FOOD THAT IS GREEN AND HEALTHY!
There is something about the color green that immediately brings the word fresh into mind. Nature is green and the color is soothing to the eye. Food that is green in color is automatically thought to be fresh and healthy. The green food coloring in nature comes from chlorophyll. The natural food color is bright and vibrant so there is no need for artificial colors to be added. Organic food coloring is also good for the health and is preferred over synthetic food colors so the natural green food color is popular in the health food industry.
THE GREEN OF CHLOROPHYLL
The secret ingredient that keeps plants green is chlorophyll. The process of photosynthesis whereby plants make food becomes possible only due to the presence of chlorophyll. Unfortunately, when plants are cooked, the chlorophyll molecules in the plants break down and get damaged. This causes them to change their color or lose their fresh green hue. This is because when chlorophyll food coloring comes into contact with acidic substances, it undergoes damage.
KEEPING COOKED FOOD GREEN IN COLOR
While it is possible to use organic food colors to keep the green color of your food even after it is cooked, there are ways in which the natural color of the food can be prevented from breaking down.
Raw Green Food – Green foods that can be served raw – like lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, kiwis etc – can be eaten on their own or as ingredients in a raw salad. If you are adding an acidic dressing to the salad, it is advisable to add it at the last minute since the acidity can cause the green leaves to lose their vibrancy.
Cooked Green Food – The best way to help food retain their green color after cooking is by ensuring that the food is not cooked for too long. Blanching the food by dipping in very hot, boiling water for a short period and then giving them a shock by removing them from the hot water and immediately placing them in ice cold water also helps to retain the green color, especially in green leafy vegetables.
Artichokes and Avocados – Since both of these food items have a great tendency towards browning, they need to be treated in order to help them retain their organic food color. In the case of artichokes, it is good to immediately immerse a cut artichoke into water to which lime juice or vinegar has been added. For avocados, it is advised to rub the inside of the avocado with a lime / citrus juice as soon as it has been cut.
Limes – Cooking or processing of limes causes them to rapidly lose their green color and change to brown. In order to maintain their greenness, it is recommended to use them raw. The green zest of lime is often added to salads or as part of icing decoration for baked goods at the very last moment after serving.
Green Tea – Matcha tea leaves have a vibrant green chlorophyll food coloring since it is taken from shade-grown tea leaves and have a deep flavor that matches with their bright color. While it has now gained popularity across the world, it is not a taste that is palatable to everyone.