Natural Food Coloring
Pink smoothie bowls, purple deserts, blue oats, and more... If you don't live under a rock, you'll know that colorful food has swooped the internet of its feet. Today, I'll show you how you can color your food using only natural and healthful ingredients.
In this blog post, please expect:
my favorite brands you can buy natural coloring powders from
ideas on how to use ingredients from a local market to color
ideas on what you can color
tips on how to style and capture your colorful creations
recipe for a healthy unicorn frappuccino
We live in the age of convenience... and so, of course, there are many companies out there that have done the hard work for us. They have already researched, gathered, and extracted the color from the earth's most beautiful fruits, vegetables, and algaes. Just note, in addition to the vibrant colors you'll get, these powders also are superfoods, meaning they provide many amazing health benefits, so don't forget to read all about those on each brand's website.
For each brand below, I will compare products sold and their prices, shipping costs to Hong Kong, the website's user-friendliness, and any added bonuses. Finally, I will also post a comparison table listing all products, package size, and prices among all four brands.
My favorite Brands:
Based in Sweden, Rawnice is at the top of this list for many reasons but, mostly, because of how frickin' cool they are! Rawnice's entire ethos is about breaking the stereotype of needing to be perfect in order to be healthy. The founders preach (and practice) a balanced lifestyle and created what they call 'magical fairy dusts' in order to help spread their relatable message in a way that's sexy & attractive. PLUS, they (and their team) are actually hilarious!
Blue Spirulina Powder (bright blue, 50g)
Dunaliella Salina Powder (bright yellow/orange, 50g)
Butterfly Pea Oowder (blue and purple, 50g)
Pink Pitaya Powder (bright pink, 100g)
Activated Charcoal Powder (black, 50g)
Price of Pitaya Powder: Rawnice's Pitaya Powder comes in a pack of 100g at 190HKD per bag. However, all other companies on the list offer 70g packages. So, i've done the math for you and had the package been 70g, it would cost about 133HKD.
Shipping Costs to HK: Rawnice offers a flat rate shipping cost of 220HKD (14USD) for all orders out of Europe. They also offer FREE shipping on all orders above 490HKD (60USD).
Website Experience: Of all featured brands, Rawnice definitely has my favorite website. It is super easy to follow, minimalistic, aesthetically pleasing, and even allows you to convert the prices to your local currency. It is very intuitive and allows you to use as few clicks as possible to reach your desired result (could you tell that I used to work in marketing and the start-up world :P ?). I also love the language used as its super relatable and different. They have an 'inspiration' tab, which includes recipes, articles, and a link to their beautiful instagram account. There is also an FAQ section, which answered any questions i had plus I also had the most amazing customer experience with them. Finally, Rawnice also offers a variety of bundles including powder combinations, a coconut bowl, wooden spoons, cutters and more.
2. Just Blends
Pink Pitaya Powder (bright pink, 70g)
Natural Blue Spirulina Powder ( blue, 40g)
Premium Matcha Powder (bright green, 70g)
Butterfly Pea Powder (blue/purple, 50g)
Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder (black, 80g)
Pink Pitaya Granules ( pink 'sprinkles', 70g)
Price of Pitaya Powder: Just Blends charges about 153HKD for a 70g bag of pink pitaya powder.
Shipping Costs to HK: Shipping on all orders to Hong Kong is 75HKD (12AUD). They also offer free shipping for orders over over 610HKD (100AUD).
Website Experience: Just Blend's website is just as user friendly - it even has a search feature where you can be directed exactly to what you're looking for. There is a whole separate tab for learning about the health benefits of each of their products. Like Rawnice, they have a 'Recipes+More' section, which includes recipes, blogs, and tutorials. What's really cool about them is that you can download a free eBook with many amazing recipes just for subscribing! Lastly, Just Blend also sells combinations of powders at a discount, stainless steel straws, and some other cool products.
Pink Pitaya Powder (pink, 70g)
Natural Beetroot Powder (red, 70g)
Black Goji Berry Powder (purple, 70g)
Blue Spirulina (blue, 50g)
Price of Pitaya Powder: Unicorn Superfoods charges about 153HKD (24.95AUD) for a 70g bag of Pink Pitata Powder.
Shipping Costs to HK: Shipping on all orders to Hong Kong is 35HKD (5.95AUD). They also offer free shipping on orders over 305HKD (50AUD)
Website Experience: I LOVE their website! It's clean, cute, and a perfect reflection of their brand name: Unicorn Superfoods. They have a strong focus on the health benefits of these powders over just how pretty they are, while still making sure to post a lot of beautiful photos showcasing what can be created if you buy from them. The website is very simple and to-the-point so you really won't miss anything. Lastly, they also offer 'kits and bundles', which may include a coconut bowl, wooden spoon, cutter, or a combination of powders, depending on which you choose. Oh, they also have a Youtube channel, which is pretty cool :)
4. Being Co.
Pink Pitaya Powder (bright pink, 70g)
Butterfly Pea Powder (blue or purple, 50g)
Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder (black, 80g)
Organic Matcha Powder (green, 70g)
Organic Velvet Beetroot Powder (red, 70g)
Gold Tumeric Spice Powder (yellow, 70g)
Price of Pitaya Powder: Being Co. charges about 147HKD (23.95AUD) for a 70g bag of Pink Pitaya Powder.
Shipping Costs to HK: Shipping costs on all orders to Hong Kong are 125HKD.
Website Experience: Despite looking very clean, there are a few things about their website which led to a really poor user experience. Firstly, the speed... it takes about 10 seconds for a product page to load after i've clicked it. This, alone, can deter customers from buying. Something else that really, really bothered me is the product description. It seems vague, doesn't show any ingredients, and, for some reason, I find myself having trouble 'believing' in the product. All of this can be attributed to being a relatively small and new company. Hopefully, it'll change because they do have quite a good selection of products on offer. They have a facts page, which is supposed to tell you about the benefits of each of their powders but it was too scattered for me to actually read/understand. Finally, they also have a recipe page with beautiful but very few recipes, however, I will not be using them because of the waiting time to load each one...
Color Using Fruits & Veggies
While the powders mentioned above are easy to use and packed full of nutrients. However, there are those of us who, either, don't want to go through the hassle of or put down the money to order these online. I totally get it! And I have some good news for you...
You don't need superfood powders to get beautiful colors and health benefits. Instead, just head over to your local market!
Below is a guide on what fruit or vegetable you can use to achieve any chosen color. Keep in mind that depending on the season and the specific fruit/veggie you're using, the color may vary a bit (eg. sometimes beets can be red and other times purple, blueberries can be blue or purple). Also, the amount decide you use will also change the vibrancy of the color.
Purple: blueberries, cabbage, beet, blackberries (for cabbage, blend in blender and put through cheese cloth. the liquid you have left can be used for purple)
Red: strawberries, cherries, beets, pomegranate
Pink: pink pitaya, raspberries, pomegranate, strawberries
Green: spinach, kale, any leafy green, honey-dew melon, zuchinni
Yellow/Orange: pineapple, mango
What should I color:
(raw vegan) cheesecakes
nut and seed butters
(vegan) cream cheese
Styling & Photography Tips:
Bring elements from within your bowl out of your bowl - If you have a strawberry-coconut smoothie bowl, use whole strawberries and maybe half a coconut in the background
People like to see a human element so add your hands holding the bowl, a spoon inside of your bowl, crumbs are great, etc.
Use different cloths to add more texture and depth to your photos
Always photograph using natural day light
Healthy Unicorn Frappuccino Recipe
Yellow Smoothie: Add 1/2 frozen banana,1/4 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup mango, and 1/8 cup liquid to blender until fully incorporated. Place aside.
Pink Smoothie: Add 1 frozen banana, 1/8 cup pink dragon fruit/Pittaya (or Pink Pitaya Powder), and 1/8 cup liquid to a blender until fully incorporated. Place aside.
Purple Smoothie: Add 1 frozen banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, and 4 cherries (can also use butterfly pea powder) to a blender until fully incorporated. Place aside.
Other Ingredients: fresh fruit and coconut whip
Method: Layer each colored smoothie one by one so that they alternate in a glass or mason jar, leaving about 1TBS of each. Once the cup is almost full, place 1 TBS of each at the top so that the colors can marble together and overflow. Finally, top with some fresh fruit and coconut whip.
Hope this blog post helped guide you through the natural food coloring process. If you do decide to try any of these out, put photos in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @holisticlee_happy! xx