"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Homemade Food Coloring - Healthy and Toxin Free

I really thought it would be fun to dye our popcorn balls Christmas colors but did not want to use food coloring. I found this great site: http://hubpages.com/hub/make-food-coloring that had recipes for homemade/healthy food coloring. I thought this may be helpful with all of the holiday baking coming up. I only posted one example, but check out the site for a bunch of other colors. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"What would the world be like if everything was black and white? Gloomy. Insipid. Lifeless. Probably so. Colors do affect our moods as well as increase our appetite. Look at little children, for example. They tend to enjoy colorful Trix cereal more than boring shredded wheat, and get more excited to taste a bright rainbow cake rather than a simple coconut pie. In fact, adults are like that, too. Imagine two dishes sitting in front of you: one is a salad filled with colorful slices of carrot, apple and lettuce whereas the other is a bowl of dull-green Greek horta. Both are nutritious and tasty, but most of us will probably go with the salad. Why? It looks more appetizing.

An appetizing appearance, however, sometimes comes with a price. One little drop of artificial food coloring can make your plain vanilla icing turn hot pink in a minute, yet it might be ruining your health at the same time. Don't just assume that you're safe because you don't eat multi-color baked goods or candy very often. Synthetic food coloring can also be found in other types of food including sausages, fruit cocktails and even salmon. First, let's take a look at possible dangers of artificial food coloring, reported in recent research studies. And then let's see how we can make our own homemade food coloring and use basic natural ingredients in the kitchen to color our foods.

Beautiful Poisons - Food Dyes to Avoid

Allura Red AC or Red 17
Asthma, Rhinitis, Cancer, ADHD in children
Snacks, Sauces, Candies and Soft Drinks
Brilliant Blue or Blue 1
Cancer, Tumors and ADHD in Children
Gelatins, Beverages, Icings, Syrups and Candies
Erythrosine or Red 3
Thyroid Tumors and Chromosomal Damage
Baked goods, Candies, Popsicles and Condiments
Fast Green or Green 3
Allergies, Tumors and Mutagenic Effects
Baked Goods, Gelatins, Sauces, Icings, Vegetables
Orange B
Allergies, Kidney Damage and ADHD in Children
Sausages and Hot Dogs
Sunset Yellow or Yellow 6
Adrenal Gland and Kidney Tumors
Baked Goods, Sausages, Gelatins
TarTrazine or Yellow 5
Asthmatic Attacks, Migraines, ADHD in Children, Blurred Vision and Anxiety
Snacks, Cereals, Jams, Instant Noodles, Cake Mixes and Candies

Here is one of the several examples she posted:

Make Purple Food Coloring from Red Cabbage

To make purple food coloring, all you need is one half of a big red-cabbage head. First, chop cabbage into big chunks and put them into a pot of boiling water. The amount of water should be just enough to cover the cabbage. After about an hour, the cabbage should lose its color while the water should turn dark purple. Remove from heat and let cool. Once it is completely cool, discard the cabbage (I saved mine to put in soup or stew). To illustrate the effectiveness of this homemade purple colorant, I used it to make purple steamed rice, by simply replacing water with this natural food dye and then letting the rice cooker do the rest of the job. My steamed rice came out gorgeously purple and didn't smell too much like boiled cabbage. I named it "Riso Purpuraceous."

My "Riso Purpuraceous"

Red Cabbage and Its Cancer-Fighting Nutrients

Anthocyanins or cancer-fighting compounds, which give blue and purple fruits their antioxidant power, are also found abundantly in red cabbage. According to recent research by scientists at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), red cabbage contains 36 types of anthocyanins that can help prevent cancer, improve cardiovascular health and promote brain function. One cup of boiled red cabbage delivers approximately 4,700 ORAC units (oxygen radical absorbency capacity, the measure of antioxidant power), which is about 50% higher than the minimum amount of antioxidants recommended per day.

In addition, red cabbage is also rich in indole-3-carbinole (I3C), a type of phytochemical that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is thus a vegetable women should adopt into their regular diets. Other cancer-fighting nutrients in red cabbage include vitamin A, vitamin C and glucosinolates, which together help battle free radicals and stimulate the body's own natural detoxification enzymes. No wonder many detox recipes use red cabbage as one of the main ingredients."

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