Kitchen Science: Cabbage Juice Chemistry

high school biology students doing a lab

Using Cabbage Juice as an indicator solution for a pH lab with my High School Biology Students

After teaching cooking classes to children for 8 years, I didn’t realize that I’d ever head back to the traditional classroom to teach biology again.  But I have good news on many fronts:

  1. I love it.  Even more than I thought I would.
  2. All of my recent experience setting up cooking classes for children has made it much much much easier to set up labs for my biology students.
  3. And finally, it is awesome to see how many labs I can do with my students that connect to food.
Prepping for a lab is just like prepping for a recipe: My front table in class

Prepping for a lab is just like prepping for a recipe: My front table in class

Take our recent experiment about pH, for example.  Did you know that cabbage juice is an amazing indicator of whether or not a substance is an acid or base?  All you have to do is boil some red cabbage leaves and strain off the purple juice.  Use that as your test solution and add some lemon juice. Magic will happen.  Trust me.  I dare you to bring your kids into the kitchen and see what inspires them 🙂

From left to right: cabbage juice + base; cabbage juice plain; cabbage juice + lemon juice

Take a peek at some of my other food-science activities with students:

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4 Responses to Kitchen Science: Cabbage Juice Chemistry

  1. So glad to hear you are enjoying teaching… Looks to me like your students are enjoying it, too!!

  2. Kelly says:

    Love this! I’m going to show Alex and Soph…I know they’ll want to try it for sure. We love Kitchen Chemistry, thanks for sharing!

    • Michelle Stern says:

      Please report back and maybe post some photos to our Facebook page if you try this at home 🙂 (www.facebook.com/whatscookingkids)
      xoxox

  3. joan says:

    I thought acid-base indicators about 2 months ago to my class and they loved the simple experiments we did. I read about the red cabbage but we do not have it in our part of the country.

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