Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kitchen Tip Tuesday! Ditch the Dye

As a family, we've made a commitment to "Ditch the Dye."  It hasn't been too difficult to remove artificial dyes from our daily diet, it's really just about label reading and putting anything with artificial dye in it back on the shelf. But when it comes to decorating cutout cookies....?  There has to be a way to get colorful sprinkles on those cookies without artificial food coloring.  

In our local grocery store, there is one option for naturally colored sprinkles.  They come in a very small box, are outrageously expensive, and the colors are pretty dull.  There's got to be another way!  

There is!  And it's not too difficult! Make your own naturally colored decorating sugars! 

I purchased India Tree Natural food coloring from the store.  Yes, these are also too expensive, but the bottles of coloring go a long way, so I feel like I can justify the purchase. These dyes are vegetable based, not petroleum based.  

So here's what you need:

Natural food coloring (I used India Tree)
Granulated sugar (you will get better color using white sugar - not organic)
Zip top bags
waxed paper

And now, here's what to do! 

Scoop about a cup (or less if you don't make a crazy amount of cookies like we do) of granulated sugar into a zip top bag.

Squeeze 5-7 drops of food coloring into the bag with the sugar, seal the bag, and massage it around until the color is evenly distributed through the sugar.

Kids love to help with the "mushing it around part, get the littlest helpers in the kitchen to help with this part! *Isn't the yellow awesome?  There really isn't any need for artificial yellow coloring to be in our food supply, look how vibrant that natural color is!

The color should be even throughout the sugar.

Then, spread the sugar out on waxed paper to dry for a few hours.
(Interesting note, this color is labeled as "blue" on the India Tree box, but all of us agree, this is green.) We also mixed the yellow and "red" (more of a pink, visible in the picture at the top of the post), to create the orange!

Once the sugar is dry sprinkle on frosted cookies and enjoy! 

Don't forget to check out my cookbooks on Amazon! 

 As always, from The Allergy Safe Kitchen, I wish you "Good Cooking, and Safe Eating"

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