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6 Rainbow-Colored Foods That Won't Kill You With Sketchy Food Coloring
Rainbow bagels. Rainbow cake. Rainbow lattes. Rainbow grilled cheese. Technicolor foods and drinks are officially a thing. But if you're committed to eating clean, you might be feeling an urge to sit this one out, as the vast majority of these Crayola-inspired delights get their fun colors from artificial food dyes.
It's true that the research on how food dyes impact human health is limited, but studies on mice and rats have shown that exposure to artificial colors may lead to the development of tumors, and some colors—like red 40, yellow 5, and yellow 6—are known to contain carcinogenic contaminants. Many are also known to cause allergic reactions.
But you don't have to be a total curmudgeon when it comes to colorful fare. Just dig into foods that get their vivid hues from natural sources—plant-based dyes or from plant foods themselves—like these 6 magically delicious recipes.
There are a lot of pretty rainbow cakes out there—and most of them are packed with bizarre ingredients. Happily, I Am Baker's cake isn't one of them. She started with a white cake batter and added fresh fruit like strawberries, orange zest, kiwifruit, and purple grapes to make all of those awesome layers. A few drops of food coloring bumped up the contrast even more—so if you want to do the same, go for a plant-based brand like India Tree.
Cake Student's rainbow loaf gets its awesome hues from all-natural food dyes, but she has also experimented with adding color from ground turmeric, matcha, and cocoa powder—all of which deliver a dose of health-boosting antioxidants.
These no-sugar-added treats boast seven different colors—and The First Year made every single one of them by blending bananas and Greek yogurt with a brightly colored fruit or vegetable. Think pineapple for the yellow layer, spinach for the green, and raspberries for the magenta.
Rainbow infused water might sound like something reserved for unicorns, but it's actually available for mere humans—and according to The Pretty Bee, all you need is some fresh citrus. Who knew slices of blood orange, navel orange, lemons, and limes could be so darn hypnotizing?
Clean rainbow pizza is actually insanely easy. Gimme Delicious tops her cauliflower-crust pie with colorful red and orange cherry tomatoes, sweet yellow corn kernels, chopped green bell peppers, broccoli florets that—in a way—look blue, and chopped red onion. How's that for healthy? No need to save this one for your weekend splurge.
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