This Sunday is Easter, a sacred Christian holiday that has somehow become synonymous with bunnies, chocolate, and colored eggs. Like Christmas, the commercialized aspects of the day have turned it into Everyman’s celebration of spring. The drugstores, grocery stores and toy stores are filled with bunnies; some stuffed, some chocolate, and some made out of a nasty colored, chemical laden marshmallow mixture. The colored eggs, when not formed from plastic and designed to hold some of the above, are made at home.
There are many ways to dye Easter eggs. Some hard-boil them; some poke a hole and blow the contents out, leaving a hollow egg to embellish. They can be painted, drawn on, covered in fabric, yarn or colorful tapes. There are decals and decorating kits, produced just for this purpose.
I prefer to create eggs that can be eaten. And I sure don’t want to eat something that has been dipped in possibly toxic dyes and vinegar.
Why not consider making naturals dyes, derived from real foods?
Here are a few ideas for creating edible dyes in beautiful hues to enhance your Easter basket:
Boil 2 cups of chopped red cabbage in a quart of water. Add ¼ cup white vinegar. Strain before using.
Alternatively, cook blueberries in water and vinegar for a purple-blue cast.
Mix 1 cup of Concord grape juice with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
Pinks and reds:
Simmer 2 chopped beets with ¼ cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Strain before using.
Cranberries can also be used instead, to create another red hue.
Mix 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes before using.
Mix the yellow dye and the blue dye together to create a new color.
Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika with 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and allowing it to steep before using.
Alternatively, mix the red and yellow dyes together to obtain the perfect color.
Allow the dyes to cool before using. The longer the dyes are allowed to steep, the deeper the hue will be. The dye should look darker than the desired shade before using. The longer the eggs are soaked, the deeper the color. Experiment with other colorful foods to create beautiful, edible eggs.
photos: Glasshouse Images