I have used this technique to dye eggs a deep gold and red-ish color for Passover, which I’ve served at the seder meal in a Moroccan ceramic tagine for a decorative, earthy look — and clearly, this process is very apropos for Easter eggs.
Pasture raised eggs
White Vinegar such as Spectrum Organic White Distilled Vinegar
Vegetables and spices, see step one below
Wooden spoon and slotted spoon
Olive oil such as Bariani, Wilderness Family Naturals and Zoe
Optional wax, cooking twin, leaves, etc
Choose which colors you’d like to dye your eggs.
Red onion skins, use a lot
Whole beets – not canned
Cherries or cranberries
Lemon or orange peel
Boil eggs in 3 tablespoons of ground turmeric for 12-15 minutes
Boil eggs in 3 tablespoons of ground turmeric for 30 minutes
Bright green apple peels
Yellow onion skins
Canned blueberries and their juice
Red cabbage leaves
Purple grape juice
Boil 1/2 head of red chopped cabbage, soak eggs in solution in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Please note: cabbage dye does not work until it cools.
Boil 1/2 head of red chopped cabbage for 30 minutes, soak eggs in solution in the fridge overnight.
Red onion skins (less than needed for red)
Fresh green herbs
Olive green, use red onion skins. The color is produced by the reaction with the vinegar.
1 quart of strong black coffee instead of water
Black walnut shells
Handful of cumin seeds
Diluted purple grape juice
Violet blossoms plus squeeze of lemon
3 cups of chopped beet
Cranberries or cranberry juice
Red grape juice
Place eggs in the bottom of a large pan.
Cove with water. For each color, fill a saucepan with at least three inches of water. Add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar. Add the natural ingredient of your choice from above. It’ll take a lot … around two cups, packed.
Bring the contents to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the color you are intending. some ingredients take longer to set and the longer the eggs boil, the deeper the color. To further deepen the color, take the pan off the stove and store in the fridge overnight.
Remove the eggs from the dye.
If you’re satisfied with the color, then allow them to dry on racks over old dish towels. For deeper, richer colors, strain the liquid, and allow the egg to continue to soak for up to eight hours. Any longer, and the vinegar will start to disintegrate the shell. If you plan to eat the eggs, put them into the refrigerator.
Use brown eggs for deep gold and browns, white eggs for other colors. Try creating unique designs on your eggs by drawing on them with white crayons, tying cooking twin around them before dyeing. For permanent hallow eggs, create a small hole in both tends of the egg with a safety pin or wire and gently blow contents of the egg out of one end. Any food that gives off a tint when boiled is a potential dyeing agent – look around the kitchen for other ingredients that might produce interesting hues.
To add a marbleized effect, stir in a few teaspoons of olive oil into the cooled, strained dye. The oil will stick to the shell in certain places, preventing the dye from continuing to color the shell in certain spots.
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