by Elise Schwartz | April 3, 2010 3:43 PM
We don’t have kids yet. And to be honest, Dave nor I have dyed Easter eggs in many many years. But all last week the question kept coming up to ME from patients at the office: How can I dye Easter eggs naturally? Of course it makes total sense. We (as a collective group following the Maximized Living lifestyle) should be constantly looking for ways to decrease toxins in our every day lives. So I wanted to share these ideas for making your own homemade natural egg dyes, 100% chemical free! They’ll save you money, too, because our kitchens and pantries are already stocked with the spices, fruits, vegetables, and other food items that can be used to create beautiful, all-natural colors. The cold-dying process is safe too — children and adults alike will not have to worry about hands stained with artificial dyes and the process ensures that the eggs are safe to eat later.
Now these are recipe ideas I’ve pulled from a couple different sites: http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidayhowtos/a/eastereggdyes.htm & http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/natural-egg-dyes-668314/
You will need: hot water pots
vinegar dying ingredients (pick the colors below)
strainer glass containers to dye the eggs in
however many eggs you and the kids want, boiled and cooled
Make sure the hard-boiled eggs have cooled and are wiped free of any residue before getting started. Fortunately, dying eggs with these natural ingredients is a very inexact science; experiment and see what matches your personal color preference. It is easy to dilute a particularly rich color with more water later, so perhaps erring on the side of heavy-handedness is better. (For example, solid vegetable or fruit ingredients can be boiled in equal proportions.)
1.) Heat 3 cups water to a boil then reduce to a Medium-Low heat simmer. Add the ingredients of your choice (color suggestions below) until desired color is achieved (from what I am reading online, about 1 cup of vegetable/fruit to 3 cups water and about 2-3 Tbsp of a spice powder to 3 cups water). The eggs will turn out a lighter shade than what appears in the pan, so keep in mind you need to be generous with the amount of ingredient you put in the pan.
2.) Boil mixture for about a half hour then cool to room temperature and strain out the ingredients (for colors that used a spice, you may want to strain thru a coffee filter to prevent speckled eggs, unless that’s the effect you’re going for of course!). After straining the ingredients, add one tablespoon of vinegar to the dye in order to ensure staying power and pour into glass container.
3.) Ensure dye containers are deep enough to cover eggs completely! Use a slotted spoon to place eggs in containers to prevent accidental breakage. Keep eggs soaking in dye for at least 1/2 hour to get a deep color. Experiment with the timings of each color to get different hues!
4.) When ready, remove eggs from dye and place on a paper towel or in the egg carton. Once eggs are dry, they will typically have a matte texture. Shine them up with a touch of coconut oil on a paper towel.
Natural Easter Egg Dyes
|Lavender||Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
|Violet Blue||Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
|Green||Spinach Leaves (boiled)
|Greenish Yellow||Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)|
|Yellow||Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
|Golden Brown||Dill Seeds|
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
|Orange||Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
|Red||Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
The longer you soak the eggs in the following dye liquids, the more intense the colors will be. - Before dyeing, you can draw shapes, pictures or inspiring words on the eggs with crayons or a piece of wax. The wax won’t absorb the color so the designs will show through. Your crayon design will be accentuated by your choice of dye! - Rubber bands are all you need to make tie-dyed eggs. Use a collection of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the rubber bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Make sure to leave some of the egg shell exposed so it can be dyed. Once the eggs are dyed to the color you like, remove them from the water and let them dry. Once dried completely, pull the rubber bands off to reveal your banded design. Take a chance and give the striped eggs another dye bath in a different color to see if the layers blend into a new look! Just make sure eggs are completely dry before removing rubber bands.
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