How to naturally colour your food

Maybe you’ve seen it scrolling through Instagram before, or while reading food blogs or watching YouTube cooking shows. But “Rainbow” or “Unicorn” food is a HOT food trend at the moment! I’ve recently started experimenting with how to naturally colour noodles, rice and pasta – and it’s so easy! That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate a post on how to do this, so you can all try this at home.

Don’t forget to share your creations and tag @VeganishRecipes in your posts! I’d love to see what you are all making. 

First of all, let’s keep your food clean and healthy. We don’t want to use artificial colouring, and hey you don’t need to either. Opt for natural colouring such as:

  • Green: spirulina or matcha powder
  • Light green: spirulina + turmeric powder
  • Yellow: turmeric powder
  • Red: beet powder or beet juice
  • Orange: beet juice + turmeric powder
  • Purple: red cabbage
  • Pink: red cabbage + lemon or lime juice
  • Blue: red cabbage + baking soda

That’s it! Easy does it. See my Mermaid Pad Thai and Unicorn Sushi below.

Now let’s get to it:

Sushi Rice

  1. Cook the sushi rice and place it in a bowl to cool and add rice vinegar and sugar. Mix it in using a wooden spoon.
  2. To make each colour you take a shallow bowl and put about half a cup of rice and mix in the food colouring. Don’t add too much, because you don’t want it to alter the taste of your rice. 
Purple & Blue Rice
  1. Boil a quarter of chopped cabbage in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Use this water to cook 1/2 cup of sushi rice to make purple sushi.
  2. Save 3 tbsp of the purple water and add 1 tsp of baking soda to turn the water blue, now add this to the sushi rice and mix it well.
  3. To make your sushi rice pink, mix the purple sushi with some lemon or lime juice. But not too much, because that will get your sushi to fall apart.


  1. Use any of the food colouring and add it to a pot with about 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat and cook/soak the noodles for about 10 minutes until it has absorbed the colour.
  2. To make purple, blue or pink noodles, make sure to boil the cabbage for about 10 minutes before adding the noodles. Add baking soda for blue noodles and sprinkle with lemon juice to turn purple noodles pink.

Red pasta

  1. To make red pasta, simply juice beet juice. Add the pasta to a pot of water and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the juice of about 5 beets. Cook for another 7-8 minutes and that’s it, you’ve got red pasta!

Another option is to use pitaya or butterfly pea flower powder, which are totally natural and derived from Thai flowers and South American fruit. In Australia, I love the Just Blends brand and for Europeans I have found Rawnice. I will add some recipes with using these powders soon!

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