Red Annatto Powder
Use annatto red powder to color beans, meats, sauces, tamales, and tacos. You can also add it to color rice. For 1 cup of rice, use about a half teaspoon of this powder.
Annatto red powder is processed using the seeds of the achiote tree, a tree native to the Americas, including Mexico and the Caribbean. In the 1600s, the Spanish transported the tree to the Southeast Asian region where it became a common food ingredient. The condiment is also widely produced and used in West Africa and in India.
The red-orange color comes from the carotenoid pigments, mainly norbixin and bixin, which are mostly concentrated in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds.
While some people think that red annatto has no discernable flavor, some would describe it as having a “slightly peppery with a bit of nutmeg” flavor. Others note a taste of sweetness in it, or even a hint of bitterness for some. The seeds give off a floral or peppermint scent.
Where It Is Used as Ingredient
Some examples of food that has annatto in them are orange cheeses like Colby and Cheddar. The same goes for foods that use vanilla as flavoring.
Graham Crackers and Cheese Balls are some examples of orange-colored snacks that have annatto in them.
Some breads and breadings also use annatto. Some examples are Pillsbury Canned Rolls, Breaded Shrimps, and Breaded Chicken Patties.
Reddish dressings and seasonings also contain annatto. The next time you eat French Fries or McDonald’s Angus Burger, check out the orange seasoning put on them. Most salad dressings like those of McDonald’s and Davanni’s are prepared using annatto coloring/flavoring.
Mix the following:
- Ground Annatto – 2 teaspoons
- Garlic Salt – 2 teaspoons
- Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Orange juice – ¼ cup
- Ground cumin – 1 teaspoon
- Oregano leaves – 1 teaspoon
Add a pound of meat, then marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. You’re good to go for a garden barbecue party.
Annatto Red Powder Benefits
Nutritionally, it brings a host of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It has calcium, iron, and sodium. This also contains Vitamin A, carotenoids, and tocotrienols. Annatto is also a rich source of dietary fiber.
Because of the antioxidants that it contains, annatto has the ability to fight and kill pathogens and bacteria.
The fiber content is good for digestion and smooth movement of food through the bowels. Such property is also helpful with people who need to lower their cholesterol or manage their sugar if they have diabetes.
Annatto is also supportive in strengthening bones and for eye and skin care.