I made some homemade playdough today using this great recipe (found via Crafty Crow) tweaked ever so slightly (you know me) by omitting the Koolaid and substituting natural beet dye for the water. The Koolaid gives a rich, intense color, but I knew my kids would end up eating all that yummy-smelling dough. I’m also trying to avoid shelling out the big bucks for the natural food dyes from Whole Foods, so decided to go the
I made the dye by cooking down beet greens in about 2 cups or so of water (enough to cover) for about an hour, then left it on the stovetop to cool overnight. I got a little less than 1 cup of liquid so added some water to make 1 cup as the recipe called for, then followed the recipe from there. The best part is kneading that nice warm dough at the end, especially on a rainy, cold day like today.
The color would probably be more intense if I included the actual beets, but they’re just too yummy for me to sacrifice and I’m happy with the cute salmon pink color. I also tried cooking down some carrot greens, but they emitted a puke green color and I didn’t want to scare my children away from playdough for life. So we’ll stick with pink for now!
If you try this, have faith. When I first started cooking the dough I didn’t think the liquidy slop would ever form a ball and I started to convince myself that the beet juice was throwing off the chemistry. But lo and behold, a ball formeth!!
My mom found a cool set of wooden playdough toys at the thrift store, so we're all quite the happy playdough peeps!