It's Easter Egg time! I don't know one kid who doesn't like to color Easter Eggs. There are two ways you can color eggs. You can buy the kits from the store or you can dye your eggs naturally with ingredients from your kitchen. The second way is the most fun, I think. Your eggs may not turn out as vibrant but the colors are beautiful and every one is different.
So lets get started.
First you need to know what makes what color. Right?
*Pink: Fresh beets or cranberries, frozen raspberries
*Red: Lots of red onion skins (boiled), pomegranite juice, canned cherries w/juice
*Orange: Yellow onion skins*Light yellow: Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin
*Yellow: Ground turmeric
*Pale green: Spinach leaves
*Green-gold: Yellow Delicious apple peels
*Blue: Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves
*Beige to brown: Strong brewed coffee, dill seeds
*Brown Orange: chili powder
*Grey: purple or red grape juice or beet juice
*Lavender: small quantity of grape juice, red zinger tea, violet blossoms + 2 tsp. lemon juice
*Purple or violet: violet blossoms, hibiscus tea, red wine, small quantity of red onion skins (boiled)
How to make natural egg dyes:
Wash hard-cooked (boiled) eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that may impede the color from adhering to the eggs. Let eggs cool before attempting to dye
You need to use your own judgment about exactly how much of each dye stuff to use. Except for spices, place a handful (or two or three handfuls) of a dyestuff in a saucepan.
Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye stuff. NOTE: This will be about 1 cup of water for each handful of dyestuff.
Bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until you like the color obtained. Keep in mind that dyed eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.
Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color. NOTE: Allow the egg to sit in the tea for several hours or overnight. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. If you plan to eat the eggs be sure to do this step in the refrigerator.
When eggs are dyed to the color you desire, lift the eggs out with the slotted spoon. Let them dry on a rack or drainer. NOTE: An egg carton works nicely as a drying rack. Be careful to handle the eggs gently and minimally as some of the colors can easily be rubbed off before the egg has dried.
For a textured look, dab the still wet egg with a sponge.
Eggs colored with natural dyes have a dull finish and are not glossy. After they are dry, you can rub the eggs with cooking oil or mineral oil to give them a soft sheen.
Note: Some natural dyes leak into the egg causing discoloration. They also may taste like the substance used to dye it so use caution if you plan to eat them.