Unless you’ve been living in a hole in the ground, you probably know that food dyes are not good for you. They may cause a myriad of negative side-effects, ranging from ADHD to tumors. 1,2,3 You may even know that food dyes that the FDA deems safe and allowable to include in our food in the US, is illegal in many other countries. I have theories about why the FDA allows corporations to knowingly poison children, who are the most targeted by these ingredients (*ahem*… pressure from corporate America… money and a lack of morality). And while I could launch into a rant about greedy politicians and evil corporations, I’ll save that for another day. The point is…
Food Dyes = Bad.
The good news is that our planet is full of natural beauty. Artificial dyes were inspired by colors that actually exist in nature. Which leads me to a question: why would you buy the cheap knock off brand, when the authentic version is better, affordable and accessible (and doesn’t cause hyperactivity in children)?
So if I haven’t lost you on my rant so far, let me get to the good stuff. Homemade Easter Egg Dyes. You can create beautiful Easter eggs, really works of art, using common kitchen ingredients, and teach your children to appreciate nature in the process.
Homemade Easter Egg Dye
You’ll start by boiling your eggs until they’re cooked through, which generally takes about 15 minutes from when the water starts to boil. Allow them to cool.
The basic process for creating the natural dye is to boil around 2 cups of water with the spice, herb, fruit or vegetable of choice, for around 5 – 10 minutes, then remove from heat. This isn’t an exact science… just watch the color of the water and use your best judgement. Strain the water and transfer to a mason jar. Once the water is cooled, you can place how ever many hard boiled eggs as you want and/or will fit, and let them hang out, for 1 – 4 hours, depending on the color you are hoping to achieve.
Here are the colors you can choose from… but use your imagination! If you have something in your refrigerator or pantry that you think would make a beautiful or unique color, give it a try. Just make sure it’s edible and safe for ingestion.
|Purple||Blossoms from a Violet Plant
Red Onion Skins
Red Wine (Note: this doesn’t need to be diluted or boiled. Just stick ‘em right in the wine)
Red Cabbage Leaves
|Brown||Strong Coffee (Brewed, not boiled)
|Yellow||Orange or lemon peels
|Orange||Yellow onion skins
Raspberries (keep them in for longer)
And that is how you make homemade Easter egg dye! I hope you’ll skip the commercial version and appreciate the beauty of nature instead. As I said earlier, this is a great activity for young children or even young adults. Teach them to be resourceful, innovative and creative. It’ll be a great experiment for you and your little ones!
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