Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beets: All Natural Food Coloring

I didn't start eating beets until adulthood mostly because as a child the only beets I ever had were from a can.  They tasted like dirt to me.  Well thankfully I gave them a second chance and boy was I surprised when I discovered they were actually sweet!  Not surprising since sugar can be made from beets.  I could go on and on about how beets are nutrient packed, have anti-inflammatory properties, are high in fiber, etc., but today it's all about their vibrant deep red pigment.

I use beet juice as a natural food coloring in my red velvet cake and also when making pink frosting for cakes. Once made it can be stored in the freezer for a very long time so you can make a lot of it and then use it at a later date.  For this recipe I am only going to make enough for my red velvet cake.

You will need either a juicer or a blender.  A juicer is better as you won't have to cook the beets or separate the pulp from the juice. 


8-10  small beets, raw

Wash beets and cut off the greens. 

With a juicer, cut the beets in half and then process them in the juicer.  If using a blender you will need to steam the beets for about 20 minutes or until slightly soft, then blend in the blender with a small amount of water or lemon juice.  Lastly, strain the juice from the pulp using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. 

Pour beet juice into a small pan and make a reduction by simmering it on the stove top for about 15 minutes.  You will need 2/3 of a cup for the red velvet cake recipe.

When using in frosting a small amount goes a long way.  I use about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon in frosting that covers an 8 inch round double layer cake.

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