Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

How to Make Beet Powder (natural food colouring)

Well, my experiments with Butterfly Pea Tea have kicked off a whole new obsession: natural food colouring.

I’m sure many of you are skeptical when you read that item on your ingredients list that says “natural food colouring.” I mean, what even is that?? And in the case of some companies (I’m looking at you, Kraft), the ingredients might well be “natural,” but that doesn’t mean they are actually things we want to eat. Beetle shells, anyone?

Beet Powder Natural Food Colouring

Going beyond that, though, if you’re vegan/vegetarian, you may be eating things that are not vegan/vegetarian, and you wouldn’t even know it.

So after playing around with the intense blues and purples of Butterfly Pea Tea, I was curious; what other things could I make natural food colouring out of?

The first thing I thought of was beets. I mean, every time I cook with those bad boys, my kitchen looks like someone’s been murdered there, so it seems like a no-brainer.

The question is, how to harness the power of the beet without permanently staining everything around me?

The answer, my friends, lies in a few simple kitchen tools.

First, I juiced up a couple of beets. This isn’t weird for me, I like to add a little beet juice when I’m juicing because it adds a pretty pink colour. But this time, I wasn’t looking for the juice, I was looking for the pulp.

Juicing the beets leaves you with a nice, even, fairly dry final product, which is perfect for drying.

After juicing the beets, I dehydrated them overnight in my dehydrator (here’s the one I have). If you don’t have one, spread the beet pulp in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and turn your oven on to the lowest setting. I’d bake them like that for maybe a few hours, then turn off the oven and let them sit overnight (if you don’t open the oven, the residual heat lasts quite some time). Don’t forget to stir them occasionally to make sure the drying process is even.

After you’ve dehydrated your beet pulp, just throw it into a coffee grinder or a blender and blitz the crap out of it. Et Voila! Beet powder!

Add it to baking, to cocktails, I’m even going to experiment with it in buttercream frosting…

Cooking Shows on Netflix

Like many of you fearless foodies, I watch a lot of cooking shows. I have a subscription to Food TV, Gusto and the Cooking Channel, so I spend a lot of time watching Alton Brown, Top Chef (which you know is my fave), and shows by some of my favourite chefs.

But Netflix has a bunch of great cooking shows, as well, so if you have a Netflix membership, these are some of my favourite binge- and drool-worthy shows (FYI this post is in no way sponsored by Netflix).

Cooking Shows on Netflix

 

Nailed It!

OMG! For any of you who ever had a Pinterest “Nailed It” moment, this show is for you. It’s all about failure, and it’s hilarious. Part of the reason I like this show is because in some ways, it’s the anti-cooking show. The end results are from poor shlubs like you and I who really don’t have a clue what they are doing, but are asked to make a pro dessert. The results are tragic and way too funny. The host, Nicole Byer, is sassy and hilarious.

Somebody Feed Phil

Phil Rosenthal created “Everybody Loves Raymond” and is now spending his money traveling the world and eating food. The thing about Phil is, though, that he’s everyman. His brother is the producer, and he skypes his parents in every episode and they talk about every day things. The show is much like how you or I would discover the food culture of any given town. He’s not a chef, he’s just a guy who really loves food.

Cooked

For those of you who are fans of Michael Pollin, as I am, this was a fantastic four episodes. I mostly don’t eat meat for environmental, sustainability reasons, and Pollin goes into this in thoughtful detail (FYI he does eat meat, but I love the discussion around it). It’s a fascinating documentary series that explores fermentation, tradition, sustainability and the social aspects of our diets. I really highly recommend this one, it’s been one of my favourites to date.

Chef’s Table (and the new Pastry season)

I have loved this series from the beginning, but this latest season focuses on pastry. The first episode featuring Christina Tosi (Milk Bar) was my absolute favourite of the four.

Ugly Delicious

Okay, I have mixed feelings about this one. Dave Chang (MomoFuku) is a good guy. And he does some cool stuff, travels, eats. It’s fun. It feels a little like he just made a documentary about his friends, though. What I really did like about this series was when they went deeper into the political and socio-economic background of the food. When is food racist? It’s a great question, and one I’ve not actually though a lot about, so I was really fascinated by those discussions.

Okay, those are mine! What are your favourite Netflix food binges these days?

 

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