Colorfully decorated eggs have been a part of Easter and celebrations of spring for thousands of years.
Many of us are familiar with egg decorating dyes and kits but you can easily dye eggs from simple ingredients already found in your kitchen pantry. Common items like coffee, onion skins, beetroot, and turmeric can all be used to turn ordinary white eggs into colourful masterpieces worthy of Easter baskets and seasonal decorating.
All you need to make natural dye are three simple ingredients:
- Your choice of one natural ingredient – i.e. beets, coffee, turmeric, parsley, etc.
- 1 quart water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Directions for making dye:
- In a medium saucepan, bring your choice of dye ingredient, 1 quart water, and 2 tablesppoons white vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until desired color hue is reached.
- Using a strainer, pour dye into a clean glass bowl. Set aside.
Directions for cooking and dyeing eggs:
- Add eggs to a medium-size saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat; cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain water from pot. Run cold water over eggs until they cool down somewhat. Fill pot with cold water and let eggs sit until completely cooled.
- Drain water. Using a little mild detergent in warm water, gently rub eggs with a cloth to remove any oils from eggshells. Rinse and pat eggs dry.
- Place cleaned eggs into the bowls filled with dye liquid. Place bowls in the refrigerator and soak until desired color is reached.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from dye, pat dry with paper towels and place on a drying rack to dry completely.
NOTE: You can boil raw eggs in the strained dye liquid for about 30 minutes to produce more vibrantly coloured eggs.
You can also used the strained dye to colour peeled, hard-boiled eggs for deviled egg recipes. Simply hard-boil eggs, peel off eggshells and immerse eggs into dye for about 1 hour. Remove, pat dry, and prepare as desired.