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November 30, 2013

Natural Food Colors, Sprinkles, and Sparkles

by Anne Paddock

It’s that time of year when many of us start dreaming about cookies: rolled cut-out, springerle, snowballs, pinwheels, gingerbread, crescents and more. Most holiday cookies have some type of decoration which led me to start thinking about what I was putting on top of my cookies. As I went through my baking cabinet reading labels, I was surprised to learn that nearly all the bottles of food coloring and jars of sprinkles and sparkles contain artificial colors and additives  so I tossed them in the trash. I knew there had to be healthy alternatives out there so I set out to find food coloring, sprinkles and sparkles made with natural ingredients.

Chocolate Craft of Portland, Oregon makes natural food colorings from beets, annatto, spinach, carrots, cabbage, turmeric, saffron, combined with plant glycerine and maltodextrin from plants. They are vegan, dairy and wheat free and do not contain soy or any artificial ingredients. All have their own particular personalities and slightly different tones so mix them together to get different shades of colors just like any other food coloring or paint.

The liquid food colors come in seven colors:  berry red, green, blue, yellow, purple, orange and black. Each liquid food color comes in a one-half ounce dropper tip glass bottle and can be purchased directly from the company via their website: Each color can be purchased individually for $5.45 or all six primary colors can be purchased for $26.95.

sprinkles-2The company also makes a variety of colorful, ready to use all natural sprinkles and sparkles made with natural ingredients and color from plants.  Each container contains more than 2.25 ounces of delightful decorations.  Sparkles are cane sugar in a rainbow of natural colors.  Sprinkles also contain cocoa butter and / or chocolate and are great for decorating cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and other baked goods that have icing.

Each jar of sparkles – green, red, purple, yellow, gold, blue, orange, pink, light green,  and black – is $4.95. Sprinkles – in pink, yellow, wildflower blend, raspberry white chocolate, lemon white chocolate, and raspberry dark chocolate are $5.95 per jar at the company website. Some Whole Foods also carry Chocolate Craft’s products in the baking ingredient aisle.

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