Every spring, our kids ask if they can dye some hard boiled eggs for the holidays. We celebrate Passover instead of Easter – but we don’t see this activity as a religious one – merely a seasonal (edible!) activity that we can do together. For the past two years, instead of purchasing kits full of artificial chemicals, we opted to go the natural route. By using natural ingredients that we already had on hand, we could keep a handle on our budget and the eggs would remain edible, even if the color snuck onto the eggs through the cracks. As an added bonus, our kids could interact with a few ingredients that they usually don’t enjoy. Since it can take between fifteen and twenty exposures to foods before they can be accepted, playing with our food was an excellent way for the kids to get used to it.
Don’t miss the links at the bottom of this post for am eggsellent excellent tip on easy to peel hard-cooked eggs! It may seem simple, but it’s an art. Seriously.
Naturally Dyed Eggs
By What’s Cooking with Kids
1 dozen hard cooked white eggs (note – we had to buy eggs for the first time in ages, since our chickens lay brown, blue and green eggs!)
Colorful ingredients (described below)
Stickers and rubber bands to make patterns on the egg
Hard cook 1 dozen eggs and allow them to cool in the refrigerator (See cooking tip in links below).
Decide how many colors you want to make and take out the appropriate number of pots.
To each pot, add: 1 quart of water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Add the following ingredients to each pot:
- Red: 2 cups Cranberry juice and 8 cups red onion peels (Your grocer will gladly give you their discarded peels.)
- Red-Orange: 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
- Mahogany: 10-12 cups brown onion skins (Your grocer will gladly give you their discarded peels.)
- Yellow: 3-4 tablespoons tumeric
- Blue: ½—¾ head chopped red cabbage
- Bring each of the pots to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your eggs by wrapping them in rubber bands or putting on stickers (which will leave behind white stripes or patterns).
- Pour the dyes through a strainer and return them to the pot or a clean bowl.
- Gently lower some of the cooked eggs into each of the hot dyes.
- The color will deepen the longer they stay in the dye, but an hour should do the trick. If you wish to keep them submerged for longer, you should pour the dyes into containers that fit into your refrigerator, and let the eggs soak in there.
- When you are satisfied with the color saturation on the eggs, remove them from the liquid and dry them.
- Take off the rubber bands and stickers and enjoy!
Eggs: Resources and Recipes
- The Secret to Hard Cooking Eggs that are EASY to Peel!
- Easter Egg Bread – a bonus because it is SO beautiful and fun
- The MOST Beautiful Natural Egg Dye tutorial I have ever seen
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