The Friday List: Natural Easter Eggs

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(Photo: Geri-Jean Blanchard)

While driving the other day, I heard this is the earliest Easter in 95 years.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Since it just doesn’t feel like Easter this early, I’m seriously considering a picnic and kites at the beach instead of the usual ham-centered brunch. Of course, the girls can’t wait for the mess and magic of coloring eggs tomorrow as usual, no matter how we end up celebrating on Sunday.

And about those eggs.

Somehow, despite throwing out the commercial cleaning products and the preservative-filled packaged foods over these asthma-ridden years, I’ve never given up the Easter egg dye.

I mean to. Every year I pick up one of those Paas kits, the girls slosh artificial pink and purple and yellow and green all over a dozen hard-boiled eggs, and then—guilt-ridden over the waste—I dump them all in the garbage Easter evening because I don’t want them eating all that dye.

Finally, this year I’m trying the more natural method. Since some of your kids have food allergies, triggers, and intolerances I figured you might be interested, too. Today’s list is for Easter egg colors you can (apparently) make from fruits, vegetables and juices. The process follows.

1. Pink
Raspberries, beets, or cranberries
Cranberry or red grape juice

2. Blue
Blueberries

3. Purple
Blackberries
Purple grape juice

4. Yellow
Carrots or carrot peels
Celery seed
Cumin

5. Orange
Paprika
Yellow onion skins

6. Green
Spinach leaves

And the process:

1. Hard boil the eggs and store them in the refrigerator while you make the dyes.

2. For each color, cook the appropriate chopped fruits or vegetables and a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in a quart or so of water until you like the color. (You can use the juices just as they are, with no prep work except adding the vinegar.)

3. Strain the fruit and vegetables out, and cool the dyes.

4. Dip the eggs in each color as you normally do, but for stronger colors (like with commercial dyes) you’ll probably have to let the eggs soak in a color bath in the refrigerator.

I really don’t know how these will turn out. My reading tells me natural dyes are more subtle than artificial ones, so tomorrow could find the girls staring at their pale, loser eggs and wondering why they can’t just have a normal mother rather than one who takes the long way around.

On the other hand, making our own dyes gives them enormous potential for mess and mad-scientist experimentation with foods and color, always a plus for kids.

Tomorrow’s either going to be wildly successful or utterly disappointing.

More on DIY Easter egg dyes here and here.

9 responses to “The Friday List: Natural Easter Eggs”

  1. Asthmagirl says:

    What a wonderful idea! I don’t see how it could be a failure, given that you won’t have to throw the eggs away like you usually do!

  2. Blessedmomof4 says:

    Oh my Amy…..you crack me up today! I was totally laughing out loud to the point my kids came running over…..esp. the part about “starring at their loser eggs” and “normal mom….” Every year I totally plan to try natural dye and never do……so maybe this yr! My dh already bought the dye, but I think we will at least have to try both methods as an experiment!!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you. :)

  3. Amy says:

    Well, we mixed the dyes up today, and we’re trying them out tomorrow….so far we’ve go what looks like a decent pink, a sort-of violet, a green, and a yellowish orange. I have NO idea what they’ll look like on the eggs, though. Maybe I’ll post some photos (even if they’re loser eggs, lol).

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