Lettuce discuss… Natural Food Coloring!


First I think its important to know why we should avoid man made fabricated food coloring.

The first thing to note is that Shellac or Food Glaze comes from the back end of a beetle like bug. The female bug eats sap from a tree and then poops it out to form tubes so that they can get from branch to branch. This is then scraped from the tree and processed with alcohol that turns it into liquid Shellac (this is also used in French polish to give the shine to furniture and wooden flooring…Yum!!). The same process is also used in Sprinkles (hard candy-like topping for desserts).

Confections containing Shellac (also known as Confectioners Glaze, Resinous Glaze)

  • Hershey’s Whopper’s Malted Milk Balls™
• Hershey’s Milk Duds™
• Nestle’s Raisinettes™
• Nestle’s Goober’s™
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Junior Mints™ (NOT Tootsie Rolls)
• Tootsie Roll Industry’s Sugar Babies™
• Jelly Belly™ jelly beans, mint crèmes
• Godiva’s™ Dark Chocolate Almond Bar; Dark Chocolate Cherries; Milk Chocolate Cashews; White Chocolate Pearls; Milk Chocolate Pearls
• Gertrude Hawk’s™ chocolate-covered nuts and raisins; cupcake sprinkles; decorative cake pieces.

Russell Stover’s™ jelly beans; NOT in their chocolate-covered cherries or mint patties.

In Skittles™ and Starburst™ this is no shellac, but they do contain gelatin (an animal-derived ingredient)

Secondly we will look at artificial food coloring.

This information comes from the link below, we have summarized but it is worth reading just click on the link.

Colors To Die For: The Dangerous Impact of Food Coloring

The Dangerous Impact of Food Coloring

Americans are now eating 5 times more food dye than in 1955.

Many parents have observed their child’s behavior improve drastically when taken off food dyes, especially Red #40. Because of this widespread anecdotal evidence, the editors at Special Education Degree decided to do an investigative report on the negative effects of food dye’s in human beings.

 The hidden dangers of food coloring dyes:

Blue #1 Brilliant Blue

Known Dangers: Caused kidney tumors in mice, 
May induce an allergic reaction in individuals with pre-existing asthma

Commonly found in: baked goods, beverages, candies, cereal

Blue #2 Indigo Carmine

Known Dangers: Causes significant occurrence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, dog food

Citrus Red #2

Known Dangers: Toxic to rats and mice at modest levels.
 Bladder and other tumors found in mice
 labeled “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the IARC

Commonly found in: skin of Florida oranges

Green #3 Fast Green

Known Dangers: As a food dye it is prohibited in the EU and some other countries
 caused significant increases in bladder tumors in male rats

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, ice cream, cosmetics

Red #40 Allura Red

Known Dangers: Accelerates the appearance of immune system tumors in mice
 suspected trigger of hyperactivity in children 
causes allergy-like reactions in some people

Commonly found in: beverages, candies, cereal, cosmetics

Red #3 Erythrosine

Known Dangers: Suspected trigger of hyperactivity in children
 Thyroid carcinogen in animals. This coloring was
 issued a partial ban by the FDA in 1990.

Commonly found in: baked goods, candies, sausage, maraschino cherries

Yellow #5 Tartrazine

Known Dangers: Can cause allergy-like reactions. 
May cause mild to severe hypersensitiviy reactions.

Commonly found in: baked goods, candies, cereal, beverages

Yellow #6 Sunset Yellow

Known Dangers: May cause hyperactivity in some children. 
Causes adrenal tumors in animals

Commonly found in: baked goods, sausage, cereal, cosmetics

How to make natural food colorings

Natural Food Coloring, (don’t forget we have the primary colors Red, Green and Blue. Mixing these colors by experimenting will give us many colors)

Yellow – Saffron and or turmeric. (use sparingly as these can be powerful tasting spices)

Orange – you may be tempted to use an orange but this wont work it will separate the frosting because of the acid nature.

Use fresh carrot juice instead. This shouldn’t inhibit the flavor as carrot juice is sweet anyway.

Red and Pink – you can juice Beets for this as they give amazing depth of color. For a lighter color you can use strawberries or raspberries. Just drain the juice and the seeds be careful not to over saturate the frosting.

Green – you can juice fresh spinach for this as it is quite tasteless but gives a good strong color. If you haven’t got a juicer you can use liquid chlorophyll you can get this from most health food stores.

Purple – you can boil a red cabbage until it turns to a dark red broth and use the juice from this as it will make the frosting purple: You can also use hibiscus flower powder just add sparingly until you get the desired result.

Blue – for this you need to do as above but strain the cabbage and reduce the liquid by heating even more until it becomes thicker. When it becomes thick add baking soda only a pinch at a time until the water turns blue. It will appear to be a very dark blue however when added to the frosting it will be a pastel blue.

Brown – for this you can use pure espresso, cocoa powder, or even instant coffee granules (if there is no alternative)

Happy Baking this Holiday Season!

Many blessings

Mako & Hema

Lettuce Discuss… Cookies, Vegan, Gluten free and Soy Free


When you are looking for something a little sweet and healthy to eat, try our cookies. They are quick and simple to make and fill that craving for sweetness. They wont bloat you as they are gluten free.

 Serves: Approximately 12 to 18 (depending on how you like them Plump or Thin)


2 cups – Vegan gluten free blended plain flour (We use Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour)

2 teaspoons – Baking powder

1/2 teaspoon – Salt

2 teaspoons – Vegan Cocoa Powder

1 ½ teaspoon – Cinnamon (optional)

1 cup – Raw sugar

1/2 cup – Vegan margarine or Vegetable oil (depending on your preference)

1 teaspoon – Vanilla extract

1/2 cup – Almond milk, or water (depending on your preference)


¾ cup – Vegan chocolate chips or slightly crushed nuts.

Baking time: 10-15 minutes; will vary depending on your oven. My oven takes 12 minutes to bake these cookies.

-lightly grease the baking sheet. There is enough oil in the batter so don’t over do it.

-Ingredients work better at room temperature for mixing, it makes the margarine easier to work with.

1)       Mix the Dry ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4.

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl.

2 cups – Vegan gluten free blended plain flour

2 teaspoons – Baking powder

1/2 teaspoon – Salt

2 teaspoon – Cocoa

1 teaspoon – Cinnamon

Note :if you are making chocolate chip or nut cookies add them to the dry mix.

Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and set the bowl aside

(the hole is for you to put in the wet ingredients. It makes it a bit easier).

2)       Mix the following in a medium bowl.

1 cup – Raw sugar

1/2 cup – Vegan margarine or Vegetable oil (depending on your preference))

1 teaspoon – Vanilla extract

1/2 cup – Almond milk, or water (depending on your preference)

3)       Pour the wet ingredients into the hole in the dry ingredient’s bowl.

Mix all ingredients, but don’t overwork the mixture.

4)       Measure out the cookies

Using a teaspoon take a heaped measure of the mixture and put it on a baking tray, platen it out with the back of the spoon to your preferred thickness. (we like them thin so we can dip them in our coffee) you may want to sprinkle some flour on the top of the cookie so the spoon doesn’t stick to it while flattening it out.

5)         Put cookie sheets in the oven.

After baking for 5 minutes, rotate the baking sheets 180 degrees so that they cook evenly.

Let them bake for another 5 minutes.

If they look done, take them out.

If they do not look done, check the cookies every 3 minutes. When they look good, take them out.

Cooking times vary due to ingredients, and individual ovens. Not all ovens cook at the same temperature.

When the cookies are a little soft they are done. They will harden considerably more when they cool down.

When the cookies are ready, take out the baking sheets, using your oven mitts.

With a spatula transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. If you don’t have a cooling rack you can place them on a wooden cutting board.

If they start to crumble while transferring them let them cool a little maybe 2 or 3 minutes longer and then transfer them.

6)       When they are cool… eat and enjoy!

If you make them thicker they will be more cake like.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Many Blessings

Mako and Hema