3/5/18

All Natural Green Food Coloring Dye Alternatives for St. Patrick's Day


By on 3/05/2018 11:14:00 AM

St. Patrick's Day is a big holiday for our family--and a very fun holiday for the kids.  While we love all of the fun, cooking for kids ideas popping up on Pinterest and on our favorite blogs; we aren't such fans of the health concerns associated with many of the artificial food coloring and dyes available.  We thought we would put together a list of our favorite, all natural, green food coloring and food dye alternatives for St. Patrick's Day!



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All Natural, Commercial Food Dyes 

I have personally not had a lot of success with commercial, all natural food coloring and dyes--but, many people stand by them!  After trying several of the organic, natural ones--I find that I prefer India Tree dyes--but, they are still a bit difficult for me to blend the colors into my foods, drinks, etc. for successful results.  Especially for a bright, true St. Patrick's Day green.  I do; however, love the India Tree Jimmies and Decorating Sugars!  I find the natural dyes to be less vibrant--and require some trial and error to get results similar to those you may be used to with traditional colorants and dyes.

Green Chlorophyll


 

Yes--you can buy liquid, green chlorophyll--and it will certainly give foods and light drinks a green hue in small amounts.  The product is sold as a dietary supplement.  Be sure to read the package labeling and instructions as only a few drops are necessary in use as a colorant--and only a small amount is recommended for ingestion.  Some varieties are available with mint flavoring added--while others are "unflavored".  The product itself does have a earthy/green taste--so it may actually work best as a coloring for minty frostings or foods.  Also--be sure to read the product labels carefully.  Not all chlorophyll supplements are all natural or organically sourced!

Matcha Green Tea Powder 

Matcha Green Tea Powder does have a slight taste (and some are more earthen and grainy than others)--but, I find that it works very well in coloring cookies and baked goods.  It offers a nice, light green hue for frosting as well. Again--you will need to research the brands to find one with organically sourced ingredients.  Also, keep in mind that Matcha Green Tea contains natural caffeine as well.

Wheat Grass Powder



Wheat Grass powder also has a bit of an "outdoorsy" taste--but, the Amazing Grass Organic Wheat Grass Powder blends very smoothly into recipes and the flavor is mild enough to be masked by fruit, chocolate or vanilla add-ins.  Also--be sure to look for organically sourced, wheat grass products.

Spinach or Kale Vegetable Powders


 
First of all--vegetable powders are literally powdered vegetables.  These powders smell & taste like their vegetable counterparts--in more concentrated form.  A little of these powders go a long way and should only be used in recipes with scent/taste masking ingredients! If you are making some green eggs with veggies for an omelet--this may be your St. Patrick's Day colorant.  If you are looking to dye some rice treats or sugar cookie frosting--the spinach or kale may be a bit too noticeable to pass them off. Also--if you are seeking to go "natural"--check the ingredient list of your chosen vegetable powder and be sure to look for all natural, organic powders or you have simply added a taste without any health benefit!

Fresh Greens
Using fresh, organic spinach, kale or field greens is a bit more work--but, if you have them on hand--they do make convenient, all natural green food coloring alternatives.  Either put the green leaves through a juicer or puree in food processor--then add a little of the green to the food you seek to color.  Again--there will be a bit of a "green" (spinach/kale) taste to the mix--especially if you use a stronger green such as kale--so use the minimum amount and add it to foods with other, stronger,= flavors able to hide the green!


While beer is not necessarily a healthy choice--it is still okay to limit your St. Patrick's Day risks! These dye alternatives also work in coloring our seasonal U.S. green beer.  BUT.  Remember.  These natural dyes often add a little "earthy" flavor.  Expect natural dyes to work best in lighter beers or pale ale--these just aren't going to turn a Guinness green!   A little of these dyes may go a long way with a light colored beer or pale ale...but add too much and it's a Spinach Beer or a Wheat Grass Ale!

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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