How to Organically Dye Easter Eggs
Easter is coming up – or Ostara, depending on which direction you lean. Either way, we’re marking the earth’s return to life and traditionally, a lot of us like to dye Easter eggs.
My favorite part as a kid was eating them when we were done. But if you’re not into the whole Yellow #5 thing, you might want to go in a slightly more natural direction. Using vegetable scraps to dye your easter eggs is a natural, chemical free way to enjoy Easter and have perfectly edible eggs afterward. Not to mention, the color is just so much more spectacular than using food coloring!
For a deeper, richer color with the darker eggs, use brown eggs. If you like texture, look for eggs that have some naturally. For the lighter colors, use white eggs.
Natural dyes for easter eggs
Per cup of water, use:
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage — makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
- 1 cup red onion skins — makes lavender or red eggs
- 1 cup yellow onion skins — makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
- 1 cup shredded beets — makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric — makes yellow eggs
- 1 bag Red Zinger tea — makes lavender eggs
→ Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained dye liquid
→ For every dozen eggs, plan on using at least 4 cups of dye liquid
You can mix and match as many things as you like to get the appropriate color. Some other ideas:
- Red wine (you know, if you’re so predisposed to wasting good wine…or cheap wine)
- Rose petals
- Grape juice
- Blackberry juice
- Pomegranate juice
*Eggs MAY take on the flavor of whatever you’re dying them in.
To Make Organically Dyed Easter Eggs:
Hard boil your eggs. 15 minutes should do the trick.
Boil the ingredients for your dye – remember the 1:1 ratio. The more vegetable scraps you use with the least amount of water makes for a more vibrant color. You will also need to add vinegar for a bright color.
Let the scraps boil and then simmer until the color of the water is 3 or so shades darker than what you want for your egg.
When you’ve got the color you want, take it off of the heat and let it cool to room temperature. If you want the egg to be textured (like the brown speckled ones below) leave the vegetable matter in the mix when you dye the egg. If you want a solid color, you’ll need to strain off the fibers before dying.
Make sure there’s enough liquid in the cup or bowl that you’re using to cover the whole egg. You may have to turn the eggs from time to time as they are soaking. Let them soak until they’ve reached the desired color. It could be over night or a couple of days. If you’re planning to eat them afterward, I suggest keeping them refrigerated.
Once the eggs have reached the color you want, pull them out and let them dry in the egg carton. Once dry, polish them with a little olive oil for a nice shine.
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