This was CDC's version of the rainbow bento. He got some pork bites and chicken veggie dumplings as well. I tried a different configuration, but neither bentos really came out as I envisioned them. Arranging them was very difficult.
To make the fresh veggie juice dyes first I finely grated or chopped the veggies (I mostly used the fine side of my cheese grater). For each color I used about 1/4 cup of grated veggie. I put that in the center of a piece of cheese cloth (about 6" X 6") and gathered the edges. Then I started twisting the excess cheese cloth until it started squeezing the veggies. Holding it over a small bowl I kept twisting and squeezing the juice out of the veggies as much as possible. Depending on the veggie I would get about a tablespoon of juice.
Red : Beet juice with a drop of vinegar (helped brighten the color and make it more red than pink)
Yellow: golden beet
Blue: Purple cabbage with a little baking soda (makes it turn from purple to blue) I got the idea from my son's science kit. It has some red cabbage powder that you can get to change color by either adding baking soda or vinegar.
Purple: Purple cabbage
I then added a few drops of each color to small amounts of rice and mixed them well before putting in the cube shaper. Some colors were not very bright so I decided to add a little of the grated veggies to help brighten them up. I did this with the carrots and golden beets. The golden beets still did not have enough color so this was the only one I added a drop of regular food coloring to. Next time I will try tumeric for yellow, I didn't have any this time so I was getting creative with the golden beets and it didn't work out.
So that's it . My experiment went well I think. Blue was the hardest to figure out. I've read that blue is a taboo color in bentoing. I'm not sure why, but maybe because there are very few natural foods that are blue. We haven't eaten these yet so I don't know how they will taste. They could be horrible with all the different flavors or maybe they are very nice subtle flavors? I'll let you know in a later post.