Saturday, March 30, 2013

Natural Dye for Easter Eggs

It's that time of year, EASTER and dying eggs! We have a leghorn in our backyard flock, so with a little bit of planning, we can have as many white eggs for dying as we want. With fresh eggs, I just can't bring myself to use the chemical based dyes. Each year, I experiment with food dyes and here's how this year turned out.

Here's what I did:

Gathered my foods and prepped them.

The bowls are 4 cup bowls.

Frozen Grape Concentrate/Blueberries- 1 can and approx. 2 cups
Red Cabbage- I peeled off the outer leaves, torn them into smaller pieces, then cut about 1/4 of the cabbage up
Yellow Onion skins- the papery part

Spirulina, Beet Powder, Paprika, Turmeric

I read a variety of instructions which were somewhat similar. This is what I did:

For the food ones, I mixed them with 4 cups of water, brought to a boil and then simmered for about 20 min. This made too much dye. Next time I will use about 2 1/2 cups water. I then used a splash of vinegar (approx 1T). Strained and poured into a quart canning jar- wide mouth.

For the powders: I know that the turmeric needed to be boiled, but wasn't sure about the others, so I just boiled all of them. Approx. 1T powder per 1C water, with a splash of vinegar. I wanted to make sure they were dark enough, so the tablespoons were pretty heaping. 3T for about 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 20 min. Pour into a quart canning jar.

I hard "boiled" the eggs by putting them in the oven. I placed them in muffin tins, put them in the oven, turned it on and to 325 and cooked for about 25 min. They're supposed to taste better and be easier to peel. Once they were done, I put them into ice water (another trick for easier peeling). I'll find out tomorrow how they turned out.

Once the dye was cool, we colored the eggs. We used crayons to decorate them, then placed them in the dyes for about 40 min.

Blue- red cabbage- The dye looked purple but I trusted what I had read and they really did turn out blue!

Orange- Yellow Onion skins

The next row is a weird orange/copper/yellow color- I wasn't happy with the paprika, so we put those eggs into the orange and yellow- pretty cool colors! I really like the dark one.

Yellow- turmeric- AWESOME!

Purple grey - grape juice/blueberries

Pink purple- beets

The spirulina didn't turn out at all. In fact, I haven't found a green yet that I really like. But with colors like this, I don't really miss the green, too much.

~So, there you have it, our naturally dyed Easter eggs~

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