52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for each week of the year

By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator”

CAN DO TIP Week #25: Pick a theme to transform your being! Pt.2

“Breakfast cereals that come in the same colors as polyester leisure suits make oversleeping a virtue”—Fran Lebowitz, Journalist

Each year in June we celebrate our annual Women’s Day at my church. With each celebration comes the request that we women bake our most special treats to share –pineapple coconut, sweet potato, chocolate, red velvet, green forest cake, you name it. I admit, my mouth began to water until I thought about an article I began 2 weeks ago on the subject of food dyes present in many foods on the market and share some natural alternatives that can be used specifically in baking, plus highlight some companies that have reduced or eliminated food dye based on consumer demand.

Despite claims by the FDA of no links between food dyes and behavior disorders like hyperactivity and ADD; advocacy organizations like Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have published research that states otherwise and food companies appear to be listening:

As of 2016, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese will use paprika, annatto and turmeric for colors instead of yellow #5 and #6 linked to “several cancer-causing chemicals” and “hyperactivity and behavioral problems” according to a recent 56-page report, Seeing Red by CSPI.

Nestle Foods will remove artificial flavors and colors like Red #40 and Yellow #5, from all of its chocolate candy products. Mars Inc, makers of dozens of candy products including Skittles and M&M’s plans to do the same over the next 5 years.

By 2017, the sandwich chain Subway will begin using banana peppers colored with turmeric instead of Yellow No. #5 and turkey preserved with vinegar rather than propionic acid.

Color me healthy –Color me delicious!

Green Cupcakes

Dozens of online sources provide detailed information on how to bake your favorite dessert treats using the colors found in Mother Nature and not from a chemical lab.

Care2.com has excellent article along with links providing step by step directions on using the juice and pulp of vegetables, fruits and even spices like saffron and turmeric (a substitute for Yellow #5 and #6) to color your culinary creations. For instance, beet juice for red velvet cake –boiled, juiced or straight from the can is your best bet. Spinach juice, Macha powder (green tea powder) or a few drops of liquid chlorophyll will work wonders for green forest cake or yummy kale cupcakes with coconut icing.  Purple and blues are made with the liquid from boiled red cabbage. The cabbage water will be purple, but add a pinch at a time of baking soda to get the desired blue hue you’re looking for! Organic grape juice concentrate is another alternative. Best of all, many of these natural sources actually have very little to no taste in your recipe, so you won’t significantly alter the flavor of your baked creation. Above all, experiment! It can’t hurt –but food dye can.

Article Sources: Lefferts, Y. L., http://cspinet.org/reports/seeing-red-report.pdf), Rebhal. S, http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-ways-to-make-organic-diy-food-coloring.html#ixzz4ALS0LpV2

Monifa Maat is a Community Health Advocate, Certified Fitness Expert and Author of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow®, a faith-based, therapeutic bed exercise and mobility system. To reach Monifa Maat– Email: Monifa@TheHealthyMotivator.com. Visit www.TheHealthyMotivator.com.

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