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May 31, 2017
Cookies and kale may seem like an unlikely pair, but for us, they are perfectly matched. Every time we decorate cookies and use the color green we are actually dying our icing with kale! This vibrant leafy green offers so much nutritional value, it’s hard to believe that so much goodness can be crammed into just one plant. Think vitamins A, C, and K, fiber AND calcium. Amazing, right? And, not only do we get all of that good stuff, we get to squeeze out that vibrant green color and use it to color our icing. Lots of people use spinach, too. If you make the dye at home it can take some time to get used to the process, and to figure out how to make the color as vibrant as you want it to be. (This took us a painfully long time to do. It was years ago, and I still shudder when I think about what Justin and I went through to find a process that we could regularly replicate.) And, your cookies or whatever you’re baking or coloring will not actually taste like green vegetables. Promise.
Last fall we decided it would be really fun to educate people about how much better plants are for food dyes than the artificial ones so we introduced a whole line of fruit and vegetable cookies to show them off. So cute right?! We showed them to several hundred registered dietitians at a big conference in Boston; they fell in love with them, so we knew they’d be a hit everywhere! We introduced them at Whole Foods Markets and Earth Fare Markets this spring, and we’ve been selling them like crazy our website, too.
What’s really exciting is the more and more people are talking about natural dyes. The practice of incorporating them into food manufacturing is gradually becoming mainstream; even huge companies like Nestle are phasing out artificial dyes. Lots of fun pop-culture examples are popping up, too. Did you see the post this week by The Indigo Kitchen and his naturally dyed Unicorn pasta? The photos are gorgeous! He used veggie dyes. That particular blog is new to me, but one I regularly follow (after discovering on Instagram) is Christine Chitnis. She’s an author, cook, and food photographer based in Providence, RI. Definitely check out her blog and her Instagram feed for gorgeous craft and foodie pics and delicious recipes that all focus on vibrant natural colors.
Lastly, I want to introduce and thank our photographer Caroline Zhang, who photographed and styles the pics of our veggie cookies. Most recently based in Sitka, Alaska, Caroline is an emerging food photographer with a great eye for color and style, who shares our love for natural colors (and cookies!).
Have you ever made your own green food dye? Let us know how it went!
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