One of my favorite memories of Easter from my childhood is dying Easter eggs. My Mom always made a huge ta do about it, buying multiple PAAS egg dye kits and boiling about 4 dozen eggs (there were 4 of us kids, ya know everyone had to have their own)!
As an adult I am enjoying carrying on these traditions but pumping them up a notch! Last year I made “Tie Dyed Eggs” and this year I am going all natural!
While I love the bold vibrant colors that the magical dyes in the PAAS kit produces, I wanted to try my hand at dying eggs the natural way this year.
This natural dye is great if you are 1.) allergic to red dye number 7 b.) forget to pick up the PAAS dying kit and it is 8pm the Saturday before Easter and you have kids begging to dye eggs or 3.) want to pretend to be a mad scientist mixing potions and spells in the kitchen trying to dye eggs to look like the ones you saw in the picture on some food website.
Whichever you are, using these natural ‘dyes’ are a fun experiment to try with your kids. And while those PAAS kits are usually pretty cheap, besides buying a can of beets (not a food I ever have on hand!) all of the other ingredients are things I found in the back of my pantry and freezer and ‘needed to be used’.
As I mixed and measured and pulled out every single pot I own and turned on every burner of my stove I couldn’t help but have a bit of excitement in me, wondering if this would all work out. While all the eggs did change colors not all of them were that deep in color (practically invisible).
I had best results with coffee, red wine and the curry powder. One suggestion the directions says is to let the eggs sit in the dyed water over night to deepen the color and while I let them sit in the water for several hours (and did notice a slight deepening of color) I would have wished I would have left them in the water overnight to see what colors that produced. One other tip I have is that with some of the ‘dyes’ (such as the cranberries) rub off easily.
Other than that have fun! I would love to see/hear your Easter egg suggestions, ideas, and tips! Please share in the comments below or on Facebook!
One Year Ago: Penne with Spinach and Chicken Sausage and Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts
Two Years Ago: Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy
Three Years Ago: Butterscotch Sweet Potato Cookie Sandwiches
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15-30 minutes Wait Time: 15 minutes to 8 hours
Natural Dye Ingredients:
Yellow: 1 teaspoon curry powder
Brown: 1 tablespoon coffee
Green: 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
Pink: 1 (8.25 oz) can beets
Red: 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
Burgundy: 1 1/2 cups red wine
Purple: 1 cup cranberries + 1 cup cranberry juice
Blue: 2 cups red cabbage or 2 cups blueberries
For each batch of color:
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
2 cups water or enough water to cover eggs
There are two approaches to cooking the eggs and the dyes. The first is to hard boil the eggs and let them cool. Then bring the 2 cups of water, vinegar, and natural dye ingredient, for the desired color, to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain mixture and let it cool to room temperature. Place the eggs in the dye for 15 minutes.
A second method is to boil the raw eggs in the water, vinegar, and ingredients for the selected dye color. Bring eggs and ingredients to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Cover and turn off heat. Let eggs sit in dye for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove the eggs from the pan.
For best results and the most vibrant color, refrigerate the eggs in dye overnight.
adapted from myrecipes.com