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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Recap of previous Easter Posts....

With Easter approaching I thought I would do a recap of previous posts that I did pertaining to the holiday. I am reposting them all here. They are: Are Food Colorings vegan, Easter Candy, My first Easter as a Vegan, and It's Cookie time..

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are food colorings vegan?

I used yellow food coloring today and remembered that I have seen natural coloring , pretty expensive in an organic store. So I wondered is food coloring vegan? Then I thought this post would be a good one at this time because Easter is around the corner. Yes, I do not eat eggs so I do not color them anymore. But I have used food coloring in cookies. So, in case you use it in some way for Easter besides eggs I thought let me read up on this. So I did some research online and this is what I found. Some answers by some people stated that some red food coloring is made from beetles but that the other food colorings are ok. I read that yellow number 5 and 6 are vegetarian.. (yahoo) In regard to the red dye when reading another site it also stated that not all red dyes are made from bugs. It stated it would be labeled cochineal, carmine, or carminic if made from the cochineal beetle. FD and C and red number 40 are 99% coal derivatives. (Vegetarian resource group). The latter site also talks about a food guide you can order to help decipher food ingredients. Click on the link number two below in sources. As I was doing further research I began to see why a person would choose to buy natural food coloring. It seems to have to do with additives that are in some of them such as coal tar deritatives ( Spices such as turmeric, saffron, and papikra are also used for some food colorings. Some natural dyes are made of caramelized sugar, beet juice, the seed of the achiote shrub, and algae. has a table that shows you where various sources for food coloring come from. An article from the FDA has a table of the various color additives and additives which are certifiable by the FDA. These regulations have to do with the purity and safety of the substance used in the dye. Link number 7 in my list of sources is a short video telling you some of the things I mentioned about natural food coloring and that red may sometimes come from insects. Another source talks about how some people may be concerned with the health risks of certain products used, such as the color derived from coal tar. That source is number 8 on my link list. You can then read about the product that was mentioned in the latter article, FD & C yellow number 5 in the link below from the FDA which talks about that issue. I am not making any claims that I have knowledge that specific additives cause health problems in this post. I have not done the research to support or negate the comment. I just wanted to write about the various possibilities that may impact a persons decision one way or the other. I guess what it boils down to is personal preference. There was only one site I found that had a table showing that yellow may have a source of eggs, or organic meat. But I did not see that anywhere else. There is agreeement that some red comes from insects. That is very good to know so I can look at a label and make sure it does not have the words carmine, cohineal, or carminic in it indicating it came from an insect. The majority I saw was from either the natural spices or coal tar. So it appears that most of these items are vegan/ vegetarian. If one is concerned with safety of the additives that are not from natural sources such as the coal tar then maybe you may want to make sure it is all natural, for example from a spice or plant. Thank you for coming to my blog. Please come back again soon. Gnewvegan

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Easter Candy

With the holiday approaching I wanted to post these online stores again. Just because you are vegan does not mean you can not enjoy that Easter Bunny. The first link brings you to Easter candy. You can look through the others for their chocolate or candies. I do not remember which site I ordered from last year but the candy and chocolates I purchased were well received even by non-vegans. I also had made Easter cookies last year which I plan to do again. I used a sugar cookie recipe that I veganized by just using vegan ingredients and bought Easter cookie cutters. In my archives there are two posts, 12/17/08, and 3/26/08 where I talk about cookie making and my first Easter as a Vegan.. Hope these websites and my posts are of some help.

Online vegan stores

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My First Easter As A Vegan

As with my first Thanksgiving and Christmas Easter was no exception to a nice holiday. I went to a friends house for dinner and she is really great. I have known her for many years and she is like family. She so kindly told me to bring my soy milk and margarine and she would put mashed potatoes aside so I can make it my way. She liked them too when she tasted it :) I used some vegan margarine in a dish of pasta.. The sauce had meat in it so a dish was taken out for me pre the sauce added. The veggies her and her husband made were delicious and they purposely did not put anything in them I could not eat. She also made a very nice salad and put oil and vinegar on the table because the other dressings had ingredients I could not have. I made the orzo I posted in the “Thanksgiving post” and sugar cookies. I never made sugar cookies for Easter but I saw these really cute Easter cookie cutters so I decided to make cookies. I did it just like Christmas as I wrote on my post “It’s Cookie Time”. I just substituted vegan ingredients and everyone enjoyed the cookies.. As always I had my vegan sugar with me and this time I had the soy milk for my coffee. At the end of the day I was full and had a very nice Easter dinner.. It is not impossible to have a holiday dinner when you are the only vegan. It has worked out well and it always is made easier when you have wonderful friends that do what my friend's did when cooking.. I am touched at the caring and find it really wonderful when people are interested in learning about my veganism. I will be posting one of my pasta recipes in a few days.. Come back soon and maybe try it out. Thank you for coming to blog. Please come back again soon.


Monday, November 12, 2007

It is cookie time :)

I was not going to talk about sugar so soon in the blog but being that the cookie season is approaching I thought it would be a good idea. Recently I learned that sugar is not vegan. I did research and here is a website I found about this topic. It also lists brands of sugar that are non-vegan and vegan. I thought the information may be of interest especially around the holidays when sugar cookies are popular. And do not worry about finding the sugar because it is out there. I found it at an organic whole food store and the local supermarket.

When I looked into colored vegan sugar I did not find that. But I did find vegan sprinkles that one uses on ice cream on one of the web sites I listed in my previous blog for vegan groceries. I thought to myself you could probably make your own colored sugar with vegan sugar and food coloring. Well I researched it and others had the same idea. This website has a recipe for making your own colored sugar.

I also noticed that some other recipes use cinnamon plus sugar for coating. Here are some web sites I found with sugar cookie recipes that seem worth trying.

( this person uses applesauce instead of margarine. I saw someone mention that on a website. Thought I would plug it in here for more options) If you have your own sugar cookie recipe you use either from a book or your family recipe, read through the ingredients and see what really needs to be substituted. I compared a recipe I use from a cook book to the ones in the web sites I mentioned above and it was very similar. I would only need to replace sugar with vegan sugar, the egg with an egg replacer ( see note following this paragraph), and the sour cream with tofutti’s sour supreme. I have not tried the latter product yet so I can not comment. In one of the above recipes someone uses tofutti cream cheese. And if you are not really comfortable changing things around yet then try one of the above recipes. I suggest doing a trial run before the holiday. Cut the recipe in half and then in half again if you want (depending on the yield of the original recipe) and give it a test try. You do not even have to decorate if you do not want for the trial run, just make the cookie and see if you like the dough. And then you will be on your way to a vegan holiday. Note: I bought the Ener- G egg replacer in an organic food store. It is in a box and I think it was in the baking section. You can not make scrambled eggs with it because it is for baking purposes. It is a powder that is mixed with water. I have used it in some recipes which called for egg and it worked fine. I have also seen the other products I have in bold in the organic food store/ whole food store. A note on margarine: Butter is dairy so it is not vegan. According to the PETA handout I talked about in the previous blog most margarines are vegan. In case you want to have an idea of particular brand names I have copied and pasted a paragraph on margarine from a website. The website also talks about other products and replacements.
"Butter is obviously made from milk so it is easiest to switch to margarine, many of which are vegan. Some margarines contain milk derivatives such as whey or E-numbers from an animal source, but most supermarkets stock at least one suitable own brand margarine or look for Pure’s Dairy Free Soya Spread or Dairy Free Sunflower Spread. Health food shops will also stock a selection of vegan margarines including: Granose’s Vegetable margarine; Suma’s Sunflower Spread, Organic Reduced Fat Sunflower Spread, or their Soya Spread; Biona Organic Vegetable Margarine and Organic Olive Extra Margarine – made with olive oil; Vitaquell Extra Dairy Free or Bio Organic margarine. If you like a block of ‘butter-style’ margarine for baking, try Rakusen’s Tomor, available from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and many health food shops"

After I make the cookies I will post how they came out and any tips used to make them that I may use. I always welcome your experiences as well. Happy cookie making. :)

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