I still remember taking the little wire egg dipper out of the package and dropping the multi-colored tablets into individual cups, dipping the eggs and placing them carefully in the holder. Ahhh, coloring Easter eggs, what a wonderful way to welcome spring and the promise of new life! These days bright colors, swirls, glitter and tie dye appeal to our inner-child’s pursuit of producing an Easter egg even better than the one pictured on the box! Unfortunately, with these tantalizing choices comes the risk of exposure to harsh and sometimes toxic chemicals.
Planning to eat those eggs after you and the kids have dyed them? Again, you might want to reconsider using one of those pre-packaged dye kits. We’ve all experienced cracking a hard boiled egg that has been colored/dyed, to peel it back and find that the egg itself is a lighter shade of the outside. Egg shells are porous and what you put on the outside (chemicals included) does leach into the actual egg.
Our local natural foods market sent out a list of how to make your own natural egg dyes. My kids and I tried it and it’s tons of fun! Plus, for a school age child it also makes for a great science project! Admittedly, this technique does take more effort but your kids will love learning how to make their own dye and you won’t have to worry what any of you are touching, ingesting, or what you might be dumping down the drain!
Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes *Red*
2 raw beets, grated or two cups of cranberries
2 cups water
2 to 3 tsp white vinegar *Blue*
1 cup purple grape juice
3 cups water
2 to 3 tsp white vinegar *Yellow*
2 Tbs turmeric root, grated (the powder works, but tends to leave a grainy residue)
2 cups water
2 to 3 tsp white vinegar
To make the dye, bring the water and fruit or vegetable to a boil (not necessary for the juice recipe). Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Cool and strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander. Stir in the vinegar. Dip boiled eggs to desired hue. Mix colors for orange, violet and green. Refrigerate if you plan to eat.