Pink, red, green, orange or green, themes that can surprise cookbook regulars. Yet this is the idea of this new book devoted to natural pigments and their benefits, co-written by Sylvie Hampikian and Amandine Geers, two authors from New Aquitaine.
Imagine a purple soup, a black cookie or even a green mimosa egg, all using only natural pigments. This is the bias of two authors from Neo-Aquitaine for their new work titled † Colors on our plate dedicated to natural dyes and their virtues, still largely unknown to the general public.
After several fruitful collaborations, Sylvie Hampikian and Amandine Geers are back on top! Indeed, one like the other is not on their first try.
Amandine Geers has published more than forty cookbooks. For her, cooking is more than a passion” a way of life from childhood“It is therefore not surprising that as soon as her first book was published in 2006, she distinguished herself through recipes.” linked to the voracious aspect of fresh produce, deeply rooted in nature, wild harvesting and nutrition“. So when the idea of writing a book dedicated to natural pigments germinates, it is ” not just because the colors are beautiful, but because I knew pigments are powerful antioxidants†
Impossible, given the scientific scope of the book, not to think of Sylvie Hampikian, a Corrézienne expert in pharmacotoxicology with an atypical background: veterinarian, researcher and consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, she is passionate about medicinal plants. Since 2005, she has written some fifty books on the use of plants in cosmetics, wellness and more recently in nutrition, always with a scientific contribution that is her trademark.
† I don’t do haute cuisine but like to introduce readers to unusual combinations or new ingredients.(…) The goal is that everyone can make these recipes“, explains Amandine Geers.
For example, she recommends vegetable mousses this season… For dessert or even the colorful carrot cake” a dish that everyone agrees with“In addition, according to the chef, it is the perfect time to eat carrots for their benefits and to prepare the skin for the sun.
These colorful recipes are therefore combined with health prevention. Less well known than minerals or vitamins, natural pigments seem like real allies for health.
There have been many scientific publications about the benefits of pigments for twenty years
Some foods can even be called ‘superfoods’ because of their benefits (cardiovascular protection, antioxidant, improvement of the microbiota, etc.): † These aren’t necessarily rare foods, Sylvie Hampikian specifies, which includes citrus fruits, beetroot that can be eaten raw, carrots, onions (red), anything green salad and watercress or even mention herbs.†
The introduction to the book goes straight into the popularization of science, before even talking about cooking. An educational dimension claimed by the authors and their publishing house “Living Earth”. † What I want is that readers are independent, that they can adapt the recipes themselves to what they have in their kitchen.‘, Sylvie Hampikian specifies.
However, natural dyes are often unstable. For example, if we take the mallow flower, “in the garden it is purple, when dried it turns dark purple, when put in water it turns turquoise, and when you add a few drops of lemon juice, the water turns amber.” explains the scientist. Therefore, be careful with student chemists who would take too much freedom with the original recipe at the risk of seeing the preparations change color.