Every week, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Colorful Easter eggs are a welcome sign of spring, as well as a fun kitchen project -- made even more enjoyable when you use natural, homemade dye. It’s a very simple process, and it yields eggs that glow with gentle, natural color rather than the in-your-face brightness that commercial dyes create. The list of ingredients is short and wholesome, so after your Easter egg hunt, you can eat them any way you’d like without worrying about weird chemicals seeping through the eggshells.
To dye your eggs, all you need is water, plain white vinegar, and your choice of dye -- our favorites are beet, blueberry, coffee, and turmeric. You can soak the eggs in dye for just a few minutes, as we did, or as long as overnight, which deepens the eggs' color.
The real fun begins with you start to experiment with double-dipping your eggs. A soak in blueberry followed by a quick dunk in turmeric resulted in a gorgeous robin’s egg blue. Beet followed by blueberry resulted in a soft fuchsia-purple. There are so many other fruits and vegetables you could use -- consider purple cabbage or bright orange carrots.
Makes 12 eggs
1 cup shredded fruit or vegetable (beets, blueberries, etc)
4 tablespoons turmeric (for yellow eggs)
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee (for tan eggs)
2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar per color
12 hard boiled white eggs
First, shred or mash your produce. You’ll need roughly one cup, to which you’ll add 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup white vinegar.
Next, simmer the mixture on the stovetop for 10 minutes or so to help release the pigment and concentrate the color. When the simmering is done, pour the pulp-filled dye through a strainer and into a large mason jar. Dip and soak eggs until your heart's content.
After the egg’s colorful bath, pat it dry with paper towels or rinse it under water to remove any stray spots or streaks. Let the eggs dry, and enjoy. Happy hunting!
• For tan eggs, we dipped our eggs in 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee and 1/4 cup vinegar. We didn't use water, and we did not simmer the coffee mixture.
• For yellow eggs, we used 4 tablespoons turmeric, 2 cups water, and 1/4 cup vinegar. We didn't simmer this one, either.
Photos by Sarah Welle & Dulcie Wilcox