Looking for vegan food coloring source

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by mbcakes, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. mbcakes

    mbcakes

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    Hi, I'm new to the board. I make regular and vegan cakes and I'm trying to find a source
    for vegan food coloring and foodgrade vegetable dyes. I've considered using powdered
    beet juice, annato, tumeric but as I'm using this to tint icing I don't want to use anything
    that would leave a strong flavor. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    If you just need vegan food coloring, most brands out there don't contain any animal ingredients. The only one you have to watch out for is "carmine" which is bright red, but is also found in pinks, purples, and even blues (I've seen this mostly in powdered colors). There's a brand of natural food colorings that Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Martket uses in their bakeries. Even when I worked there, I couldn't find out if these contained carmine or not. There are no labels on the bottles and no indication of a company name. They were just ordered from a large vendor. Williams-Sonoma carries some natural food colorings (which I'm pretty sure the red has carmine).

    Anyhow, back in the day at Fresh Fields, before we found the natural colors, we made our own dye with some of the very things you mentioned.

    Tumeric = yellow
    Paprika = peach
    Beet juice = pink
    Liquid mint flavored spirulina = green
    Blueberries = pale blue
    Blackberries = lavender
    Cocoa powder = brown

    You can also use raspberries for pink. For the berries, we boiled them in the microwave and strained the juice through a coffee strainer. You should freeze the unused juice as it goes bad in the fridge rather quickly.

    Except the brown, you can't get vibrant colors at all. They come out very subtle shades of pastels. The tumeric and paprika don't altar the flavor b/c such minute amounts were used. I think paprika is better than annato. I just bought a pack of annato seeds and ground them into a powder (which not all of them would turn to dust- had lots of clumps). Let me just say that that stuff SMELLS! It's horrible! I didn't even want to bother putting it in icing. Too darn stinky!

    Have you seen any good prices for beet juice powder. One web site was selling it for $22 for 1/2 pound. I'm sure there must be something cheaper out there.
     
  3. mbcakes

    mbcakes

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    libertynatural.com for beet powder. Thanks for the info on the coloring. Wendy DeBord
    recommended I check out this site. She just emailed me, telling me to contact you about
    vegan ingredients and here you are answering my post! Do you two have some psychic
    connection? :)
     
  4. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    Hi, nice to meet you *shakes hands*.

    I checked out that website. Are the paprika "colorants" and all that stuff actually different than straight up paprika? If they don't do anything special or they are indeed the exact same thing, you can get bulk paprika and tumeric for practically nothing. I forget how much I pay for paprika, but I pay $1.99 for a 7 oz. package of tumeric at Indian grocery stores. In fact, I buy most of my herbs and spices there b/c there's so darn cheap.
     
  5. w.debord

    w.debord

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    I wouldn't be shocked if Lotuscakestudio was psychic, all her natural foods make her in tune with the world...?

    Just look under her name.......I've never ever seen anyone who knew as much about vegan as her.

    Hope you don't take this off line, I do enjoy reading and trying to follow.
     
  6. lotuscakestudio

    lotuscakestudio

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    ^LOL!

    The funny thing is that I'm not even vegan. I offer both dairy (but no eggs) and vegan versions of my cakes, but the vegan clients just assume I am vegan; they'll make comments about how inferior those dairy drinkers are, and I'm like, "Uh, one of those dairy drinkers is making your wedding cake! Nyah!" I tried veganism 10 years ago and only lasted 6 months. I just have no desire to follow their diet. I'm lacto-veg; I take dairy, just not eggs... almost 11 years now. So perhaps 11 years of vegetarianism paired with women's intuation and the added ability to mimic Miss Cleo's voice makes me psychic. (I can also play the double bass drum part of Metallica's song, "One" on my stomach! Me have MUCHO talent!)



    Quick question for Wendy... (off topic, but it just popped into my head) you mentioned before that you recently finished a sanitation class. To make sanitizer, how much bleach is it to one gallon of water? I use a commercial sanitizer, but it's way cheaper to just use bleach and water and it's less chemicals going down the drain.
     
  7. thebighat

    thebighat

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    The vegan colorings used by Whole Foods referenced above are from The Plant Colors Group, 86 Hopkins Pl., Longmeadow, MA 01106 413-565-2260 email [email protected]