Have you tried coloring food using red beet powder?

Red beets contain a pigment called betanin that gives them their magenta hue and can serve as a natural organic food coloring. Red beet powder is used to color frostings, cookies, cakes, candies, and even white chocolate. It is a coloring ingredient in corning beef and in making pastas and sauces. It has a very mild sweet beet flavor. The only downside, however, is its sensitivity to both heat and pH like most natural food dyes and pigments. The color will change when combined with baking soda or baking powder.

Red beet powder gives a color that is reminiscent of red wine and its tint can be tuned by varying the amount of powder used.

Now, can you guess what I made with this natural red food color?  Stay tuned.

Hint: think church windows.

Red food coloring from red beet powder, makes 1 teaspoon red food coloring

1/4 teaspoon red beet powder
1 teaspoon cold water

Mix red beet powder and cold water in a small dish.  Adjust the red-beet-powder-to-water ratio to get the desired red tint. Use less powder to get a paler red or even pink color.

Strain the red beet mixture through a cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the red-colored liquid.

Red Beet Powder as Food Coloring

Cooking Notes:

1. Red beet powder can be bought online or in specialty grocery stores. Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco sells red beet powder in bulk.

2. For more ideas on natural food coloring agents, check out this cool post from Eye Candy.