Artificial red dye is usually derived from petroleum, can cause hyperactivity in kids, and is incredibly toxic as you can read about here. My older daughter is extremely sensitive to red dye – it changes her behavior into a very hyper, wild mess for a solid 24 hours!
Come St. Valentine’s Day, we want colorful frosting that doesn’t have the side effects…
It’s really easy to naturally get around this using beets of all things. And no, don’t worry, the frosting won’t taste like beets!
It’s super fast and easy to make this!
First, steam some beets!
Simmer the liquid until there is only a couple tablespoons left of beautiful, bright beet water. By the time my chopped beets are cooked the water is usually perfect anyway!
Then, proceed to make your frosting as usual and add this coloring instead. You should start with half of the water/cream than is called for in your frosting recipe because it will take more of this less concentrated beet juice than it would take a nasty, super concentrated dye to get your color.
I used the whole wheat sugar cookie and frosting recipe from 100 Days of Real food (find the recipes here). I added half of the called for heavy cream, then my beet water, and then a touch more cream until the consistency of my icing was right.
Philomena loved stirring it…
And that’s it! The color is a lovely shade inbetween pink and red, and that will vary a little depending on your beets. (My batch last year was definitely more pink than this year’s more red one).
I promise you that this frosting doesn’t taste like beets, and it is so much better for us when we’re going to enjoy a rare, refined sugar treat, to not have all of the nasty chemical colorings.
Have you naturally dyed frosting before?
Happy Feast of St. Valentine!
(Find more resources for St. Valentine’s Day here.)