I’m not a huge fan of artificial food coloring additives. I’ve read enough studies linking them to behavioral disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) and cancer that I’m convinced that it is a good idea to keep them away from the little munchlette for as long as I possibly can (more on the evils of food coloring here, here and here).
So in the spirit of living closer to nature we (my sisters and I) decided to skip the synthetic supermarket egg dyеing kits and try dyеing eggs as nature intended (if nature can be said to really care about such a strange tradition) with natural, non-toxic dyes. The results were AWESOME, look!
Super fun and surprisingly easy. Well, creating the dyes was a bit time consuming but the bulk of the time was spent letting things simmer on the stove which was really not so much effort. Definitely worth the work given the beautiful results and the resultant peace of mind. We only made four dyes to keep things manageable.
So, here is what you’ll need:
4 cups of red cabbage
3 tbsp turmeric
Skins from 10 onions
4 cups of chopped beets
A few pots (3-quarts pot or larger)
Small bowls deep enough to hold an egg (for egg dyеing)
Slotted spoon for egg retrieval
Paper towels (for egg drying)
Drying rack (for egg drying)
And here’s what you need to do:
Take your dyeing ingredient (cabbage/turmeric/onion skins/beets) and put each of them into their own pot with a quart of water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar (add more water & vinegar in equal proportions to cover all of the ingredients if necessary).
I don’t really know what happened to my picture of the onion skins pot but you can imagine it based on the others, no? You can also do the ingredients one at a time and use the same pot if you have all day but I didn’t so I just put them all in separate pots. Bring your ingredients to a boil then lower the heat and let it all simmer for 30 minutes to reduce the liquid and let the colors really concentrate. Strain, pour into little bowls for dyeing and dye to your heart’s content!
We let most of ours sit for a few minutes to get the colors you see in the pictures. My sisters also used some masking tape and crayons to make designs on some of their eggs. I understand that if you leave them overnight the colors are even more vibrant. I LOVED the subtle colors that we ended up with and loved even more knowing that I did it using only nature’s help.