Before you read any further, please take a minute to go through this article on how to make perfectly boiled eggs every single time. Seriously, it is very simple but extremely useful, trust me. I use this boil-steep-peel routine every time I make boiled eggs and they come out perfect. Perfectly boiled eggs are the first step to making beautiful dyed Easter eggs.
So, now that we’ve got the egg boiling situation sorted out, let’s come back to today’s post. It’s that time of the year again when you get to play with food. Yippee! Decorating eggs are significant during Easter because eggs symbolically denote life, abundance and renewal. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at different techniques of dyeing eggs. Two years ago, I let Boy play with food colors and made some colorful and shiny Easter eggs. Then last year, I made some Chinese marbled tea eggs, which were both beautiful and really delicious because of the tea-soy sauce solution they are steeped in. There are umpteen ways to decorate eggs, but one thing I’ve never tried and never will try are the ready-to-
die-dye kits from the store. I really do not want toxic colors seeping into what will eventually be our food.
This year I turned to natural dyes derived from food. Dyeing the eggs this year was more like a chemistry project, and I simply used whatever I had in my pantry that day. I boiled what I thought were good dye candidates in a water and white vinegar mixture to see what colors I’ll end up with. I used turmeric powder, red chili powder, berries and beans. Some of my friends on Instagram suggested the beans and those actually gave me the best results. As you can see, some colors are vibrant, while some others didn’t quite turn out as expected. But that’s all part of the fun, don’t you think? You can also use a variety of vegetables and fruits, maybe I’ll try that next year.
You can do a quick Google or Pinterest search and see many beautiful colors and recipes for dyeing eggs naturally. In this post I have shared how I did it.
NATURALLY DYED EASTER EGGS
This post doesn’t have a “recipe” per se, but I’ll briefly explain how each shade was achieved. For each color, you begin by boiling the dye substance in water and vinegar (around 2 tbsp vinegar per cup of water) till you see the liquid go from being colorless to colored. At this point, you can either strain the dye liquid into wide-mouthed jars and soak the eggs in them or simply put the eggs right in the saucepan. Add as much liquid as needed to comfortably submerge the eggs. The eggs will end up a bit overcooked, but that’s okay, it will still be edible. You can let the eggs soak in the color solution from anywhere between an hour to a few hours. Once colored, remove eggs from the liquid and dry thoroughly (I used a colander), then lightly dab a bit of vegetable oil on them to seal the colors and add a bit of shine. Store eggs in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
Here are a few color ideas to get you started if you want to try this method.
- Dark brown: Red kidney beans and a dash of soy sauce
- Dark grey/purplish grey: Black beans
- Brownish “green”: Green gram. But the color was very very faint, it was more a beige color than green.
- Yellow: Turmeric powder (I used 2 tbsp)
- Orange: Red chili powder (I used 2 tbsp). I expected a deeper shade but somehow it didn’t turn out that way.
- Brownish “pink”: Blackberries and strawberries. I used some pulp leftover from making desserts this week, which would explain the lacklustre color here. I think you would get better color if you use fresh berries and lots of them.
As you can see, I got the best results using turmeric powder (yellow), black beans (grey) and kidney beans (dark brown). Most vegetables and fruits are also a great option for dyeing eggs, but I didn’t want to waste much food for dyeing some eggs and that’s why I didn’t use any. If you are using vegetables, remember to finely chop or shred them before boiling in water to get the best color.
We enjoyed the process very much and that’s what really matters. I absolutely loved the speckles and lines on each egg, almost making them look like real birds’ eggs and hope to do more colors next year.
Before I go, here are some beautiful fake lilac eggs I found at Target. Really, that store is going to be the end of me. I go in for something and come out with so many other items. Sigh!
Well, what are you guys up to? Do you dye eggs? What do you use? Do share. And have a blessed Easter.
UPDATE – EASTER 2016.
How fun are these natural yellow emoji Easter eggs? We used turmeric powder to color these eggs and drew faces on them. There is a smiley egg, playful (winky) egg, grumpy egg, scaredy egg, sad egg and a cracked Humpty-Dumpty.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Crafts a la Mode
- The Novice Gardener
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn