Using Edible Flowers and Natural Ingredients Instead of Food Coloring

Have you ever eaten flowers? I have. The first time was in a salad served to me in a restaurant in Union Square in San Francisco. Roses don’t really taste like they smell. Well, not when you have salad dressing on the peddles. I’ve also used roses from my garden to make rose water to use instead of lemon juice in my Gluten Free Baklava.

If you want the recipes for the eclair and custard, see my recipes for Gluten Free Eclairs and Gluten Free Pastry Cream.

Did you know that many flowers are sweet and nutritious? You can add flowers to desserts instead of artificial or expensive natural food coloring to bring Spring color to your table.

  • Learn the flowers that are safe and unsafe to consume.
  • Be sure to use flowers that have not been sprayed with insecticide.
  • Choose the flowers that have just or are about to open.
  • Pick them just after the morning dew has evaporated.
  • Keep the flowers in the shade while picking.

If you can’t bring yourself to using editable flowers, there are inexpensive ways to add color to icing and other non-baked food:

  • Use some beet juice to mix with sugar and allow it set out to dry in a saucer before using.
  • Add a little turmeric spice to fillings and frostings.
  • Add blueberry juice to frosting or fillings.

If you prefer to use commercial food coloring in your baking, be sure to use a brand that is promoted or is labeled “Gluten Free”.

Artificial Coloring: McCormick, Durkee, and AmeriColor for gel

Natural Food Coloring: Gluten Free line of Seelect Tea and Nature’s Flavors (same products).

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