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Artificial Dyes in Vegetables?



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ALGEBRAGIRL
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12/15/13 11:29 A

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I use the skin of onions (after peeling them) to be one of the ingredients in vegetable stock I make from leftover veggies. I start with the onion skins - by themselves, they turn the stock dark yellow (actually, I use so many, the water is almost brown, but clear).

When I googled it, I found out that red onions are even better. For dying cloth!
http://www.folkfibers.com/blogs/news/6579481-natural-dyes-red-onion-skins

What I had forgotten is how many vegetables there are that you can use to color Easter eggs! Duh!



AZULVIOLETA6
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12/14/13 9:38 P

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It's amazing what heat can do to color. I found some lobster mushrooms last fall, which are orange. I boiled them down for stock in some water (I've never tried that before) and they turned the most gorgeous oxblood red. Apparently they are used to dye wool and fabric too.

I'm just glad that I was cooking for someone who already knows that I am a good cook! This would have been really embarrassing with a larger crowd or if I had been cooking for strangers. I take pride in making healthy food that is also really beautiful and nicely plated, so this was a big anomaly for me.

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ANARIE
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12/13/13 8:27 P



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It's not a bug, it's a feature! That blue color from purple cabbage is what they once used to dye cloth before indigo was available, and it makes a BEAUTIFUL Easter egg dye. When I was little, there was a year when we were stranded by a flood a few days before Easter. My mom was able to get eggs from a neighbor, and used cabbage to dye them. They were robin-egg blue/green outside, but the color seeped through the shell and dyed the whites to a brilliant Smurf blue.

Anyway, perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. The difference was probably due to a difference in the acidity of the sauce. I can't remember whether acid keeps it purple or turns it blue, but it does have an effect.



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ALGEBRAGIRL
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12/13/13 4:20 P

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I'm going to suggest something entirely different. Which is, that the organic cabbage you grew in your garden is not the same cabbage you buy in the supermarket. I usually grab the familiar sounding name on the seed packet when I buy corn and lo and behold, I get corn that tastes like what I buy in the supermarket. But if I buy corn (same color, yellow) with a different name - and it IS different - people say, 'Wow, this corn tastes so much better coming from your garden...'

I'm not trying to downplay the great taste benefits of a vegetable from a garden (we would pick it and cook a vegetable within minutes, so we tried to get 'ultra fresh'). Just saying that there are so many seeds (check out a seed catalog to appreciate that fully) that the vegetable may take longer to cook, taste differently and who knows what else ... when it's grown from seed you buy.



RENATARUNS
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12/13/13 4:04 P

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Yes, look at the link. When it starts to bleed, it can and does color everything else in the pot. They suggest cooking the cabbage separately because of it.

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AZULVIOLETA6
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12/13/13 1:17 P

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Well, it makes sense that the cabbage itself would turn from purple to blue with heat...but in this case it dyed the shrimp blue. The edamame, red peppers, onions, etc.--all Smurf-toned. Very, very brightly blue.

I guess I did make a new batch of sauce for the second stir-fry...it just had fresh garlic, fresh ginger, Sriracha and soy sauce...oh! I did add a bit of sesame oil, that was different.

Now I am going to have to put lemon juice and garlic together to see if it turns aqua! It seems like I use them together a lot (ceviches, especially) and that has never happened to me before.

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Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

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RENATARUNS
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12/13/13 9:09 A

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What sunshine said (or something similar; I don't know the exact chemistry). All those purplish tinges in vegetables are very susceptible to change from heat, acid, probably other things. Cabbage turns blue, purple bell peppers and "green" beans turn green, etc.

http://www.ehow.com/info_12321102_purple-cabbage-turn-blue-after-being-cooked.html

Most likely there was a slight difference in your preparations. Conceivably your cabbage was fresher than the store-bought and that affected the stability of the color. But there's nothing wrong with it either way.

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SONOFCZAR
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12/13/13 8:17 A

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That's pretty strange. I've never heard of that before, and have to admit, it would kind of freak me out too.



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SUNSHINE6442
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12/13/13 6:16 A

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There is natural acid in the leaves of the cabbage...when boiling some of the acid escapes so depending how long you cook the cabbage the leaves may turn bluish....also if you have hard water it may turn blue....there is nothing wrong with the cabbage.



ZORBS13
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12/13/13 5:19 A

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I am not so good in chemistry, but it is simply the cooking process that turns purple cabbage blue.

There's another chemical process (garlic & lemon) that turns garlic a bright teal. Imagine my surprise when making the popular garlic tilapia on sparkrecipes once upon a time!

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AZULVIOLETA6
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12/13/13 4:31 A

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OK, this is an odd question, but I am just curious if anybody has any information about this.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a shrimp and veggie stir fry for myself. I used organic purple cabbage from my own garden and a homemade sauce. It turned out well.

Last week I made the same dish as part of a nice dinner for my boyfriend. I used the same pan (cast iron) and the exact same ingredients with the same measurements. The only difference was that I ran out of my own cabbage and had to buy some from the store. This dish turned BLUE. Absolutely, frankly blue. It tasted great and we ate it...but now I am a bit hesitant to use the rest of that particular cabbage...especially if I am cooking for others!

Obviously cabbage contains some degree of natural color/dye...but could there be added/artificial dyes in purple cabbage?

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


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