Happy Easter, everyone!
We all know that coloring eggs is one of the most traditional children’s activities during Easter. But want to dye your own eggs, but afraid that the chemicals in the dye might be dangerous to your children’s health? The safest way to color eggs is to make your own, natural dyes! You can actually have a lot more fun using the things you can find in your fridge or in your garden then buying ready-made dyes in stores.
Using natural dyes instead of chemical ones might make the process of coloring the eggs a bit longer, but with some patience, the final result will be just as good – if not better.
There are two main ways of dyeing the eggs. You can either add the dyes when you are boiling the eggs, or dye the eggs after they are already done. The second way takes longer but is more practical and you won’t need as many pans if you want to make different colors.
Here is a list of some common foods or flowers that you can use to make the different colored dyes:
– Green: Spinach or grass
– Brown: Coffee (strong or instant), black walnut shells or black tea
– Pink: Beet juice, cranberry juice or raspberries
– Red: Raspberries, lots of red onion skins or pomegranate juice
– Violet blue: Red wine, hibiscus tea or violet blossoms
– Blue: Purple grape juice, red cabbage leaves or canned blueberries
– Lavender: Blueberries, a red herbal tea or some purple grape juice
– Yellow: Ground turmeric, orange or lemon peels, green tea or chamomile tea
– Orange: Yellow onion skins, chili powder, paprika (with a lot of paprika the color will become a brick red)
The quantity of each ingredient varies; the more you put in and the longer you dye the eggs for, the more intense the color will be.
Here’s how to actually color the eggs:
1. First, wash the eggs and pat them dry.
2. Place a single layer of eggs in a pan and cover them with water.
3. Add one spoonful of vinegar.
4. Add the natural dye ingredient that you want to use.
5. Bring the water to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Remove the eggs from the water. If you are not satisfied with the color and you want it to be more intense, strain the dye through a coffee filter, cover the eggs with the filtered dye and leave them overnight the refrigerator.
8. Natural dyes are usually less shiny than chemical ones. If you want to make the eggs shinier, rub them with olive oil or another kind of cooking oil once they are dry and you will get a glossy effect.
Now it’s your turn to make your own dyes and color eggs with your entire family. Happy Easter!
Note: This post was originally published in March 2013.
Photo: Couleur via Pixabay