Substitutes for Red Food Coloring: #4 Might Surprise You

Looking to ditch the natural red food color in your recipes? Or maybe you’re just looking for a good replacement because you can’t find the natural variety.

Either way, we’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a list of substitutes for natural red food color, as well as tips on how to use them.

We’ll also give examples of recipes that use natural red food coloring so you can see how it’s done.

So whether you’re looking for an exact replica or just something that will get the job done, we’ve got you covered!

Substitutes for Red Food Coloring:

  1. Pomegranate juice
  2. Beet juice
  3. Beet powder
  4. Dried, steeped hibiscus
  5. Strawberries
  6. Cherries

Pomegranate juice

Pure pomegranate juice is a great natural substitute for red food coloring, especially in beverages and sweet desserts.

To make it, just strain and blend 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds with 1/2 cup water. But use it sparingly, as it is very concentrated with a strong flavor, especially if the pomegranate isn’t sweet.

Pomegranate juice is a great way to add a natural pop of color to your dishes. But when using it as a natural red food color, remember that a little goes a long way!

Beet juice

Beet juice is an excellent substitute for natural red food coloring. It is very healthy and can be used as a replacement for many foods and beverages. It is high in vitamins and minerals, and it is a good source of fiber.

To make beet juice, simply boil 3 beets in water until they turn soft. After they have cooled, puree the beets in a blender or food processor.

Beet juice will have varying hues depending on the type of beets used, but it will generally have a beautiful reddish or purplish hue.

The flavor of beet juice is earthy and slightly sweet and can be used to color salad dressings, sauces, and other savory dishes. Beet juice is a healthy alternative to artificial food colorings and can be used in many different recipes.

Beet powder

Beet powder is made from beets that have been dried and ground into a fine powder. To use it as a natural red food coloring, mix 1/4 teaspoon of the powder with 1 teaspoon of water. You can also adjust the color intensity by adding more or less beet powder.

You can use beet powder as a natural food color in many different dishes. For example, you can use it to add a pink or red tint to frosting or icing. You can also use it to add color to other dishes such as soup, pasta sauce, or rice.

To use beet powder as a food color, mix 1/4 teaspoon of powder with 1 teaspoon of water. You may need to adjust the amount of water to get the desired intensity of color.

When using beet powder to color food, just remember that the powder will also add flavor to the dish.

Dried, steeped hibiscus

Dried and steeped hibiscus is an excellent natural substitute for red food color. The deep red color of the dried steeped flowers is perfect for tinting a wide variety of dishes, from sauces, soups, and drinks to baked goods and desserts.

In addition, the use of hibiscus as a food colorant offers several benefits over synthetic dyes. First, it is completely natural and does not contain any harmful chemicals. Second, it is very concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

And finally, this substitution will give your dish the desired color without changing the flavor or texture.


Strawberries have long been prized for their deep red color, which makes them a natural choice for use as a red food coloring substitute. To do so, simply mash the strawberries and then add them to the desired recipe.

This alternative can be used in many different dishes, from cakes and cookies to frostings and sauces. Strawberries add a pleasant sweetness to the dish while still providing the desired deep red color.

Additionally, they are a healthy fruit that is high in antioxidants and vitamins, making them a good choice for those looking for a healthier alternative to artificial food colors.


One big benefit of using cherries as a natural red food color is that they provide a strong red color. You can use them to replace the artificial color in baked goods, frostings, and even cocktails.

When you squeeze the cherry, the juice that comes out is a very concentrated form of pigment. This means that you don’t need to use as much cherry juice to get the desired effect.

Cherries are also widely available and relatively inexpensive. This makes them a great option for those who are looking for an affordable way to add color to their dishes.

In addition, they have many health benefits. They are high in antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation. So, not only will your dish look beautiful, but it will also be packed with nutrients.


What is natural red food color?

Natural red food color is any pigment that comes from natural sources. Common natural red food colors include beet juice, hibiscus, and strawberries. These natural pigments can be used to tint a wide variety of dishes, from cakes and cookies to soups and sauces.

Are natural food color substitutes safe to eat?

The natural food color substitutes listed above are all safe to eat. They are made from natural sources and do not contain any harmful chemicals. In addition, they are all healthy choices that are high in antioxidants and vitamins.

Do natural food color substitutes taste good?

The red food coloring substitutes listed above all have a natural flavor. This means that they will add flavor to the dish that they are used in.

However, most of these replacements are also very sweet, which can help to offset the natural taste.

Plus, you can usually reduce the amount of natural sweetener that you would use in a recipe by using natural food color substitutes.


When looking for a red food coloring substitute, there are many options to choose from. Each of the substitutes listed above has its own benefits and drawbacks.

However, all of them are safe to eat and will add flavor to the dish that they are used in. So, if you are looking for a healthy and affordable way to add color to your dishes, natural red food color substitutes are a great option!