Easter Recipes –Coloring Easter Eggs Using Natural Dyes

Coloring of eggs for Eastern

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Kids can enjoy coloring eggs this Easter using natural dyes that are readily available in the kitchen. The eggs can be colored either after they have been hard-cooked or while they are being cooked, or “boiled”, as some say. Some of the colors will surprise you!

For coloring eggs after they have been hard-cooked, prepare the following dyes like this:

In a pan, add about 1 quart water (more or less) with 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Add any of the following for the colors selected; bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or more. Strain dye into bowl. Lower eggs into cooled dye using a serrated spoon. Leave eggs in dye until desired color is reached, from a few minutes to as long as overnight in the refrigerator. Pat dry and let air-dry on a wire rack.

Pink:  4-5 beets, cut up or mashed or use canned beets.
Orange:  yellow onions skins (use very little water); 10 carrots.
Red: red onion skins (use very little water); pureed red tomatoes (use less water).
Green:  spinach, large bunch fresh, or frozen.
Greenish yellow:  yellow Delicious apple peels.
Brown: make a pot of strong coffee and use instead of water; black walnut shells.
Yellow: carrot tops; celery seed; green tea.
Blue:  red cabbage leaves.

For coloring eggs as you “boil” them: place eggs in a single layer in a pan and cover with water. Add the natural dye listed below, bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. If the eggs are not colored as intensely as you would like in 30 minutes, lift out eggs and cool them in cold water, then refrigerate. Meanwhile, after colored water dye cools, strain through a coffee filter or strainer, (depending on what has been cooked). After the water dye and eggs have cooled, return eggs to dye and leave them in refrigerator until the desired color is reached. Some of the colors may not be as intense as those shown in this picture.

Pink: beets; cranberry juice; red grape juice.
Orange: onions, same as above; carrots, same as above; paprika; chili powder.
Red: red onion skins, same as above; raspberries, fresh, thawed or frozen.
Green:  spinach, as above.
Brown:  strong coffee, as above; black tea; instant coffee; cocoa powder.
Yellow: ground turmeric; ground cumin.
Blue: red cabbage leaves, as above; purple grape juice.
Lavender: hibiscus tea; beet solution.

Some of these suggestions would be good for naturally dying cake frosting, too. For example, blueberries and raspberries make white frosting a pale blue and red. Mashed avocado can be used for a mint green color.

Kids love to experiment. Give them a few suggestions and watch their creativity soar.

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Be healthy,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food writer, author

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