It's that time of year again and why not try some natural methods for dying Easter eggs this year. Forget using harsh synthetic colors and dyes, natural coloring derived from food can produce sweet, subtle hues that are sure to please anyone.
There are three easy methods to dye eggs naturally.
1) Hot Dying Method (use uncooked eggs)
Using a saucepan, add 1 quart water, 2 Tablespoons of vinegar and dye material. Using cold (uncooked) eggs, make sure the liquid covers the eggs. Simmer slowly for 15 minutes before removing eggs to cool.
2) Cold Dying Method (Use cooked eggs)
In a saucepan add 1 quart of water, 2 Tablespoons of vinegar and dye ingredient. Bring the contents of your sauce pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain out your dye ingredient and cool. Submerge hard boiled eggs into the cooled dye until the color strength you want is achieved. Turn eggs occasionally to ensure even coverage. Remove from dye and dry.
3) Silk-tie method: (Use uncooked eggs)
Textile fabrics like silk will release their dye when vinegar is added to the cooking water.
- Cut silk (like from a tie) into a square large enough to wrap around a raw egg.
- Place the printed side facing the egg, wrap the the silk around your egg and secure using twist ties.
- Cut a piece of white fabric larger than the silk piece to go around your egg, then lay the silk-covered egg on the white fabric, bring up the sides and secure again using a twist tie.
- Place eggs in a glass or enamel pan, cover with water and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
- Bring water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove eggs from water using tongs and allow to cool.
- Remove fabrics from eggs and let them continue to cool on a rack.
For each color, use one of the suggested dye materials per 1 quart of water. For amounts not provided below, use enough dye material to create the desired color. Keep in mind that color of the egg will be lighter than the color of the dye bath.
- Orange or lemon peels, boiled
- 2 Tbsp ground tumeric
- Chamomile tea or Green tea
- 4 cups yellow onion skin (makes a yellow/orange color)
- 4 Tbsp paprika
- Grated carrots
- 3 Tbsp chili powder (makes a red/orange color)
- 1 cup chopped fresh beets
- Cranberries or cranberry juice
- 4 cups red onion skin
- Red grape juice or Red wine
- Purple grape juice
- Violet blossoms
- Red onion skins
- 1&1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or canned
- 4 cups red shredded cabbage
- 1 cup blueberries (add grape juice for more intensity)
- Dill seeds
- 1 quart strongly brewed coffee or strong black tea
You can make a drying rack by cutting up a paper towel tube into rings and allowing your eggs stand on rings to dry.
Give your eggs a glossy finish by rubbing a little vegetable oil on them using a paper towel once they are dry.
* Refrigerate your cooked eggs! You do not want to keep your eggs out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. Throw away eggs that have been out too long, better safe than sorry!
What do you think? Have you ever colored your Easter eggs naturally? Would you ever consider using natural ingredients to make dyes verse synthetic dyes you buy in stores?