Sunday, March 23, 2014

Easter Treats Without Artificial Food Color

Easter with only natural colors -- is it possible? Certainly!

When it's time for Easter treats, I think of lots of pastel colors, chocolate, and egg-shaped candies. A carrot or coconut cake. Flowers, bunnies, and chicks. Fortunately, pastel colors are the easiest to achieve with natural food colors. Natural colors are not as concentrated as the chemical versions, so brighter colors can rarely be achieved for the home baker. If you'd like to get started with your own homemade naturally-colored treats, check out these resources.

Chocolate and white chocolate are good dye-free options. Just know that a few stores and restaurants put red dye in chocolate cakes and chocolate pie crusts. I don't understand this, but it's happened. As for chocolate, I've started seeing Unreal Candy at local drugstores. It's "unjunked" without artificial ingredients, corn syrup, GMOs, or hydrogenated oils. If you've tried an Unreal product, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

Without further ado, here are some candies and homemade treats that just say "Easter" to me. I have not tried the majority of the recipes, so I can only say that they sound good.

Candy that is small enough to fit in plastic eggs
GoNaturally Organic Cherry Hard Candies (other flavors available)
or lots of options at Natural Candy Store

 Healthier Easter Foods
Peter Rabbit's Mixed Up Garden Snacks from Gourmet Mom On the Go
Easter Fruit Basket from Laura Bento
Vegetable Carrot from Savvy Mom
Goldfish Carrots from Simon Chan
Cantaloupe Bunny from Vegetable Fruit Carving

Sweet Treats
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs from Raining Hot Coupons
Homemade Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting from Sally's Baking Addiction
Coconut Macaroons from Sally's Baking Addiction
Carrot Cake Rice Krispie Treats from Mallow and Co.
Easter Bunny Cupcake Wrappers from Bird's Party Blog

 Finally, I was looking at pre-made Easter baskets on Amazon and liked what I saw with Well Baskets. They're a little pricey but if you would rather save time than money, they seem to have something for everyone. Otherwise, you can get some good ideas from them.

To have a completely natural Easter, eggs can also be dyed with natural colors. See recipes and examples at Better Homes and Gardens and What's Cooking America.

What food or treat says "Easter" to you?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that help fund this blog. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Without Artificial Red

The Naturally Colored Christmas post was viewed so many times, I assumed a Valentine's Day post might be helpful as well. What will be the biggest obstacle for you or your child this Valentine's Day if you avoid artificial food color? For me, it's the cherry cordial crème pies and the chocolate covered cherries.
Using chocolate or naturally colored candy like Yummy Earth Lollipops are the simplest ways to have Valentine's Day without artificial food color. For something a little more creative, check out these links.

Candy-Free Valentine Cards
Unique No-Candy Valentines from Toronto 4 Kids
Pencil Gift Tag from Our Family World
Apple of My Eye Stickers (to give with apples) from Zazzle
Popcorn Label from Bird's Party Blog
Glow Stick Valentines from Cinnaberry Suite (one of my favorites!)
Friendship Bracelet Valentines from Dandee
Printable Valentines from Remaking June Cleaver
You "Blow" Me Away from Little LDS Ideas
Goldfish Valentines from Tammy Mitchell Designs
Hot Chocolate (You Warm My Heart) from Unexpected Elegance
Homemade Fortune Cookies from Your Modern Family
Paratrooper and Bouncy Ball gifts from Paging Supermom
Heart-Shaped Fruits & Veggies
 Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that help fund the author of this site. Thanks for your support!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Resources for Leaving Behind Artificial Colors

So you want to give up artificial food colors or help someone else do it? Here are some resources to help you along the way! Just leave a comment if you know a link that could be added.

Goodbye Artificial Colors - Pinterest board with links to foods and brands without artificial colors, companies to be wary of, and natural colors to use at home

B in Real Life - She has a 5-day series of posts called Bye Bye Food Dye. I found the FAQ to be particularly helpful. B also has a few helpful Pinterest boards at Die, Food Dye.

Feingold Diet - According to their website, "It's a diagnostic tool to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering some or all of the problems you are seeing. It is continued as a treatment. It can also be combined with any other necessary medical treatments." If you come across recipes on the Internet that say "Approved for the Feingold Diet," they won't contain artificial colors or flavors.

Natural Food Color Brands
Here are companies making natural food colors for your homemade creations.
Chocolate Craft Colors
Natural Candy Store - It has so much more than just natural colors!
India Tree
Maggie's Naturals - Food coloring and sprinkles. Liquid color is not concentrated.
Seelect - It doesn't list exact ingredients of every color. Some just say "Ingredients: Plant and Vegetable Extract."

Natural Food Color Recipes and Tips
Want a DIY approach that is much less expensive? Some bloggers have tried their hands at making homemade food colors with fruits and veggies. 
Nourishing Joy
Lunch Box Bunch
An Organic Wife

Monday, December 2, 2013

Naturally Colored Christmas Food

Many companies capitalize on the holidays by offering red and green treats, and many party foods are oozing with the artificial colors as well. Fortunately, Christmas doesn't have to be so unnatural. Simple tricks can be used, like using natural food colors or naturally colored candies in place of the artificial colors (like Sunspire Sun Drops Chocolate Candies). Colorful place settings and centerpieces can be used instead of colorful food. And then there are these fun ideas from around the web:

Decorate the packaging instead of the food.
Snowmen Popcorn Cups

Decorate your food table with a Christmas tree platter.
Incorporate more white for a wintery look.
Pair red and green fruits and veggies.
What are your favorite holiday foods, and how do you make them without artificial color?

This post is linked to A Humble Bumble's Healthy Tuesday Blog Hop.

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link that helps fund the blog author and the stand against artificial food colors. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Artificial Color Anecdotes

Anecdotal evidence is not as reliable as scientific evidence. It's too subjective -- usually coming from parents' observations. But the quantity of anecdotes against artificial food coloring is growing too large to ignore. Below are a few on the Internet. For more stories, click the source links.
On a side note: Some people are allergic to food colors, and some people are sensitive to them. As Jane Hersey, author of Why Can't My Child Behave?, explains "What we deal with in most people is not an allergic response but a sensitivity," says Hersey. "If your family moved to a city that was very polluted, different family members would react differently. One might have an asthmatic attack. Another would get a headache, but you wouldn't say you're allergic to pollution."
Please remember that not all aggressive or hyperactive behaviors can be eliminated by removing artificial food colors and preservatives from the diet. However, these parents show that it can help many children.

Image from Pixabay

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What's My Problem with Artificial Food Colors?

It's a controversial topic in certain groups. Some people demand that artificial food colors be banned, while some people in the US government (namely, the FDA) claim the colors are perfectly safe. The majority of people don't give it a second thought and just eat what they want to eat.

Photographer: David Coleman | Agency:
Pseudo (sü-dō) is something fake or not genuine. Food, according to the dictionary, is "something that nourishes or sustains." Pseudo food does neither of these and may actually harm the one ingesting it. It has the appearance of food but lacks the actual characteristics.