Thursday, April 5, 2012

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Are you sick of letting chemicals get too close to your food and does it upset you when you read in the media that a substance once deemed safe is now a health risk? Here's a simple way to spruce up your Easter eggs while making sure you don't contaminate your food supply with dye. You might think this is an impractical idea because it's so much more inexpensive to buy coloring kit for $2 at the store and the egg shell doesn't technically touch the egg whites inside. Unfortunately, in my experience, when you're cracking your eggs open to eat them, the color will bleed inside to the egg and end up in your food, not to mention that you will be carrying it on your hands while you're eating.

Healthy vegetables and spices, which can reduce your chances of cancer and heart disease as well as a myriad of other health problems, can make gorgeous natural Easter egg dyes. For each color you want to use, simmer 2 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar with the dye ingredient for at least half of an hour. This is a much more time consuming process but the longer you let the ingredient summer, the more intense of a hue you will achieve. Drain the liquid when you deem the color to your liking and allow to cool to room temperature before using.

Red: 1 cup red onion skins (saved from 2-3 onions), 1/2 cup strawberries
Deep blue: 1 head of cabbage
Purple: 2.5 cups blueberries
Magenta: 1 large beet (diced)
Orange: 4 tablespoons ground paprika, 1/2 cup carrot ends
Yellow: 4 tablespoons ground turmeric, 2 lemon skins
Brown: 2 tea bags or 1/2 cup coffee
Light Green: 2 cups of spinach

When you're finished making your color, place each one into a jar or bowl (preferably one that you don't mind getting stained, don't use your fine china for this process) and dip your hard-boiled eggs into each color, letting it sit for at least 10 minutes for a lighter hue. To achieve a more saturated hue of the color, make sure that you let the egg sit inside the dye for longer.

These eggs aren't going to be as bright as unnatural chemically dyed eggs but the trade off for the time it took for you to achieve natural dye and slightly less vibrant color is health. That is definitely a trade off I'm willing to make!

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