Easter Sunday is just two days away, and today Big Brother and I checked to see on the eggs we dyed overnight. I tried it two years ago and was a little disappointed with the results. This time, I feel better about my method and three of the five colors we did (I know how I’ll fix the other two next year).
We are happy to report that the kitchen didn’t stink very much while we prepared the dyes, but rather just smelled like general cooking. You don’t need to add the vinegar until the liquid has been cooled and strained, just before you put it into the refrigerator for the night. We learned that the juice from the Love Beets packets wasn’t quite what we needed for the beet dye; next year we will just chop up some fresh beets. Our pink ended up very pastel, with a brownish film on top that we rubbed off of one for comparison. [Side note: we adore the ease of use that comes from those packets of Love Beets and use them frequently in salads, smoothies, etc.] The blueberry dye was supposed to make lavender (which it did), but the color was delicate – it rubbed off easily.
My favorite was the orange dye we made with yellow onion skins. So vibrant! The turmeric dye also came out beautifully. I do like the cabbage, but I will have to do a little research next year to see how I could make the color brighter. I would love for it to be closer the depth of color from the turmeric and onion. I’m thinking a nice green could be achieved with chlorophyll, so I may try that next year as well. Another note: naturally dyed eggs have a matte finish, but some people like shiny eggs. You can easily achieve this by rubbing a thin layer of coconut oil over your eggs.
I love that we aren’t coming into contact with harmful synthetic dyes while making these eggs or eating them later. I also enjoy teaching my children the process and showing them the beauty of nature. Have you ever dyed eggs with plant material or spices? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
*Our method: use about 2 cups of plant material or 2 tablespoons of spice and 2 cups of water. Boil this for roughly 20 minutes, then cool. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and your eggs, cover and set in the refrigerator overnight. We used glass jars with lids, but if you’re doing a large amount of the same color, you could use a bowl with a lid (or even a plate over the top). I recommend using glass or stainless steel so the receptacle doesn’t end up stained. Note: if you want to, you can even use raw eggs and boil them right in the solution. I did this with one of ours and the color is lovely!*