3 Sources of Food Additives that May Surprise You!

(Originally published on NaturalNews.com. Written by Christy Pooschke.)

“It is commonly known that fast food, frozen pizzas and candy bars are filled with taste enhancers and other food additives. But did you know that  food additives are also lurking in products that would seem at a glance to contain just one ingredient? Ironically, some of these items may even be things you are using to prepare foods from scratch at home in an effort to avoid the dangerous additives in pre-packaged meals. Following are some food items that seem so self-explanatory that you may be purchasing them without even checking the ingredients list.

Tomato Paste

Many varieties of tomato paste contain a surprising number of ingredients. Be especially wary of flavored or seasoned varieties of tomato paste. For example, one popular brand’s “Italian Herb” variety contains all of the following ingredients: “tomato puree (tomato  paste and water), high fructose corn syrup, salt, dried onions, partially  hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and/or cottonseed), spices, hydrolyzed corn  gluten, soy & wheat gluten proteins, grated Romano cheese made from cow’s  milk (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), garlic, citric acid, yeast, soy  flour.”

Of course, varieties that are not flavored or seasoned  often contain food additives, as well. “Natural flavor” is one additive that is commonly added to tomato paste, and it can disguise dangerous ingredients like MSG. Manufacturers are not required to reveal the components of their “natural  flavorings” on food labels, so be sure to read carefully and select a brand of tomato paste that contains only, “tomatoes.” (Note: If you prefer to purchase tomato paste contained  in a glass jar, instead of a can, visit a natural food store or shop online for jarred options.)

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another food that you may logically assume contains just one ingredient – peanuts. Unfortunately, most common  commercial brands also contain health-depleting ingredients like sugar, corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils (i.e., trans fat). Ideally, purchase brands that are unsalted and contain only, “dry roasted peanuts.” Many regular grocers may not carry plain, unsalted peanut butter, so you may need to shop at a natural food  store or shop online for this item. Many regular grocers do carry at least one brand that contains only “peanuts and salt,” though, if you don’t mind the salt but prefer to avoid the corn syrup, trans fat, etc.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers an array of health benefits. It eases heartburn, joint pain and joint stiffness, improves skin complexion and bowel function, breaks down fat to aid in weight loss, etc. To  reap these benefits, purchase raw (unpasteurized), organic and unfiltered varieties only. You may need to visit a natural food store or the health section  of your regular grocer because this type of vinegar is usually not sold in the  regular vinegar section. Read apple cider vinegar labels very carefully, as there are varieties that contain additives like coloring and flavoring agents. If you look closely, these  imposters are actually labeled on the front of the bottle as “apple cider flavored vinegar” because they are actually comprised of white vinegar (made from corn, not apples) with artificial flavors and colors added to make them look and taste like apple cider vinegar.”

Sources for this article include:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032 http://www.naturalnews.com/036308_natural_flavors_MSG_aspartame.html http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/ http://www.globalhealingcenter.com

About the  author:

Christy Pooschke is author of “Eating  Additive-Free” and founder of CompletelyNourishedCommunity.com – a holistic health community featuring hundreds of delicious, natural recipes suited to a variety of dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian, soy-free, MSPI, etc.). Christy was inspired to help others reduce their reliance on processed foods after resolving her own Fibromyalgia symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Want more great tips and recipes for eating an additive-free diet? Subscribe to her natural  foods blog, join her online community of 1,600+ members, and get yourself a copy of her book – “Eating  Additive-Free: Natural Cookbook & Shopping Guide“.

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One-Ingredient Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner Recipes

Are you tired of spending so much money on hair products that claim to be “natural” or “organic”?? Why not give this simple, inexpensive homemade version a try?

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Homemade Italian Dressing in about FIVE Minutes!

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Check out this simple, tasty recipe demonstrated in the video below!

(Psst….If you enjoy this recipe,  be sure to get yourself a copy of our additive-free cookbook & grocery shopping guide, “Eating Additive-Free“! It’s stuffed with 150+ more tasty recipes!! Your satisfaction is guaranteed…or your money back!)

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(“Healthier-than-Caramel”) Candy Apple Dip Recipe

CHECK OUT OUR RECIPES PAGE FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!!!

This recipe is dairy-free and, unlike making caramel dip, you won’ t even have to cook (i.e., risk burning) anything!

The texture shown here can only be achieved in a powerful blender like a VitaMix or Blendtec. (If you don’t own one of these machines, see the “Blender Note” at the end of the recipe.) Consider yourself warned, you are going to have a love/hate relationship with this recipe – you’ll love how it tastes, but hate that you can’t stop eating it! Seriously, I don’t advise trying the recipe until you have plenty of other folks around to share it with….or you may give yourself a stomachache 😉

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix the following together in a powerful VitaMix or Blendtec machine:

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (I’ve seen this available even at the most basic grocery stores in my town)

1 1/2 cups unroasted/unsalted cashews (may need to get from a health store or health food section; often found in bulk bins)

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 – 2 lemons)

1/3 cup raw honey

6-8 pitted dates

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

You can eat it right away, but we prefer to let it chill completely in the fridge first. Store extra (if there is any) in the fridge, as well.

YIELD: 2 cups

This tastes great eaten straight out of a bowl with a spoon, too!!! Who needs the apples?! LOL!

(Psst….If you enjoy this recipe,  be sure to get yourself a copy of our additive-free cookbook & grocery shopping guide, “Eating Additive-Free“! It’s stuffed with 150+ more tasty recipes!! Your satisfaction is guaranteed…or your money back!)

BLENDER NOTE: While the gooey texture of this dip is best achieved using a  high-powered blending machine, it is possible to make this recipe in a  food processor. Just substitute three-fourths of a cup of cashew butter for the  cashews, and reduce the amount of grapeseed oil from a half of a cup to a fourth  of a cup. The dip will taste great, but it won’t be as smooth and  gooey as it is when using a high-powered blender. However, because a food  processor won’t heat up the dip as much as a high-powered blender, the dip is  generally cool enough to enjoy immediately when made in this fashion.

CHECK OUT OUR RECIPES PAGE FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES!!!