Natural Rainbow Rice

TEXT by Celine MacKay | PHOTOGRAPHS by Celine MacKay


IF YOU READ PURE GREEN REGULARLY, YOU KNOW THAT I HAVE A LITTLE GIRL, CHARLIE. She's now over a year old, and mastering walking, learning to talk, and so much more. She is pure magic. Becoming her mother has reaffirmed for me why living this lifestyle is so important, and I've found I've redoubled my efforts and am always searching for creative ways to enrich her life but in a healthy, nontoxic manner. A little while ago I brought home a set of organic paint made with fruit, vegetables and herbs. It comes dry, you add a little water and paint away. The effect you get depends on how much water you add... the first time I added quite a lot to get a watercolour effect. Charlie is still a little too young to paint, or at least she didn't show much interest at the time, so I started to dream up other uses for it. One thing she does love, however, is playing with different shapes and textures. Rice and beans are perfect. She practices picking up individual grains, filling up and emptying varying containers, running it through her fingers, and generally making a mess. I had seen projects for dying rice with food colouring to make this a bit more interesting however using traditional food dye didn't appeal to me all that much. I immediately thought of my vegetable paints and after trying it out, the project worked beautifully, creating the most lovely pastel shades.


To acheive this effect, use one cup of rice per colour, plus one left natural. Mix 1 tsp. of dry paint pigment (we used Glob) with 2 tsp. of water. Add the rice to a ziplock bag, add paint, and massage until evenly mixed (rinse your bag between colours and reuse it). To dry the rice, spread on a baking sheet in a thin layer and either allow to air dry (about an hour) or place in a warm oven (set around 200°F) for a few minutes, stiring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Repeat process for each colour. Charlie really loved the effect, and still plays with it often (or as often as I feel like cleaning up the mess)!