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The Natural Kitchen Challenge

Do you know what is in your food color?

Our Natural Kitchen Challenge is to create a rainbow cake, (a gluten-free one) that Little Miss has been asking for.  It is pretty much like the one on the Martha Stewart website, although we saw it in a book called Cakespy.  We will have some friends over for a homeschoolers play date, and would like to have the cake for the occasion.  Now how does one do a rainbow cake without artificial food dye?  This is our big challenge!  The cake needs seven layers, each a different color.  The gluten free part is pretty straight forward these days, with all the mixes on the market, now so readily available.  We LOVE Pamela's Products.

We were mulling over this one together and had a funny little revelation, when wondering how to make the yellow layer.  I suddenly remembered a line from a little German children's song that we sometimes sing, and she chimed in and sang along with me - Saffran macht das Kuchen gelb!  I laughed and said - there you have it, yellow layer is saffron.

Red Layer - beets
Orange Layer - annatto
Yellow Layer - Saffron
Green Layer - Spinach
Indigo Layer - ???
Blue Layer - Red Cabbage with Baking Soda
Violet Layer - ???

This is a project in the works, so we don't have all the details settled just yet.  I do need a colorant for indigo and violet, and will search around to see what I come up with.  I did find some wonderful posts on natural food dye-stuffs.  They are below.

Blue & Purple Food Colouring for Savoury Dishes

I am so excited to have come across this post, after doing my own experimentation with creating blue food color.  We used blueberries today, but I love how the cabbage juice turns either pink or blue depending upon an acid or base solution.  Reminds me of high school chemistry, and the nutty professor I had - he would set all sorts of things on fire and show us how certain chemicals created either colors, or reactions of different sorts.  


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Resources for this portion of our block:
The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman and Bagram Ibatoulline

Traditional Houses from Around the World by A.G. Smith How We are Sheltered by James F. Chamberlain Houses of China by Bonnie Shemie

To see the previous lesson in this block, look at the entry for Cave Dwellers.

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