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Once in a while, we all love some delicious but healthy food. Unfortunately, many of them always either involve artificial food colouring or smothered in icing. But who says that’s the only way to make pretty-looking colourful food?

Just like you, we want to eat good and feel good. So here are 5 of our favourite healthy vegan recipes we found. The best part? These delicious vegan dishes are going to be in shades of pink! Pink vegan food makes for the perfect dishes for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, a birthday or just for your loved ones any day.

A Berry Pink Vegan Low-Fat Smoothie

Kickstart your day with this refreshing glass of smoothie that packs a punch of nutrition and protein. Natural sweeteners, like strawberries and cherries, make it beautifully pink and deliciously nutritious with only 2g of fat. Bananas in the recipe also gives the drink its creamy and rich texture. This pink vegan drink is not only pleasing to the eye – it’s sure to please your taste buds as well! 1 tasty serving delivers you 700mg of Potassium, 70% of your daily iron intake, 10g of fibre and a whopping 20g of protein. What better way to perk yourself up bright and early in the morning?

Serving: 1

Ingredients:
1 cup of non-dairy milk
½ cup of frozen strawberries (and/or raspberries), unsweetened
½ cup of frozen cherries, pitted and unsweetened
1 banana (cut into chunks and freeze beforehand)
1 tbsp of raw mesquite powder (or cocoa powder)
1 scoop of vegan protein powder
½ tsp of vanilla extract

Direction: Blend them all till smooth, and you’re on a way to a brighter morning!

Pink Beet Hummus

Everyone loves some good ol’ hummus with some crackers or toast – it’s healthy, it’s refreshing, it’s delicious. But have you heard of pink vegan hummus? The ingredient that brings out that pink is none other than beet! This colourful recipe only requires 6 ingredients.

Ingredients:
15oz can of Beet
15oz can of Chickpeas
¼ cup of Raw Pumpkin Seeds
2 tbsp of Minced Garlic
2-3 tbsp of Olive Oil (add more if needed!)
Fresh lemon juice

Add more olive oil if you like and season with salt and pepper.

Directions: Blend them all in a food processor/blender, refrigerate till cool and serve with crackers, chips, toast, veggie sticks or anything you love!

Homemade Beet Pasta

Making your own pasta at home sounds absolutely laborious, tedious and too much effort, right? Wrong. It’s not as difficult as most would think.

And why not spend a little more time it if it means you can have pink vegan pasta? No ready-made pasta is going to be served to you in pink.

If pink is not for you, this colourful recipe can be tweaked– add saffron or turmeric for some yellow, or spinach for green! What’s more, this vegan dish hardly has the strong taste of beets. In fact, fresh beets (they’re different from canned beets!) actually tastes pretty good.

Serving: 2

Ingredients:
Pasta
1 Beet
1 tbsp & 1 tsp of Olive Oil
¾ cup of Semolina Flour (alternatively, use all-purpose flour but dry the pasta for a few hours)
1 tsp of Salt
1/3 cup of Water

Sauce
½ tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Shallot, diced
1 clove of Garlic, minced
¼ cup of White Wine
½ tbsp. of Flour
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
½ cup of Vegetable Stock
¼ tsp of Herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, or anything you enjoy!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: Beet puree, 1-2 tsp of Balsamic Vinegar, fresh Basil or Chives

Directions:
Pasta
1. Cook the beet in any preferred manner (suggestion: wrap in a foil, roast with olive oil for 45min at 200 °C OR peel, cut into cubes, boil until soft)
2. Blend beet in food processor or blender with 1 tbsp olive oil until it becomes a puree
3. Mix flour and salt, and make a well to add the beet puree.
4. Add some water and use a fork to mix in the flour gradually till a dough forms and you can knead it for 10-15min – aim to get a soft non-sticky dough! Then, wrap the dough in a plastic film and let it rest for an hour.
5. Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll them out.
6. Use a pasta machine OR roll the dough out as thin as possible, and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut it into shapes.
7. Hang the pasta dry and boil a pot of water. Time for the sauce!

Sauce
1. Fry olive, oil and shallots till soft.
2. Add garlic and continuing frying till soft.
3. Add white wine and simmer until the amount is reduced by half.
4. Sieve flour into the frying pan, cook for ~1min, add olive oil.
5. Add vegetable stock, herb, salt and pepper. If you have some beet purée left, add it with balsamic vinegar. Let sauce simmer till your desired consistency and texture is achieved.

Beet pasta
1. Boil pasta in salted water for 2-3min. Test for the doneness frequently.
2. Drain and add directly to sauce. Serve with basil/chives if desired!

10min Pink Vegan Cheesecake Bites

Cheesecake is my favourite type of cake and this vegan recipe makes your sweetest imagination come to life with pink cheesecake bites (made with cashew, pitaya, coconut oil). Just the thought of it really makes my taste buds tingle. What’s more, this is a no-bake gluten-free 10min recipe! These lovable bites make for great snacks or desserts for kids of any ages. Creamy, sweet and pink – you could nibble all these bites all day.

If you don’t want pink in your cheescake, this colourful recipe is flexible – add some turmeric for gold, blueberries for purple, matcha for green, cocoa powder for brown or activated charcoal for black bars.

Total time: 10min
Servings: 4 large bars, to be cut into cubes

Ingredients:
Filling mixture
2 cups of soaked Raw cashews, drained*
1/2 cup of Virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp of Vanilla extract
1/4 cup of Grapefruit, Lemon or Orange juice
1/3 cup of Maple syrup
1/8 tsp of Salt
1-2 tbsp of Frozen Pitaya Puree
Crust oil

On top: 1 tsp grapefruit zest

Crust
4-5 pieces of gluten-free vegan Gingersnap Cookies
1 tbsp of Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

*You can replace it with unsoaked cashews, but soak in boiling salted water for 2-3min to soften them.

Instructions:
Layer a large dish (about 5”x5” big) with baking paper for this recipe. The thickness of the cheesecake bars will be affected by the dish.

1. Blend the cookies in a blender till fine.
2. Add crust oil to the powder and lay it out in a thin flat layer on the dish – the cashew mixture will help to bind the crust later.
3. Blend the pink filling mixture in a blender until you achieve a smooth consistency. Process the mixture** on high for a few minutes to warm the mixture a little.
4. Layer the filling onto the dish on top of the crust, and smoothen it out.
5. Add the citrus zest on top.
6. Refrigerate overnight for a few hours. Slice and serve within 30min from removing from refrigerator (ideally, the texture is best after 15min at room temperature)!

Pink Beet Velvet Cupcakes

When people think of pink cupcakes, most people cringe at the thought of how much sugar and sweetness goes into it. But this is a game changer – no artificial flavour, just moist, fluffy and pink! The bright pink that comes through is extracted from the most unexpected ingredient – beet. Just a dash of beet will be sufficient for the entire batch of cupcakes!

Serving: 10 cupcakes
Calories: 393 kcal

Ingredients:
• 1 small Beet (2.5-3 ounces)
• 1.5 cups of All-purpose flour (or even better, whole wheat!)
• ¾ cup of Sugar
• 1.5 tsp of Baking powder
• 0.5 tsp of Salt
• ¾ cup of Unflavoured soy/almond milk
• ½ cup of Canola oil
• 1 tbsp of Vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
• Coconut cream, chilled overnight – 1 can (14 ounce)
• Maple syrup – 2-3 tbsp

Instructions
Cupcakes
1. Boil the beet until bubbles form, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 45-55min until beet is soft (easily pierced with fork). Drain water and let the beet cool.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Line 10 muffin tin cups with papers and preheat oven to 350°.
4. Gently remove the beet peel by rubbing it with your fingers. Cut beet into quarters and blend with a food processor or blender.
5. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla. Continue blending until you achieve a smooth consistency.
6. Add the beet mixture to the dry mixture and beat with an electric mixer until it is well blended.
7. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups – fill each cup till about 2/3 full.
8. Bake for approximately 24 minutes – the muffin top should feel spongey.

Frosting
1. Use an electric mixer to beat the coconut cream (discard excess liquids from the can) for about 1 minute at high speed till fluffy.
2. Top it on the muffins! Best served while warm, or refrigerate not more than 2 days.

Almost every girl loves pink. The colour is beautiful and radiates gentleness and femininity. But have you ever thought about incorporating the soft colour into your food? How do you do that without the commonly undesirable solution of using food colouring? Rosie Hatch, an author to the book, Rosie's Rustic Kitchen, gave us great recipes for creating beautifully pink desserts. They are easy to make, beautiful to look at, and fun and delicious to eat. So what are you waiting for? Get the pink cracking!

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

Serve it for breakfast or a healthy treat. This strawberry banana bowl is topped with freshly sliced strawberries and chia boasting omega-3’s, antioxidants and fiber. The inside filling is made with strawberries, a frozen banana and almond milk. Don’t forget to add some edible flowers on top for extra color!
INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS
In a blender, blend strawberries, banana, almond milk, sweetener and chia. Serve in a coconut bowl and top with strawberry slices, extra chia and edible flowers.

Strawberry Parfait


Yogurt parfaits can be served as a healthy dessert or a breakfast snack. Assembly is a breeze and the presentation speaks for itself. Try this recipe out for a yummy way to get your vitamins and nutrients in a pretty package.
INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS
In small mason jars layer ingredients starting with sliced strawberries on the bottom, yogurt and granola. Repeat the process again omitting the granola and instead topping with a fresh strawberry slice.

Using natural ingredients to get beautiful hues on your food may be time consuming, but it certainly beats reaching for that bottle of food colouring. The natural colours from nature lets you indulge in the most colourful foods without any of those harmful additives. So rather than using colour-laden chemicals, why not go Au naturale by using ingredients that double up as dyes? Here’s how you can do just that.

1. Beetroot or raspberries for reds

Beetroot offers a natural way to get your foods a striking red, and they are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron and magnesium.

 

Start by boiling bite-sized chunks of beets and cover them with water, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until they are tender, and the residual stained water will be your food colouring.

Blend in the desired amount of beetroot juice to your own frosting, and you’ll get a perfectly pinkish hue to top your favourite cupcake.

The best part about using beets is that you can save the chunks for a salad lunch later.

You can also use raspberries. Bring those luscious red berries to a boil, then use a food processor to puree them.

2. Turmeric, paprika, or carrots for yellows and oranges

Turmeric is one of the few natural food dyes you can use if you’re looking for that vibrant yellow hue.

Bring some turmeric, sugar, and water to a boil over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally, so that it doesn’t become lumpy. Let it cool completely before mixing it with frosting or icing.

Selected paprika can also offer orange tints. Heating the spice can also release a stronger flavour to improve the taste of your food. You can also try juicing carrots if you’re making sweet treats.

3. Matcha or spinach for greens

Not only does matcha turn foods green, but it is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre. It also increases your metabolism and helps the body burn fat. Depending on how dark of a green you want, vary the amount of matcha powder you’re using.

Besides matcha, you can also use spinach. Just grind a large handful of them in a food processor and strain the juice through a cheesecloth. Remember not to throw away the leftover remnants of spinach pulp; you can use it a soup or throw it into an omelette for a nice touch.

4. Butterfly pea flowers for blues

 

A rich source of antioxidants, butterfly pea flowers are the perfect option to replace blue food colouring. Its mild taste also ensures the natural flavour of your dish shines.

Commonly used in sticky rice desserts like pulut inti (a sweet glutinous rice dessert with coconut) and puddings, the flower, when added to a liquid, changes color based on the pH level of the substance added to it. So if you add lemon juice, the food "magically" turns into a bright purple.

5. Red cabbage, baking soda, and vinegar for purples

 

Cover some red cabbage with water in a cooking pot and simmer for about 10 minutes, before draining it. If you want the residual purple solution to become lighter, add vinegar. And if you want to get a blue from there, add baking soda instead. You may want to start with small amounts until you get the desired colour. Keep in mind that both vinegar and baking soda can change the taste profile of your food, so don’t use too much.

You can also use blackberries but they are an expensive fruit to juice.

If you are opting for these natural dyes, do note that the result tends to be less vivid than artificial colouring. Also, they can possibly add an extra flavour to whatever you’re making. But it’ll definitely be fun experimenting with the different shades you can get!

If you want a naturally coloured tea to accompany your foods, try Nilufer Tea's Rose Paradise. The dried strawberry gives the tea a beautiful pink hue and a light sweet flavour, a treat for both your eyes and mouth. Get it here!

Otherwise, you can also opt for Blue Ocean and indulge in the light refreshing flavour while admiring the teal tint of the tea. Get it here!


Written by: Anna Fernandez

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