Consumers eat with their eyes. And the more visual appeal a dish has, the more guests are likely to try it. Grab their attention, save on food costs, and elevate sales by using natural food colors to infuse that wow factor into your dishes.

Go Green

Spring’s fresh bounty of herbs is the easiest and most-effective place to start here. Puree raw mint, parsley, or use spring onion in a carrier oil and serve as a creamy base for your main proteins or finishing drizzle on dishes.

Electric-green matcha powder is great for desserts, teas, and coffees, while the forest green of spirulina powder is starring in everything from smoothies to ice cream, pasta, and more. Both are not only visually appealing but boast several health benefits.

And sometimes just a colorful garnish can be all the visual appeal you need. Delicate microgreens atop seared scallops, or a heap of crisp arugula to finish off a pizza, are simple, yet effective eye-catching ingredients to entice your guests.

Seeing Red

Not only will naturally red ingredients make for a pretty plate, but many also serve as healthy antioxidants. Think beets, pomegranates, and berry juice.

Dried hibiscus flowers are a fun option that can be used across the menu. Serve inside tacos, puree with cranberries for a delicious topper for fish, or steep petals in hot water and add sugar for a tart syrup for cocktails and save a few for garnish. Or reduce the liquid for a glaze to drizzle over desserts like cheesecake or frosting for donuts.

For a labor and time saver, consider plating fresh ruby red grapefruit slices, pickled beets, watermelon, and cherry tomatoes sprinkled with feta for a summer citrus salad that appeases palates and peepers.

Not So Mellow Yellow

Yellow pigments can really play up the appeal of a dish. This Curry Poached Cod recipe uses curry powder to create an eye-catching bright yellow broth to serve as the base. Turmeric powder can also work wonders to brighten soups, lattes, rice, and eggs. Wow guests with dessert offerings by whipping up yuzu or lemon curd, or step outside the ordinary with a honey-saffron panna cotta no diner could resist.

Brilliant Blue

With its deep hues and so many varieties, you can really let your culinary creativity shine with blue. Blend blueberries with your house BBQ sauce to add to burgers, sandwiches, or a dip for fries. Or puree with juice or milk and veggies for an eye-catching superfoods smoothie bowl that will play very well on your social channels.

The most spectacular blue though can be achieved from butterfly pea flower. Use it as a powder to add color to gin cocktails, create an alluring grab-and-go breakfast item by adding it to chia pudding, or brighten any dessert for a unique look.

Purple Power

Ube, the vivid purple yam from the Philippines, has been taking social media by storm –popping up in everything from ice cream to dinner rolls to purees, and more. If you want to go with a hue that’s a little more subtle, opt for lavender or violet to make syrups for cocktails, coffees, and scones, or combine with balsamic vinegar to use as a glaze for fish. Purple carrots are another easy, yet impactful ingredient to up your plate presentation game. Puree it to go under crispy pork belly or lamp chops, or to create a beautiful hummus to serve with crudité.

Think Pink

While it may not seem like it occurs naturally in many foods, pink can be used across the menu, and it will always grab attention on social media. Slice up watermelon radishes to add a little pop of color to salads. Or consider dragon fruit’s natural beauty to create special cocktails, refreshing summer spritzers, and colorful sorbets.

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