Natural Easter Egg Dyes: Budget Food Tip

Instead of buying the packaged dyes for your Easter eggs, why not try a natural approach? Using nature’s rainbow you can create eggs in a wonderful variety of colors, and using products you most likely already have in your pantry or refrigerator.

Before hard boiling, wash eggs with a mild soap and water to remove any dyes, chemicals or oil that might adversely affect the dyes.

You will need:
Hard-boiled eggs

White vinegar

Fruits, vegetables and spices for coloring:
Pink/Red: Cranberries or cranberry juice, beets, radishes
Orange: Dried paprika
Green: Spinach leaves
Yellow: Lemon peels, dried turmeric, celery seed
Purple: Red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, grape juice
Brown: Coffee, tea, dill seeds

To make:
For the dye, use four cups of chopped fruits or vegetables to four cups water. Alternately, for dried spices, use 3 tablespoons spice in 4 cups of water. Pour each color into a medium sauce pan and add two tablespoons of vinegar to each. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the dye and allow it to cool until just warm. With a spoon, dip hard-boiled eggs in the dyes for five to 10 minutes, until the egg is the desired color intensity, then pat dry with a towel.

For a mottled, marbled look, pour dyes into shallow bowls and add 1 tablespoon oil. Swirl oil around with a fork so that it creates oily spots, then roll eggs through the oil. Pat dry with a towel.

Refrigerate eggs until you plan to eat them (any eggs left unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours should be discarded). Hard-boiled eggs keep in the fridge for up to a week.