All Natural Homemade Rainbow Sprinkles

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Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, and these all natural homemade rainbow sprinkles are no exception.

I’ve been wondering about ways to make healthy, colourful sprinkles for a little while now, and I hadn’t seen anything I liked (although I have to confess that I wasn’t really looking very hard).

And this idea is so wonderfully simple, that when I ran across it in Chef Amber Shea’s Practically Raw Desserts, I almost didn’t see it.

I was making her raw confetti birthday cake, and didn’t truly get just how effective and simple using shredded coconut could be.

I almost skipped making the sprinkles because I when I finally read the recipe properly (about halfway through making the cake), I discovered that I needed to plan ahead.

Sometimes I’m great at planning ahead – going on holidays, getting married, having a baby – but when it comes to cooking, not so much.

I like to cook on impulse whenever I can (because it’s more fun that way) and so when I make something I want it, and I want it now!

I’m generally not so good with the waiting part. (“What, you mean I needed to start soaking the nuts 8 hours ago? Doh, doh and doh!”)

But then I decided that my practice birthday cake might not be quite the same without rainbow sprinkles, so I bit the bullet and made them as well, and boy am I glad that I did.

What a discovery!

Being the lazy efficient cook that I am, at first it seemed like way too much effort to make my own natural food colourings.

So I just picked up some awesome natural food colours from my local health food shop instead.

They’re made by a local Australian Company called Hopper Foods, and contain only (reasonably) natural ingredients.

For example, their Cloudy Orange colour contains only ‘Carrot, Pumpkin, Invert Sugar, Citric Acid’, so they’re definitely heaps better than some of the artificial colours being used these days.

Like a good scientist, I systematically tested every single one of their colours that I could get my hands on.

Note: There is also a blue in this range, but my local store was out of stock on the day I picked these up.

I just mixed the colours with some shredded coconut, dried them in my dehydrator and voila!

The colours turned out so vibrant and, amazingly, a lot like rainbow sprinkles.

Once I realised how well this method worked, I got all inspired to have a go at making my own homemade natural food colourings.

So I got out the grater, the garlic press, a small sieve and a bunch of veggies and did it all over again.

I also made a mighty colourful mess in the kitchen. (Note to self: wear apron.)

I tried out beetroot, spinach, carrot, red cabbage, turmeric, and spirulina, all with great success.

I was especially impressed with the red cabbage as a source of natural colours.

All I did was add a pinch of bicarb soda to red cabbage juice and it turned a magnificent blue.

Unfortunately, it turned into more of a green-blue when it dried, but it’s still a pretty awesome colour. And the purple sprinkles that the regular red cabbage juice created were incredible as well.

Possibly my two favourite colours of the whole exercise (although I love the deep-pink of the beetroot too).

Overall, I think I like the homemade colours best, simply because I had so much fun playing with them and seeing what I could create, but the store-bought ones are definitely faster, easier and less messy.

But if you’re up for doing both, well that just gives you even more colours to choose from, doesn’t it?

And when you’re trying to get that perfect colour for your magnificent creation, that can be really important.

So have a play with it, and I’d love to see what you come up with.

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