Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs4/5/2012


Fun – Organic  - Natural  Easter Eggs


Ever since my 6th grade Girl Scout trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia I’ve been fascinated with how to dye things using organic materials.  Easter Eggs present the perfect scenario for tying out this age honored tradition while turning out some of the most beautiful eggs any bunny would be happy to hide.  The results are typically very soft and muted.  So why not have some fun in the kitchen this weekend and try something totally organic with the kids? 


Hot Dyeing method: (use uncooked eggs) -  Add 1 quarter water and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a saucepan;  add dye material (see below) and cold – uncooked eggs.  Make sure the liquid covers the eggs.  Simmer slowly for 15 minutes, then remove eggs to cool.


Cold dyeing method (use cooked eggs) – Add 1 quart water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and dye ingredients to saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Strain and cool.  Submerge hard-boiled eggs in cool dye until color is achieved, soaking anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours in the refrigerator.  Turn the eggs occassionaly to ensure even dyeing.  Remove to a drying rack.


For each color, use one of the suggested dye material per 1 quarter of water.  When an amount is not specified, use enough dye material to create the desire color.  Keep in mind the color of the egg will be lighter than the color of the dye bath.


·         Yellow --  Use boiled or orange or lemon peels; or 2 Tbsp. ground turmeric; or Chamomile tea or green tea.


·         Orange – 4 Tbsp paprika or Grated carrots


·         Pink – 1 cup chopped fresh beets; Cranberries or cranberry juice; 4 cups red onion skins; red grape juice or red wine.


·         Yellow/orange – 4 cups yellow onion skins


·         Red/orange – 3 Tbsp chili powder


·         Lavender – Purple grape juice; red tea


·         Violet blue – red wine; violet blossoms; red onion skins


·         Blue – 1 ½ cups blueberries fresh or canned; 4 cups red shredded cabbage


·         Green – 1 cup blueberries add grape juice for more intensity plus add 2 Tbsp turmeric


·         Gold/brown – dill seeds


·         Mocha – 1 quart strongly brewed coffee or strong black tea.


If you want your eggs to shine, try rubbing them with a little vegetable oil and wipe with a paper towel.


Safety First:  Remember to refrigerate your hard cooked eggs!  Don’t keep them out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.