I have to admit that I was skeptical of this project. I made Erik try it, because I thought it would be an interesting experiment, but I wasn’t terribly hopeful that this would come close to the commercial dyes. But look! The colors are so vivid! It’s really not much harder than using Paas and the ingredients are pretty common, so you could do this on a whim…like the day before Easter when you want colored eggs, but don’t feel like shopping.
There are only three steps.
Cook the eggs. We cover the eggs in cold water then bring it to a boil. Once it’s rolling, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run cold water over the eggs until they no longer feel hot.
Make the dye. Place 2 cups of raw material (see list below), 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain out the solids. Let the dye cool slightly.
Dye the eggs. Set out as many tall, narrow containers as you have colors of dye. We used half pint jars, which worked really well. Glass or metal containers are best, because they won’t stain. Place the eggs in the containers and cover with dye.
Go watch TV or make a cake for 15 to 20 minutes, then move the eggs around so that a different part is resting on the container. This will help avoid light spots. Repeat once or twice or until the eggs are the desired color.
That’s it! We tried a few different raw materials, but these worked the best.
Shredded beets = red
Shredded red cabbage = blue (yes, blue!!)
Yellow onion skins = orange
Turmeric = yellow (use 2 to 3 tablespoons and don’t bother to strain out the solids – just stir it up each time you shift the eggs)
Green = 1 part blue + 1 part yellow
Purple = 1 part blue + 1 part red