Here are the solutions I used to make our naturally dyed Easter eggs
Eggs– I had eggs from our chickens, so that worked fine. Our eggs are slightly colored, but I also used plain white eggs and didn’t see that it impacted the final result at all. Use large white eggs that you will eat later.
NOTE: most recipes call for the dyes to be strained. The reasoning is that bits of plant or spice material stick to the egg, and if you try to rinse or scrub the egg, the color comes off. True That. But it wasn’t that big of a deal to me and I didn’t strain mine. In the photo below I rinsed the egg after and it left a light yellow color. That green crayon was a no go. Use white.
- Blueberries– I had 2 cups of blueberries left over from a visit to Bonnie Berries last summer. It seemed rather wasteful given how much I adore Bonnie’s but they were a little freezer burnt so I figured it was OK. Put the berries in a small 2-3 quart pot, cover with enough water to cover not only the blueberries but also an egg by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Be careful and watchful because the blueberries like to boil over. Remove from heat and let sit overnight. Strain if desired. Add 2 TB white vinegar and 2 TB salt.
- My friend Amy Hanson used Red Cabbage, which gave this beautiful blue hue. Cut a red cabbage into chunks, set in a pot with water to cover an egg, boil for 1/2 hour, allow to cool overnight. Strain if desired. Add 2 TB white vinegar and 2 TB salt.
Raspberries and cranberries- I had 1 cup of raspberries (mostly little frozen bits) and 1/2 pound of whole cranberries in the freezer from Thanksgiving. I did exactly as with the blueberries. I did strain the pink, and found it didn’t make a real difference. Boiling versus just soaking made a huge difference. Add 2 TB white vinegar and 2 TB salt.
You can also use red beets for pink
Some recipes call for red onion skins but that requires literally tons and tons of skins and who wants to peel all that and then what does the average household do with a dozen peeled onions before they go bad…..
several websites said to use spinach and as Amy can attest it did absolutely nothing. Waste of time. You could try liquid chlorophyll, which you can order online and sometimes find a natural foods stores. I didn’t try it but maybe you can make the blueberry or red cabbage and then the turmeric dyes and combine them to make green.
several websites called for orange skins and carrots. I boiled both and when the color was insipid, I boiled again and let steep for 2 days, hoping for something orange. Nada. It didn’t work at all.
What did work was turmeric. Boil 6 TB (I just used my leftovers form an old jar I had in the pantry–it was about 1/2-3/4 full) for 1/2 hour, remove from heat and steep. Add 2 TB vinegar and 2 TB salt.
Make a very strong pot of coffee. Cool then add 3 TB vinegar and 3 TB salt. Let sit overnight. Strain if desired but the grounds make interesting marks on the eggs.
Boil a saucepan packed with brown onion skins from about 6 onions (again, this may not be useful, but the eggs are beautiful) for 1/2 hour. Let cool. Add 3 TB vinegar and 2 TB salt. Let steep overnight. Boil the egg, then wrap tightly in brown onion skins and secure with a cut nylon, sock, or saran wrap. Set the wrapped egg gently amongst the onion skins or in the strained onion liquid and let sit for a long time (overnight). The eggs get a lovely mottled look.
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