By Alexandra Zissu, Editorial Director
We’re big fans of Easter-season egg-dying as a playful activity. But the synthetic colors most families use leave a lot to be desired. On a search for natural alternatives, we dug through our archives and came up with this post written a few years back by Janelle Sorensen, Healthy Child Healthy World Advisory Board Member.
I’m not sure who the marketing whiz is who came up with this, but PAAS has new themed egg dying kits this year including pirates and princesses. If you see the connection, please let me know because I’m clueless as to how these themes make any sense whatsoever. Bizarre marketing aside, egg-dying is a really fun family activity – regardless of your religious affiliation.
This year, try going au naturale using these fantastic natural dye recipes from Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking with Kids:
- 1 dozen hard-boiled white eggs
- White vinegar
- Natural dyes (see below)
- Stickers and rubber bands to make patterns on the eggs
1. Hard-boil the eggs and allow them to cool.
2. Get a separate pot for each color you want to make.
3. To each pot, add 1 quart of water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar
4. Add these ingredients to obtain your colors:
- Red: 2 cups cranberry juice and 8 cups red onion peels (Your grocer will likely give you their discarded peels.)
- Red-Orange: 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
- Mahogany: 10-12 cups brown onion skins (See your grocer again!)
- Yellow: 3-4 tablespoons turmeric
- Blue: ½ - ¾ head chopped red cabbage
5. Bring the pots to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Prep your eggs by wrapping them in rubber bands or putting on stickers that will leave stripes or patterns behind.
7. Strain the dyes and return them to the pot or a clean bowl.
8. Gently lower an egg into each of the hot dyes.
9. The color will deepen the longer they soak, but an hour should do the trick. For longer dye times, let the eggs soak in the refrigerator.
10. When you’re satisfied with the color on the eggs, remove them from the liquid and dry them.
11. Take off the rubber bands and stickers and enjoy!
Do you dye eggs? Any tips to share?
P.S. If you’re concerned about risky artificial food dyes, please sign our petition telling Kellogg’s to stop using them! They have in other countries due to consumer pressure, now it’s our turn to make them clean up their colors.