Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be prudent to share my experiences with producing homemade allergen free food dyes. You won't believe how easy it is!

Desired Color

Yellow (choose one)
2 teaspoons turmeric
10 saffron strands saffron
replace half the water with carrot juice

15 blueberries, crushed between fingers

Red (choose one)
skin of 3 red onions
2 raw beets, coarsely chopped or grated
1 raw chopped beet and skin of 1 to 2 red onions
replace half the water with pomegranate juice

Purple (choose one)
purple or black table grapes, crushed between fingers
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage

1/2 cup freshly-ground coffee

Intensity is adjusted by processing time, i.e., for pink you would process for a shorter time than if you desired red.

HOW TO for Easter Eggs (hardboiled eggs or blown-out egg shells*)
3 cups water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  1. Bring water to a boil then stir in white vinegar and color-producing item; remove pan from heat and set aside to steep for 10 minutes. If you choose, pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve or colander then pour only the liquid back into the rinsed pot.
  2. Add hard-boiled eggs and steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours (shade = steeping time; longer = darker).
*Blown-out Egg Shells: using a safety pin, poke a hole in each end of a raw egg, making one hole bigger than the other. Hold egg over the kitchen sink then place your mouth over the end with the smaller hole and begin to blow - slow, hard and steady. The yolk and white will begin to drip out the bottom - through the larger hole. Be careful to not blow to quick and hard as the egg shell will crack, especially around either hole. Once shell is empty, rinse well with hot water and set aside to dry. Proceed with dyeing and decorating as usual. Once egg shells are decorated and completely dry, you can dip them in water-thinned white school glue and set aside to dry, adding a protective lacquer.

What a trick!

Springy cardboard (not completely flat - one with "ridges" inside), cut to desired size
Stick pins
  1. Using ruler and pen, draw a grid of 1/2-inch squares to cover cardboard, edge to edge.
  2. Place a stick pin at each point of intersection, forming a grid of evenly-spaced pin heads.
  3. Set egg gently on top of pin heads to dry.

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