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.





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




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


Delicate yellow


Ground turmeric (the spice)




Spinach leaves


Pale Green


Yellow Delicious apple peels




Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves




Strong brewed coffee


Beige to brown


Yellow Delicious apple peels




Dill seeds




Chilli powder




Purple or red grape juice or beet juice



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


9:41 am edt          Comments

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