Food coloring is a key ingredient in many recipes. It adds a bright pop of color to desserts, beverages and baked goods. The good news is that you can find several natural alternatives to conventional red food colorings, so you can enjoy your favorite treats without consuming the chemicals found in most store-bought dyes. You can make your own natural red food coloring by simmering beets or by steeping dried hibiscus flowers. You can also experiment with using other foods to get a natural red hue, such as raspberries, cranberries and goji berries. The important thing is to choose ingredients that are organic, as this will ensure that you are not ingesting any added chemicals in your diet.
Some of the best natural red food colorings come from fruits and vegetables, such as radishes, red cabbage, purple sweet potatoes and black carrots. The red pigments in these foods are called anthocyanins, and they can be made into a water-soluble dye that works well for most applications. Other natural red dyes include carmine (carminic acid from cochineal scale insects) and azure blue extract from annatto seeds. These natural food colorings tend to perform best in low-moisture snacks and bakery products.
The color in these natural foods comes from anthocyanins and other phytochemicals. In addition to their visual appeal, these colors offer nutritional value as well. They are rich in antioxidants, which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, promote eye health and help prevent aging. Some of the colors also contain bioflavonoids, which are thought to prevent easy bruising and hemorrhages by strengthening capillaries.Natural Red Food Colors