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Dye Easter Eggs Naturally With Beets, Onions and Blueberries

4/15/2011 3:28:36 PM

Tags: naturally dyed Easter eggs, chemical-free Easter eggs, natural dyes, Herb Companion, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailWhen I was a kid, in the chemical-intensive 1960s and 1970s, we thought nothing of using artificial food coloring and those little dye tablets to give our Easter eggs festive hues. Back then, we didn’t know that chemical dyes could cause ADHD, harm development, ignite hyperactivity, compromise immune systems and cause sterility. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention even found links between food coloring and asthma, allergic reactions and lead poisoning, Brianne DiSylvester reports in Organic Authority. I’m not taking the risk, especially when dying eggs with herbs and food is so much more fun.

Herbal dye plants, used traditionally to color fibers, give hard-boiled eggs an earthier tone than never-from-nature candy-colored synthetics. Just follow these simple instructions from the experts at Herb Companion for gorgeous, nontoxic, festive Easter eggs.

  1. Hard boil eggs.
  2. Bring each dye ingredient (listed below) to a boil with 2 cups of water; strain the dyes into cups and allow to cool.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to each cup of dye.
  4. Dip the eggs into the cups, submerging each egg completely until it reaches an appealing color. Leave eggs in the dye longer for deeper colors. If one color doesn’t darken as you’d like, set the cup with the dye and the egg in the refrigerator for a few hours. Try using two different dyes on one egg to create different colors, or dye half of each egg in a different color.

Natural Color 

Gold: Handful of yellow onion skins
Yellow: 2 tablespoons turmeric, 1/2 cup dried marigolds, goldenrod or cosmos, or a handful of carrot tops
Green: Handful of coltsfoot
Blue: Handful of woad or 2 cups chopped red cabbage*
Pink: 2 cups chopped beets
Purple: 1 cup frozen blueberries
Brown: 2 tablespoons coffee grounds or 4 black tea bags

* For best results with this color, add botanicals to the water while cooking eggs.

easter eggs 

Natural dyes from herbs and food give eggs a more subtle, natural hue.

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4/22/2011 2:54:44 PM
Of all the items listed above, I only had onion skins on hand to use. I love the golden hue it produced. In my search for anything else to use, before heading to the grocery store, I tried some of the red wine that I had opened earlier in the week. What a beautiful hue of purple it turned out...and I didn't add any vinegar or boil it. How fun!!! Thanks for the fun project!

4/20/2011 3:24:16 PM
I'm a little confused. "* For best results with this color, add botanicals to the water while cooking eggs" What is meant by 'botanicals'? THANK YOU!

Anahma Shannon
4/18/2011 3:15:40 PM
Does anyone know about canning dry beans? We live in an area where everything is flown in at $1/lb. and buying canned goods can be expensive. I would like to find a receipe for canning our own beans. Thanks!

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