Colored Easter Eggs: Hued By Mother Nature
I decided to experiment with what I had in the kitchen to dye Easter eggs using only natural ingredients, nothing artificial. The process takes a little longer but it’s lots of fun and a great, interactive way to talk to your kids about nutrition, health, whole foods and the environment.
First thought: What stains instantly? Immediate response: pomegranates, beets, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, wine, turmeric, annatto, blueberries, grape juice. Nothing green in this list so decided to juice the kale that I had in the refrigerator and make some green tea. My kitchen literally looked like a chem lab! Here’s how I did it right off the cuff and these gems came out amazing with beautiful color and texture…enjoy!
What You Will Need
Clear plastic cups
Colorings of choice
A few small saucepans
Pick Your Shades
Pick your shades – each of these combinations produced a different shade of the color. Go ahead and experiment using different liquids, spices, food and ingredient combinations. I would love to hear how they come out so please let me know.
Purple and Pink
1 cup beet juice and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup red wine and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup pomegranate juice and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 cup Concord grape juice and 1/4 cup deeply steeped black cherry herbal tea (use any red-ish tea)
1 cup kale or spinach juice and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup deeply steeped green tea and 2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup water, 2 tablespoons turmeric and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup strong black coffee with 2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup Worcestershire sauce with 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Orange and Rust
2 cups water and 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon annatto and 2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 cups pureed blueberries and 2 cups Concord grape juice
2 cups canned cherry pie filling (wanted to try fresh cherries but not in season in Jersey) and 2 cups beet juice
Dye the Eggs
For purple, pink, green, yellow and brown: Place mixture in clear plastic cup. Gently place hard-boiled egg in mixture. Let egg sit in mixture until the color is what you are looking for which can be from 30 minutes to overnight. The longer they soak, the deeper the color will be. If you want to leave overnight just place cups in fridge.
Remove from mixture and set on a rack with baking sheet underneath. Don’t handle them until completely dry.
For orange, rust, blue and red:
Hard boil the eggs**: Lay the eggs in the pan and cover with mixture adding more juice if needed to cover eggs completely. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit until cool.
Let egg sit in mixture until the color is what you are looking for which can be from 30 minutes to overnight. The longer they soak, the deeper the color will be. If you want to leave overnight just place cups in fridge. Remove from mixture and set on a rack with baking sheet underneath. Don’t handle them until completely dry.
These Are My Homemade Creations
**Hardboiling the eggs: Hard boiling eggs is a no brainer but getting them perfect takes a bit more finesse. If you want them cooked to perfection for the most delicious taste and consistency follow this recipe from Julia Child
The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg
Recipe by: Julia Child, “The Way to Cook”
3 1/2 quarts of water – water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan, and limit cooking to 2 dozen eggs at a time.
- Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan,and let sit exactly 17 minutes.
- When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)
- Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds – this expands the shell from the egg. Remove eggs, and place back into the ice water.
Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from forming, and if time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, as well.
The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.