It’s An Easter Eggstravaganza!
Easter is on April 17 this year – late enough that spring bulbs will be in full bloom, flowering trees will be in bud, grass will have turned a vibrant green, and perennials will be pushing their way through the soil. Days will be milder, and hopefully we’ll see much more of the sun. Spring is surely a time of year to appreciate nature and natural things. So why not invite the beauty of nature into your kitchen and make natural dyes for your Easter eggs? It can be a great science experiment for your kids (and the kid in you), and a wonderful afternoon project on those inevitable April showers days.
Eggs are colored with items you probably already have in your home, and you can adjust the brilliance of the color by lengthening the time of the soak. And the result will be a satisfying basket of richly hued eggs instead of a bowl of artificially colored ones. Are you game?
Beet, Cabbage & Onion Dyes
Place prepared ingredient in bottom of large pot. Cover with one inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover; reduce to a simmer; and cook for 30 minutes, or until you’ve achieved the desired color.
Add four cups of water and 4 tablespoons of ground turmeric to a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover; reduce to a simmer; and cook for 30 minutes. Not familiar with turmeric? Click here to discover the benefits.
Brew four cups of strong coffee.
Red Wine Dye
Use an inexpensive bottle of red. No vinegar needed. Soak until the eggs are the desired color, but do not use the oil to finish as per below.
Before You Use Your Natural Dyes
- Strain out the solids. Add one tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained dye liquid. Allow the dyes to cool before using.
- For every dozen eggs, plan on using at least four cups of dye liquid.
- Add the room-temperature eggs in single layer in a baking dish or bowl or coffee mug and carefully pour the cooled dye over them. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged.
- Experiment with dying white and brown eggs. Soak for 30 minutes to three hours for lighter colors; overnight for brighter colors.
- Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired color is reached.
- Carefully dry the eggs, and then massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them. NOTE: hard-boiled eggs outside of the refrigerator won’t last for more than two hours, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so plan accordingly,
Keep in mind that results will vary depending on the number of eggs, the color of the eggs, and the length of time the eggs soak. Typically, you’ll soak for a shorter time for lighter colors like pale pinks and blues and longer for darker, richer shades like royal blue and gold. Start with a soak of 30 minutes and leave as long as overnight. If you’re soaking overnight, soak in the refrigerator. For richer color, you can also give the eggs multiple soaks in the dye, being sure to dry them between soaks.
If the thought of doing all this makes your head feel like it is about to explode – like an overcooked cracked hardboiled egg – there are always the traditional egg dye kits like the grocery store PAAS kit (reminiscent of my youth) or the inexpensive Spritz kits from Target. For something greener and organic, Eco Kids has a kit that even grows grass. However you decide to dye your eggs, we here at Fath Properties wish you an Easter Eggstravaganza worth remembering.
RESOURCES: TheKitchn, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart, Rocking Point Wines, Wide Open Eats, Simply Recipes