Guest Post: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

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Today I’ve asked a fellow “real food” blogger to share her natural Easter egg dye method with us…so please “meet” Christina with Spoonfed (a Jamie Oliver blog of the month)!

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My name is Christina Le Beau, and I write a blog called Spoonfed, which is about raising food-literate children. My goal with Spoonfed (and its companion Facebook page) is to raise awareness of our food system, make kids part of the conversation and, importantly, encourage people to rethink their assumptions about kids and food. One topic I’ve covered frequently is the importance of eliminating petrochemical dyes from our food supply. As Lisa noted in her own recent post on the subject, artificial colors are all risk, no benefit. And who needs that in their Easter basket?

So here’s what we do come Easter time, egg dyeing at its simplest (with recipes inspired by my friend Kris Bordessa of Attainable Sustainable):

1. Hard-boil a bunch of eggs. Doesn’t matter if they’re white or pastel or brown. Each one lends itself to great color variations. (But choose local, pastured eggs if you can. Check out Local Harvest for why that’s important and where you can find good eggs near you.)

2. On your stove, set out four pots* with two cups of water each.

3. To one pot, add a hefty teaspoon of turmeric powder (that’s your yellow). To another, add a couple handfuls of chopped red beets, either fresh or jarred (that’s pink). To a third, add two cups of frozen blueberries or blackberries (your blue). Bring the pots to boiling, then let them simmer five minutes.

4. For the fourth pot, boil the water separately, then turn off the heat and add the contents of six chlorophyll capsules, which can be found in natural-foods stores (that’s your green).

5. After everything has cooled, strain out the chunky bits, then add a teaspoon of vinegar to each the beets (pink) and berries (blue).

6. Dunk eggs. Maybe mark them with crayons for fun designs. Keep dunking and cross-dunking and letting them soak a bit until you get colors you like. Be happy.

*If you don’t have four pots, use a teapot to boil the water for the chlorophyll capsules. That one doesn’t need to simmer, so you can easily pour out two cups of water and mix the green in a separate bowl.

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59 comments to Guest Post: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

  • Debra Spurlock

    I put my eggs in a large pot and cover with water, fill to 2 inches above top of eggs. I bring the eggs to a roiling boil, remove from heat and cover. Let stand 12 – 15 minutes. Then I put the pot in the sink and add cold water, while pan is filling up I swish them gently around in the pot with my hand. Sometimes in the summer I add a tray of ice cubes to the water. In winter my tap water is ice cold (well water). I tap them gently on counter in several different areas, then roll them gently between my 2 hands. Peel gently, insuring you get the thin film under the egg shell. Never had a problem, works great every time.
    Your natural dyes for the eggs work great, even on fresh from the coop brown eggs.

  • […] with a family tradition of dying eggs on Easter, some friends and I decided to take 100 Days of Real Foods’ advice and use natural […]

  • Gina

    I am planning to dye eggs with my 2 year old using whipped cream (for a fun sensory experience). Is there a special way to make these dyes in a more concentrated form, or do I just use less water? I don’t want to water down my whipped cream, and I don’t want to use artificial dyes – which is typically what is used.

  • Blair

    It’s not like we eat the shell though, is it really necessary? I tried the blueberries and turmeric last year on our brown eggs. the blueberries left a faint blue tint and the turmeric did not even show up at all.

  • Ashley

    After learning about how artificial coloring isn’t good, we have been trying to steer clear of it. However, I am wondering why is it bad for the egg shells to be dyed with the artificial food coloring? We don’t eat that part.

  • Shirley

    I followed directions and they were really pale, kids were not having much fun so I found a box of unopened food dyes in my drawer in back, thank God it saved the day! Sorry but this just does not work well, but it did make my kids actually appreciate the dyes they ended up with and I was very grateful for happy kids. hey I did try anyways.

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