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The kits to dye the beloved Easter eggs cost on average $3 - $6 each which includes a pretty box and six chemical dye tablets.  This year before you purchase the kit, flip that pretty box over and take a look at the ingredients. 

We all know the dye seeps through the shell and into the egg white because we can see it.  It is scary to think that you are soaking the eggs your children will eat in chemicals found some household cleaners and other chemicals that are banned in some states. 

But why soak the eggs in chemicals to dye them, when scrapes from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that most people will have on hand.  Even kits, require the consumer to provide the eggs, vinegar, and water, so why not provide a safe dye too. 

Ingredients

  1. Wide Mason pint jar per color
  2. Two teaspoons of distilled white vinegar per color
  3. Masking tape
  4. Cloth or coffee filter per color
  5. 12 oz of hot water per color
  6. Color options for desired color (2 oz fresh product chopped, 1-2 tablespoon dried or powdered product (use 1 tablespoon for pale color and 2 tablespoons for darker color)

Two methods for extracting the dye

Method # 1 – Blender

Remove the end of the blender cup, move the rubber ring to below the blade, place tape counterclockwise around the rim of the quart jar.  Place hot water and colorant in the jar, place the end of the blender cup on the jar, return to blender, blend on high speed for 5 minutes.  Be careful when removing the jar, it may be very warm.  Strain plant matter out, add 2 teaspoons vinegar, and mix well.  Let cool before adding boiled eggs. Repeat for each color.

Method # 2 – Stovetop

Place water and cut up colorant in pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, strain out plant matter, add 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and mix well.  Let cool before adding the boiled egg.    Repeat for each color. 

Once the dye is ready, place the eggs in the dye for several minutes or until the egg is the desired color.  The longer it soaks, the darker the color.  To make a design on the eggs, before you place the egg in the dye jars, use a beeswax, unscented candle, crayon, or other safe wax to draw on the dry eggs. 

Colorants

Herbs, Spices, Fruits and Vegetable for Colorant (Make sure that anything you use for dye is food grade and organic if possible).

  • Reds and Pinks – Red beets, raspberries, Hibiscus flowers gentle red, Madder root is a deep red, Moroccan red clay brick red color, sorrel is soft pink, Lady’s bedstraw root coral pink, Tomato puree – light red
  • Yellow. Gold, and Orange – carrot juice, Cayenne and Paprika infused oil salmon color, Safflower infused or ground is deep yellow to orange, Turmeric is bright yellow to warm amber depending on amount, Anatto seeds is buttery gold to pale yellow, more for darker color, Buriti oil is deep orange added at trace bright yellow to citrus orange, Agrimony (Arunibud So) leaves and stems Brass/Yellow
  • Purple – Alknet – lavender to muted blue, Rattanjot power deep brownish purple color add to lye solution, Red Sandalwood steep in oil nice warm purple
  • Blue – Blue berries, black berries, Woad leaves blue to blue green color, Indigo Root is natural blue, Alkanet root flowers produce blue and roots produce red
  • Green – French Green Clay is pale green, Herbs like alfalfa, dill, parsley, sage, kale, peppermint are muted green, spirulina powder is bright green and drys to mossy green.

To keep things more interesting for pre-teens, make their eggs brown and black so the eggs blend in and are harder to find.

  • Grey/black – Activated charcoal, Beach Sunflower seeds (Helianthus debillis) – dark purple to black
  • Brown – 1.  Coffee –brewed coffee or use 2 teaspoons instant coffee.  2.  Cocoa – deep dark brown 3.  Cinnamon and cloves

 Happy hunting. 

 

 

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