Presenting… Nature's Dyes!

Take a Yearly Tradition and Make it Better!

Written by Gayle

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When my kids were little I wasn’t that excited about the annual egg-dyeing activity.  I was wary of the unnatural colors that were in the commercial egg-dyeing products.  But I wasn’t creative enough to figure out this solution–use nature’s dyes!
Today I did a little experimenting and tried my hand at using nature to dye some eggs.  
I found this great idea on a blog–

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I walked around my yard and snipped off some interesting plants.  Then I placed them on my eggs, securely wrapping them with gauze strips and then securing with rubber bands.  I was a little sloppy with my wrapping–I should have used thinner strips of gauze and wrapped the leaves more securely.  
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I put the wrapped eggs in a pan, added 1 tsp vinegar (this sets the color), and then covered the eggs with water.  Add your natural dye agent, and then bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.  
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I let the eggs cool a bit in the water (I just turned off the heat).  
When cool, I unwrapped the eggs and voila! 
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The one on the left was in beets (I just chopped up a small beet.)  The color wasn’t as vibrant as I expected, but what was really cool is that the fern colored the egg more than the beet did! I think I am going to use just the fern next time to get a wonderful green color!
The egg on the right was in yellow onion skins.  It had the asparagus fern on it.  I love that reddish Southwest color!
The grey egg was Red Zinger Tea.  That was a disappointment–I expected a nice pink!  The one in the front was spinach.  You can kind of see the leaf outlines on that one.
Next time, I think I will boil the dyeing ingredient (the onion skins, beets, etc) for a while to really bring the color into the water.  The water should then cool some before adding the eggs to boil.
One website suggested that if you want the colors more vibrant, you should cool and strain the water, then put the eggs back in to let them soak longer (overnight) in the refrigerator.  
Here are some other suggestions for natural dyes —  I’ll try some of these next time I boil eggs!
  • Red onion skins
  • Blueberries 
  • Red cabbage leaves
  • Orange or lemon peels
  • Turmeric (ground)
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Pomegranate juice

But of course, if you want to make it easier on yourself and still stay away from the unnatural dyes, Lassen’s carries these great natural dyeing kits!  
Happy Spring!

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