FOOD, Field to Fork: How to Grow Sustainably, Shop Wisely,

Cook Nutritiously, and Eat Deliciously

by Anita M. Kobuszewski, MS, RD 

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

DO IT YOURSELF Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

Can't leave the house? Dye your own Easter eggs naturally. The earliest dyes came from nature: Yellow onion skins or hickory bark for yellow; madder root or brazilwood for red; walnut shells or coffee for brown; and barks, berries and leaves of other plants for a multitude of colors. Because nature provides such a profuse variety of raw materials, natural dyeing is an art, not a precise science.

 

Start with either hard-cooked eggs or emptied eggshells. Then, choose a dyestuff. Just a few possible dyestuffs for eggshells are listed below. Using your own judgement about quantity, place a handful - or two or three - of a dyestuff in a saucepan. Add tap water to come at least an inch above the dyestuff, about one cup water for each handful. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes or up to an hour until the color is the shade you desire, keeping in mind that eggs will dye a lighter shade. Remove the pan from the heat.

 

 Using cheesecloth or a fine sieve, strain the dye mixture into a small bowl that's deep enough to completely cover the eggs to be dyed. Add two to three teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of liquid. With a spoon or wire egg holder from a dyeing kit, lower the eggs into the hot liquid and let them stand until they reach the desired color. For emptied eggshells, stir or rotate for even coloring. With a slotted spoon or wire egg holder, remove the eggs to a rack or drainer. Allow to dry thoroughly. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs intended eggs intended to be eaten within less than two (2) hours.

 

 

Naturally dyed eggs tend to have a duller finish than commercially dyed eggs  For a soft sheen, after drying, rub with cooking or mineral oil.

 


Dyestuff

 

Color

Fresh beets, cranberries,radishes or frozen raspberries
Pinkish red Yellow onion skins

 

Orange

 

Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or
ground Cumin

 

Delicate yellow

 

Ground turmeric (the spice)

 

Yellow

 

Spinach leaves

 

Pale Green

 

Yellow Delicious apple peels

 

Green-gold

 

Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves

 

Blue

 

Strong brewed coffee

 

Beige to brown

 

Yellow Delicious apple peels

 

Green-gold

 

Dill seeds

 

Brown-gold

 

Chilli powder

 

Brown-orange

 

Purple or red grape juice or beet juice

 

Grey


Source: Eggcyclopedia, Unabridged 6/99. The Incredible Edible Egg, pg. 1.9

 

9:41 am edt          Comments


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Get busy taking better care of yourself. Check out these websites on food, gardening, cooking and nutrition:

www.AnitaBeHealthy.com  (my website with videos and nutrition information)

www.ChooseMyPlate.gov  (healthy eating w/ the new MyPlate Food Patterns)

www.apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets  (search this database of 4,800 farmers markets across the USA)

www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov  (info on the benefits of eating produce plus expert cooking, nutrition and shopping tips

 

Site of the Month: Live a More Colorful Life! (Public Health Dept., Tarrant County, Texas)

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