[

Red, white, and blue desserts are a popular part of every fourth of July celebration! But some people do worry about all that food coloring and the unnecessary additives that go along with it. If you want to have a festive treat for the holiday and keep it all natural, making your own dyes out of colorful fruits and vegetables is easy! All you have to do is follow this simple guide.

General Tips

  • Remember that some of the flavor from your fruits, veggies, and spices are going to transfer over. For example, for yellow, many people use turmeric. In that case, it's best to use stale turmeric for coloring, since it's relatively flavorless.
  • It's hard to get true, bright reds or a vibrant blues with most natural ingredients. However, you can get very lovely deep pinks and blueish purples.
  • Experiment on with the amounts of dye to perfect it! Depending on what type of food you use and what you're adding it to, your colors may bake up differently.

For Red/Pink Dyes Best colorings: Beets, Pomegranate, Raspberry The juices from these foods make excellent dyes for deep pinks, reds, and magenta colors. Beets are the best option here, since they have a lot of juice and you only need a little bit of it anyway to get good color. For pomegranate and raspberries, you will need to mash and strain the juice from them.

For Blue/Purple Dyes Best colorings: Red Cabbage, Blackberries Strange as it sounds, your best bet to getting an actual blue dye is by using red cabbage. Simmer the whole cabbage in water for at least 10 minutes. Drain the liquid into a bowl, straining out the cabbage. When the liquid is completely cool, add a little baking soda - not more than 1/2 a teaspoon at a time - to the mixture. The resulting reaction between the liquid and the baking soda will turn the dye blue! Note: If you are using this dye to color a cake batter, reduce the amount of baking soda you add to the actual cake accordingly.

If you're using blackberries instead (or red cabbages without the baking soda) the color you'll get is more of a deep purple than blue. You'll need to mash the berries and strain the juices.  

Photo Credits: Progressive PioneerTry Handmade, Eye Candy

Top 10 Christmas Cookies of the Season.
Hearty, Chunky Soups for a Cold Day.
Healthy, Easy New Ways to Enjoy Salmon.
10 Tasty Ways to Make Canned Tuna Gourmet.
10 Creative New Ways to Cook Salmon.
12 Terrific New Takes on Jalapeño Poppers.
Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Pastas.
Snack Healthy with Homemade Hummus.
Every Dish is Made Better with Beer.
10 Exceptional Coffee Drinks to Make at Home.
10 Handy Meals Made in a Muffin Tin.
Vegan Appetizers Anyone Will Love.
Simple, Hearty Mexican Dishes for a Crowd.
10 Succulent Salmon Dishes for Healthier Eating.
Appetizer Ideas for the Big Game.
Italian Dishes Minus the Indulgence.
Cozy Chili Recipes and Creative Ways to Enjoy Them.
Fantastic, Flavorful 5-Ingredient Chicken Dinners.
10 Savory Curries You Can Make in a Hurry.
5 Creative Cinco de Mayo Recipes to get the Fiesta Started!.
Fun Football Shaped Bites for the Super Bowl.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Appetizer: 5-Layer Football Field Dip.
TOUCHDOWN! The Extreme Super Bowl Recipe Round-Up.
Complete Your Meal With a Perfect Wine Pairing.
Food Pairings with Sean McKenzie and Dave Matthews.
Top 10 Tips for Winning Dinners!.
From Apples to Kale to Salmon, How to Keep What You Love Fresh.
Cooking with Silk®.
Grow Your Own Ingredients: Fresh Garden Favorites.
Bring Game Day Parties to Life with Lit'l Smokies.
5 Lit’l Smokies Recipes to Bring Holiday Parties to Life.
Foods that Will Put You to Sleep.
5 Tips For Enjoying The Holiday Season, Guilt Free and Naturally.
Black Bean & Corn Guacamole.
Slow Roasted Pork Arepas with Quick Pickled Onions and Chimichurri.
Citrus Salmon and Watermelon Popsicles.