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Oct 6, 2010 05:15 AM

what's the natural source of food coloring: blue, purple, green, orange

I'm following a recipe ( ) to dye onrigi (japanese rice ball) with rainbow colors.

Yellow (curry) and red (beet) is easy, but I couldn't find out any information about the natural green, orange, blue and purple sources. Most recipes tell me how to use bottles of artificial food coloring (for baking cupcake) and that's why I actually want to avoid.
Can you think of any natural source for green, blue, purple, orange?

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  1. green tea, spinach for green?

    blue would be sweet pea flower or red cabbage cooked and juiced?

    orange... orange ginger

    purple you can try blueberries, the juice is kinda reddish purple?

    3 Replies
    1. re: frozendesserts

      AAAAHHH!! You got it!

      How could i forget Green matcha tea powder. I just had it last week. It's also a nice idea to use blueberres. (I would use cheaper grapes and hope it works) I tried spinach to dye noodles long time ago but the color is too light. Perhaps I used them in a wrong wy.

      And what's orange ginger? In google search, the picture looks like a jam.

      1. re: goute

        Orange ginger is another variety of the asian ginger.. the flesh is a light orange. But I suspect if you would to use it to dye rice, it would be more of a yellow color.

      2. re: frozendesserts

        As George Carlin pointed out, there is no blue food. Purplish, gray-blue, maybe, but not true blue. You might not be able to avoid artificial coloring for blue.

      3. Onion skins from (from yellow onions) are used to turn eggs a nice rust color--sort of orangish...
        There are some color ideas in that link--at least for eggs.

        1. Corn flowers yield a blue dye that is edible.
          Carrot for orange.
          Hibiscus makes a deep red purple.
          Achiote makes a strong orange yellow.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefj

            All very good suggestions made here by chefj.

            Definitely use a carrot for orange. For purple, I was wondering if a purple majesty potato would do. For blue, try blueberries, and for green try wheatgrass.