I read a recipe that said to cook the beets, and then strain them through cheesecloth. That sounded like too much trouble, so I donned thin plastic gloves, peeled and washed a half beet, cut it in half and blended well with just enough water. Then I used a regular metal strainer to eliminate small clumps, while making sure the counter and my clothes stayed free of the beet juice stain.
I creamed a little shortening with two cups of powdered sugar and enough beet juice to give the frosting a good consistency. Then I filled a frosting-decorating bulb with the purplish red frosting. The bulb made dispensing the bright frosting very neat, but was a little hard for small hands to push out when it was thick enough for the decorating tip to dispense the bright ribbed confection.
All three children liked the taste of the frosting. In fact, many reminders were needed to not stick the knife back in the frosting bowl after licking it. After decorating the frosting with red and green sprinkles, M&M’s and various little candies, I looked at the cookies and realized I had definitely NOT avoided the artificial coloring. When I looked back at the picture of the natural frosted cupcakes, they didn’t include the unnatural colored sprinkles.
Hmm. I do like to have cookie-decorating parties. What can I do? The first step was the natural frosting this year. Maybe next year I will use natural decorations like craisins, shaped natural cereals, etc. Turns out with all the color in the frosting, they didn’t really need the sprinkles that rolled all over the table and floor.
Was it worth it? In and of itself, maybe not. They didn’t get a lot of carrots and beets from the frosting, but it was my first step to healthier decorating. The carrot frosting looks great on gingerbread cookies and the beet frosting would add color to sugar cookies. As you can see from the picture, we weren’t in it for looks––just fun and frosting!
Then, after my 4-year-old granddaughter helped me make her favorite Macncheese, she asked if I could cut carrots into small pieces so she could mix it into her macaroni. Wow! She hadn’t said that before. I don’t know if she learned it somewhere else or if having all the vegetables around inspired her to have carrot macncheese. All in all a fun time was had by all.