is ready
  • Mix the powder with some water to get liquid green food color

Natural Green Food Color in Gel form

  • Wash 100gms of spinach leaves and mix 1/2 cup water
  • Bring the mixture to boil
  • Immediately transfer the spinach leaves into a bowl of cold water
  • After a couple of minutes, blend the spinach leaves in a processor along with 1/2 cup of water
  • Sieve the mixture in a cheesecloth
  • Now place a pan on the heat and pour the spinach mix along with 3 tbsp sugar
  • Stir until the mix thickens and also keep removing the froth
  • Switch off the flame and aff 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Store in an airtight glass container, and use as needed

How to make Yellow food color?

Natural Yellow Food Color in Powder form

  • Orange peel is all you need for a bright yellow food color
  • Wash the peel thoroughly and lay them to dry in the sun
  • Grind into a fine powder
  • Sieve well and store
  • Mix water as required

Natural Yellow Food Color in Gel form

  • For yellow food color, you can use saffron strings
  • Grab a mortar pestle and powder 10 mg saffron with 1 tbsp sugar
  • Heat a pan and add 1/2 cup sugar
  • Add 1/4 cup water along with the saffron sugar powder
  • Cook until you have a slightly thick mix
  • Add 1/4 tsp lemon and stir
  • Store the mix in the refrigerator for 6 months

How to make Orange food color

Natural Orange Food Color in Powder and Liquid

A careful mix of the red and yellow color can provide a beautiful hue of orange, and you can adjust the intensity by twerking measurements. However, if you proceed with making a unique orange food color that looks and tastes great, choose carrot and saffron as companions. Here’s how to get a homemade orange food color for cakes and other dishes.

  • Wash and peel a few carrots
  • Grate these and lay them to dry
  • Grind the mix alongside a few strands of saffron
  • You can store it and use it as it is or mix it with water for a liquid consistency

Natural Orange Food Color in Gel form

  • Wash, peel, and cube the carrots
  • Cook carrots with 1/2 cup water
  • Once the carrots are mushy switch off the flame and mix 1 mg of saffron strands
  • After 30 minutes, pour the mix into a blender and make a smooth paste
  • Strain the mixture into a pan
  • Now place the pan on the heat and mix 3 tbsp of sugar
  • Once the mix thickens, remove from the flame and add 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Store and use as needed

How to make Pink, Purple, and Blue food color

There are multiple ways to make natural pink food color. However, there is one ingredient that can make all 3 of these colors. So the outcome is less work and more results. And the magic ingredient is purple cabbage. The food color with purple cabbage cannot be used in powder form as there remains a pungent taste that may linger in the food. Let’s begin the magic.

Natural Purple Food Color in Gel form

  • Grab 1 small purple cabbage and cut it into tiny pieces
  • Grind the cabbage with 1 cup of water
  • Sieve through a cheesecloth
  • Heat a pan and pour the cabbage juice into it
  • Mix 3/4 cup sugar and stir until thick
  • Switch off the heat and mix 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Add 1/2 spoon vanilla essence and store the mix in an airtight container

Natural Blue Food Color in Gel form

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into purple food color.
  • Keep mixing increments of baking soda until you achieve the desired blue color
  • Store in an airtight container to use as required

Natural Pink Food Color in Gel form

  • Take a portion of purple color gel made with the purple cabbage
  • Add 1 tsp of lemon juice into the mix and stir vigorously
  • Keep adding small amounts of lemon juice until you achieve the desired pink color
  • Refrigerate and use for another 6 months

There is another recipe for a beautiful pink food color that shall make your bakes appealing. We can use strawberries or raspberries to attain our favorite pink food color. Here’s how to do it.

  • Heat 1 cup raspberries until they are soft and liquidy
  • Add 1/2 cup water and blend the raspberries into a smooth paste
  • Strain in cheesecloth and preserve to use later

How to make Brown food color?

Natural brown food color by mixing other colors

There are multiple ways to make brown food color. First of all, let’s create a tan brown with a combination of colors. Since we know how to make some primary food colors, creating more is going to be easy.

  • Mix the color red and green to avail brown food color.
  • You can also try blending orange and blue or yellow and purple to achieve similar results.

Natural Brown Food Color in Powder form

  • Add 1 cup of coffee powder or espresso to a grinder, and mix 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • You can also add instant coffee and black tea for darker shades of brown
  • Grind the mix thoroughly
  • Sieve well to ensure there are no coarse granules
  • Store in a container

Natural Brown Food Color in Liquid form

  • Take a saucepan and add 1 cup coffee powder, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 10 tea bags.
  • Pour 1 cup of water and stir
  • Simmer the mixture for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Strain and store in a glass jar

Things to remember before opting for natural food colors

Natural food colors render pastel hues

Natural food colors are devoid of toxins. Hence they may not render bright hues. When you use natural food colors for cakes and mix them with frosting, expect alluring pastels. So, if you grab the beautiful red color obtained from beets, expect your frosting to be pinkish-red. You can add more or less according to the desired result.

Natural food colors have a distinct taste

We are using food products to create natural food colors. Every ingredient shall have a distinct taste that may transfer to the food product you wish to make. In such a situation, using these in huge quantities may not be a great idea. Think about the red velvet cake that tastes like beets. Nobody shall like it. It is advisable to use a small quantity that provides the desired color and not the taste.

Natural food color powders are better than liquid

The article shows how to make natural food color powders. We have also discussed its gel and liquid form. If you need dark colors for your food, it is advisable to use powders instead of liquids as they render bright hues.

Natural food colors may turn brown when baked

As we know that vegetables turn brownish when cooked, the same happens with natural food colors. If you mix food color powders or liquids with cake or cookie batter, the result may not be as expected. However, additives such as lemon and sugar can help to prevent browning. Hence, natural food color gels are recommended for baking purposes. Frosting and cooking dishes that do not involve heat can be possible with powder or liquid forms of natural food colors.


The natural food colors add a beautiful hue to your dishes. Most importantly, they take away the concerns that emerge due to artificial food colorings. Feeding healthy food rather than some unknown chemical will surely make you and your family happy. So why wait to switch the artificials and begin grinding your food color for the upcoming recipes.