The color of crack.

Last year, I went to our neighborhood Halloween party as a Martian. Neon green body pain and all. I’m fully certain the body paint was the polar opposite of organic. My post-party shower lasted a solid hour before crawling into bed exhausted with raw speckled green skin. This year, I’m going to be a tree. The thought came to me late one night. Settled in bed, my eyes flew open and I proceeded to be as annoying as possible with, “John (shake, shake, shake), John (tap, tap, tap)…  I think I’m going to be a tree.” He’s not certain a girl of 31 should be dressing up in the first place, but he liked the idea.

I tend to dive into projects. I currently have yards of felt and safety pins that are slowly becoming a tree. It’s not about perfectionism. It’s about the love of a great project. I get consumed. I remember a college roommate saying that her Molly description involves coming home at 3am to find me, paintbrush in hand, furniture centrally stacked… painting my room green, just because. I don’t mind that description. In fact, I might be proud of it. But years later, after a new doctor listened to me rattle off my health history, she took a deep breath and replied, “Well, first off, I can see you are ADD.” What? I thought my problem (if considered a problem) is over-focusing, not under…

I do feel that ADD exists. I have watched children who bounce off the walls in very erratic and seemingly abnormal ways. But, I have also noticed the link between that wall bouncing and the Coke they drank 10 minutes prior. My experience from simply feeding people is that diet can offer major, major changes for a number of behavior imbalances: ADD, depression, anxiety and more. I definitely concentrate much better when sugar is out.  If you have a bad diet, try changing it and watch. It’s rather amazing. And the most empowering part is… it doesn’t take a doctor’s prescription to choose real food.

I also feel that creativity and what is labeled as ADD are very closely intertwined. The positive side of ADD is an ability to hyper-focus on things that are found intriguing. My humble opinion is that many children who are pumped daily with Ritalin would benefit from a good Art class and an intuitive teacher. Or maybe a 3AM paintbrush.  I also understand that for some kids, a diet evaluation and art classes alone may not fix their little bodies’ imbalances that led to the the disassociated, sad and jittery feelings commonly associated with a case of ADD. And for those special situations, I wholeheartedly respect whatever hard decision has been made.

So, I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I bake on Mondays for a client. This week, I was asked to bring a few Halloween themed treats. Smelling a cool project from a mile away, I spent 3 hours researching natural food coloring. Knowing that I was already going to be using tons of organic white sugar for my fluffy frosting, I didn’t want to throw the fuel of artificial food coloring on my white sugar flame. Artificial food colorings are simply not good for us. They most definitely aggravate hyperactivity and ADD, plus digestion, asthma and more. Besides, I just don’t feel good creating food with something so artificial.

Luckily, there are natural food colorings that work really well! The colors are more delicate, but they are made from things like tumeric, burnt sugar and plant chlorophyll… how cool is that! I wanted to pass on a few sites that I found and used. If you guys have any luck with anything, let me know. I’m eagar to learn more about how plants can color our cupcake world.

Food Coloring:

Seelectea Food Coloring – I tried their Annatto Orange and Forest Green. Both worked great. I also got the droppers, which I found to be kinda useless.

India Tree Decorating Colors – I haven’t tried these yet, but don’t they look pretty!

Keep in mind that conventional toppings have tons of artificial coloring in them as well!

Sprinkles, Jimmy’s and other Decorations:

India Tree Decorative Toppings – I ordered two different types of Orange Sprinkles from this company, and they were beautiful.

Natural Candy Store – This candy store is quite a find! All-Natural, plus they offer candy varieties for all sorts of diet needs. I tried their chocolate jimmys (called Chocolatey Sprinkletz), and they looked really cute on top of my annatto orange colored frosting. The site offers tons of more natural options for Halloween goodies, too. Maybe too late for this Saturday, but keep it up your Halloween sleeve for next year.

Now, let’s be frank… everything listed above will still aggravate ADD tendencies due to loads of white sugar, but at least the added chemical crack is avoided. And for the times when I’ll be baking a sweet regardless, I like knowing this is a step in the right direction. Plus, the food coloring can be used to color popsicles, homemade play-do, fun drinks and more. Happy Halloween!

xo – Organic Spark


  • My Farmhouse Kitchen

    Hi Molly ! Love the cupcakes..LOVE your Farm to Fork series….gonna check out more of that right now..

    Your blog looks right up my alley….

    And BTW…I checked out your husbands looks AMAZING..I AM GOING TO GO SEE IT !

    Can't wait to visit more of your blog….

    more later,

    November 1, 2009
  • My Farmhouse Kitchen

    yikes…Farm to Table….( Farm to Fork ?..what a loser..well, last night was Halloween)


    November 1, 2009
  • Molly Chester

    Hi there Kary! Thanks so much for stopping by! I loved that you called it Farm to Fork. So cute. And I shared with my husband your comment, which was appreciated!

    And Delphyne – I'm sorry your comment got deleted! I had to repost this blog entry, and your comment got lost in the process! Please come back and post anytime!

    Happy day to you both…


    November 1, 2009
  • thelittlegiggle

    Molly ~both my girls are allergic to Red Dye #40 and we have a terrible time when it comes to decorating fairy cakes and cookies.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for those sites -we'll cross our fingers for the miracle of natural food coloring!


    November 5, 2009
  • Jen Wittman

    These links are a great resource! Thanks so much…this will be helpful with all of the upcoming holiday baking. Great job!

    November 5, 2009
  • petrenkov

    It is rather interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Truly yours
    Darek Wish

    February 8, 2010
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  • Liz

    As Halloween approaches again, I have to ask how the baking project with our orange sparkling sugar turned out and whether you tried our Nature's Colors Marigold Orange sugar, too. (Your link goes to the sparkling so I'm not sure what the second product was.) If you have pictures, do please post. I'd love to see them. Thanks for baking and for blogging about it!

    — India Tree

    September 26, 2010

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