We love topping our food with even more stuff to make it attractive, add a little visual drama and boost texture for our ever frisky palates. A well-placed parsley sprig on a plate of risotto, chopped toasted nuts on a banana split, or even just dark chocolate flakes on vanilla ice cream makes for more than just good food porn. But our all-time fave topping has got to be sprinkles. Whether it is those little silver beads strewn all over a wedding cake, metallic gold or silver micro-pearls sitting pretty on miniature muffins, or hundreds of tiny multi-colored tidbits atop a massive scoop of ice cream—we really dig adding them to our food.
But instead of the artificially-dyed stuff you get in the store, why not skip all those synthetic and chemical colors and just make your own sprinkles at home?
Here’s how to go about it in two simple steps:
Step 1. First get some foods that have deep, rich hues such as beets, strawberries, turmeric powder, blueberries, pomegranates, purple grapes, and even spinach. Here's a little color wheel to help you see which fruit and vegetables can help you get the right shade for your sprinkles:
Simply extract the colors from these fruits and vegetables by either juicing or cooking them down and straining them.
Step 2. Next, take the following ingredients and use these extracted colors to tint them and make beautiful sprinkles in various shades:
1. Powdered Sugar Or Crystallized Sugar: Just mix the color with the sugar crystals or powder in a bowl. Stir well until no lumps are to be found, press down on them with the back of the spoon if there are any.
2. Shredded Coconut Or Dried Coconut Flakes: Follow the same procedure as you did with the sugar. If you’re using shredded coconut, spread it on a baking sheet and let it dry undisturbed for a couple of hours. Dried coconut flakes can be used immediately.
3. Finely Grated White Chocolate: White chocolate can get sticky real quick so feel free to mix in some powdered sugar or just a tiny dash of corn starch.
4. Powdered Nuts: Almonds, cashews or peanuts, in fact almost any white nuts are good for this, but only without their skins, or else it won’t be white. And you do need a blank canvas for your colors to catch. Toast them lightly so they dry well, then powder them as fine as possible in a food processor.
Once the colors have been added, store these naturally dyed sprinkles in different, airtight jars in a cool, dry place. If your kitchen or pantry gets too warm for whatever reason, store the jars in the last shelf of the fridge. Feel free to decorate your ice cream scoops, cake pops, cupcakes, brownies, frozen yogurt, and cookies.