How to Make Red Food Coloring

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You might be afraid of the side effects attributed to artificial food colorings. One option would be to buy natural food coloring from a specialty store, but this can be very expensive. There is another choice: make your own. With just a few simple steps and a little bit of time, you can have your own natural red food coloring. Never again will you have to worry about giving your family an artificial product of dubious nature.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound of red beets (organic, if desired) Gloves 1 large pot Water 2 tsp. vinegar (organic, if desired) 1/2 pint glass jar with lid for storage (see tip)
  • Wearing the gloves, scrub the beets under hot running water to wash away any dirt or pesticides (if using non-organic). Beets will stain your skin, but it can be washed off with soap and water.

  • Add the beets into the pot, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until the beets are fork tender. Remove from the heat.

  • Pull the beets from the pot. Reserve the cooking liquid. Peel and chop the beets, pouring any juice that comes out of them back into the cooking liquid. Add the chopped beets back into the cooking liquid and let soak for at least four hours.

  • Strain the liquid into the jar. Add 2 tsp. of vinegar. Cover and store. You can use in similar amounts as artificial food coloring, but the results may vary depending upon the variety of beet used. Experiment to find the proper amounts to achieve the color you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a glass jar instead of a plastic container since the dye will permanently stain the inside of the plastic container. If you get beet juice on your skin or clothes, wash it immediately in hot soapy water.

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