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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.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Link to Information on Organic Produce

A Friend of mine posted this link and I thought that it would be great to share. It is about buying organic produce and has an interesting guide to which produce should only be bought organic. Here is the link:

You can download a mini guide in the last paragraph.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Veganized Recipes and Chit Chat

When I first started this blog one of the things I said I will do from time to time is post a veganized recipe. When you first turn vegan it may seem overwhelming not knowing how to eat or products to use. That was one of my goals for this blog was to show people that being vegan can be done and once you learn how it is like second nature. I am still like a kid in a candy store when I am in a store like Whole Foods when I find vegan products. Yesterday I was happy when I found chocolate syrup that was dairy free. I read the ingredients and did not read anything in there that I could not have. So in my basket it went ! And yummy chocolate it was. :) It is by Ah!Laska organic products.. When I was younger (now also) I only drank milk with chocolate or strawberry in it. This way I can have my chocolate soy milk whenever I want. You can also buy chocolate soymilk already made if you like.
Now I will turn this post over to the recipes. The first recipe is about making home made waffles. If you have a waffle maker you can still make waffles even when you become vegan. I looked at a few waffle recipes and the basic ones have pretty much the same ingredients. There is even a waffle recipe on the back of the bisquick box. The one I use I found online somewhere but I did not save the link so I can not post it. But the only changes I had to make was to use soy milk instead of regular milk and enough egg replacer to equal one egg per the box of the brand I use. I use Ener G egg replacer. As you will see from the pictures below they were nice and fluffy. I have a Belgium waffle maker so I am not sure if a regular waffle maker would be smaller in thickness.

The other recipe I am going to talk about is "Italian Pot Pies" by Everyday food. I will post the link to the recipe below. I found this tasty, easy to make and filling. There were only a few changes I had to make. In reference to the ingredients I used veggie protein crumbles by Light life, vegan parmesan cheese, vegan butter by Earth balance, and soy milk. I only made half of the recipe so I had to figure out how much of the crumbles to use. It was easy because thanks to light life they state on the back of the box that "2 cups of the crumbles equal one pound of browned, drained ground beef". When I calculated the serving sizes on the box that one 12 oz box was equal to one pound. So I just used half of it and it worked out well. The only thing I changed in the cooking method was how long to cook the crumbles in the pan. Because it is not beef it does need the specified time to cook. So, I did not time it but when I put the crumbles in the sauce I stirred occasionally for approx. 5 minutes I would say. I was making the topping mixture while I was cooking on the stove. And when It seemed thick and well combined I put the mixture into the ramekins. And ten minutes later I had a tasty pot pie. I loved to cook before I became vegan and love it more now because veganizing a recipe is really fun. It is great to see how you can enjoy tasty vegan food.

Link to pot pies:

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Italian- marinated vegetable salad by Kraft Foods

I am posting the link to a recipe by kraft foods which I have been wanting to try. It is simple and very tasty. I did not add the olives because I do not care for them. I used my own mixture of oil and vinegar and seasonings. And I ate it right way :) When I steam veggies if it is a small amount I use a microwave vegetable steamer. I use it often and used it here for the veggies. Microwave times vary. Usually I steam for 5 minutes for most veggies I want fully cooked. Potatoes are a bit more. Here I steamed it for a little under three minutes. Here is the link and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it..

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