For anyone looking for something a little out of the ordinary, natural, and educational for this holiday weekend, consider experimenting with natural plant dyes for your Easter eggs! Check out these websites and others for more ideas to put some extra fun and interest into your Easter activities.
Here’s just one of many resources explaining how to get various colors of dye from ordinary items you probably already have in your pantry (or can easily find at the grocery store). While you’re out shopping, pick up a jug of white vinegar. In many cases, adding a little vinegar to the dye will result in a deeper, richer color.
If you’re feeling especially creative and want to include patterns on your eggs, check out these techniques:
Natural plant outlines, at Big Sis Little Sis: These are a bit time-consuming, but the result is unique and beautiful.
Rubber Band Designs, at Inkspired Musings: A simple idea with an eye-catching result.
Marbleized eggs, at Mom Advice: Swirly, two-toned eggs are created using oil and water with your dyes.
Infused eggs, at Real Food Forager: granted, these aren’t much good for an Easter egg hunt since the design on the flesh of the egg is achieved by cracking the shell, but it’s an interesting holiday effect for any dish using hard-boiled eggs. Maybe deviled eggs with a variety of festive colors?
All these creative websites got me curious, so I did some experimenting of my own. 1) Brown: one small saucepan with about three onions’ dry husks, a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, and water; 2) Yellow: one small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of turmeric, a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, and water; and 3) Blue-Gray: one small saucepan with some mashed-up frozen blueberries, a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar, and some water. I put several eggs in each pan and boiled as I usually do: start with the eggs in cold water, heat to boiling, allow to boil for about a minute and then turn off the heat and let them sit for about 12 minutes.
The blueberries were the only disappointment, coming out as a dull boring gray. I mashed up a few additional blueberries and applied them directly to the eggshell and then allowed them to dry, which improved the color, but I won’t be bothering with blueberries again. Maybe next time… red cabbage?
The turmeric and the onion skins turned out great! And the onion skins don’t even use up any food or spices! Here’s an image of the eggs as they turned out:
Nothing fancy this time, but it is pretty neat to see how these natural colorings have turned out… and bonus, now it’s easy to tell at a glance which eggs are hard-boiled and which ones aren’t! Maybe I will get more adventurous next time!
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