Have you ever tried dyeing eggs with fruits, veggies, spices or even wine? They produce gorgeous results. The best part: It is easier than you think, safe, and kids have a lot of fun turning ingredients from their kitchen into beautiful dyes.
These are the ingredients found in a typical egg dye kit: FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #2, cellulose gum, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Red #3, FD&C Blue #1, magnesium stearate, zinc stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate and silicon dioxide.
Artificial food coloring (FD&C #s listed above) has been linked to hyperactivity in children as well as allergic reactions and other adverse effects. The Environmental Working Group has also listed its own concerns for sodium lauryl sulfate. Irritation of the skin and eyes, organ and reproductive toxicity, neuro-toxicity, cancer and endocrine disruption are among those listed. When it comes to our little ones, these chemicals and additives are not pretty.
But, kids aren’t eating them so it’s okay, right?
You would think, but our skin is actually the most absorbent organ we have. When chemicals touch our skin, they are absorbed straight into our body without a filter or enzymes breaking them down. This makes whatever we absorb readily available to the bloodstream. The internal effects of chemicals coming in contact with our skin can often times be worse than if we had ingested them and because children are small, they have a much harder time dealing with toxins. Our soil also has to deal with the heavy load of toxic chemical runoff that comes its way as these artificial egg dye kits get washed down the drain. Sure, it’s probably easier to grab an egg dyeing kit and call it good, but minimizing our exposure to chemicals is better for our bodies, our overall toxic load and the environment as a whole. Can I get an amen?! 😉
Ditch the chemicals in egg dye kits this year and go au naturale! Here’s how you and your kiddos can do it…
Step One: Pick Out Your Egg Colors
turmeric + yellow onion skins = orange
yellow onion skins = red orange
red wine = red purple
turmeric powder = yellow
blueberries = blue charcoal
red onion skins + ground cayenne = tan/brown
purple cabbage = bright blue
Step Two: Make Your Dyes
Hard boil 12 white, pastured eggs (you can use brown eggs, they will just turn out a different color than what is shown in this post).
Bright Blue: chop 3/4th head of cabbage. Place in a pot with just enough water to cover the cabbage. Add 2 Tbs. vinegar. Boil for 30 min. Strain. Pour strained dye into a wide-mouth mason jar. Let cool. Once cooled, add 2 eggs.
Tan/Brown: take the skins of 3 red onions + 1 tsp. cayenne and place in a pot with just enough water to cover skins. Add 2 Tbs. vinegar. Boil for 30 min. Strain. Pour strained water into a wide-mouth mason jar. Let cool. Once cooled, add 2 eggs.
Blue Charcoal: take 8 oz. of crushed blueberries + 16 oz. of water + 2 Tbs. vinegar and place in a pot. Simmer for 10 min. Strain. Pour strained water into a wide-mouth mason jar. Let cool. Once cooled, add 2 eggs.
Red Purple: take 1 1/2 c. of red wine + 1/2 c. water 2 Tbs. vinegar and pour into a mason jar. Add 1-2 eggs.
Red Orange: take the skins of 3 yellow onions and place in a pot with just enough water to cover skins. Add 2 Tbs. vinegar. Boil for 30 min. Strain. Pour strained water into a wide-mouth mason jar. Let cool. Once cooled, add 2 eggs.
Yellow: take 2 Tbs. ground turmeric powder + 16 oz. of water + 2 Tbs. vinegar and place in a pot. Simmer 10 minutes. Strain. Pour strained dye into a wide-mouth mason jar. Let cool. Once cooled, add 1-2 eggs.
Orange: take approx. 4 oz. of your red/orange dye + 4 oz. of your yellow dye and combine in a mason jar. Add 2 eggs.
Step Three: Dye Your Eggs
This is the fun part! Place your jars in the refrigerator and dye your eggs for 12-24 hrs. I found that giving them 24 hours results in a deeper hue. My little guy had a blast checking on them throughout the process. We would take them out of the refrigerator every few hours and slowly pull each egg up with a spoon to see how it was going. His face was priceless each time we pulled an egg up and saw the color transformation.
I thought about this afterwards, but you could mix your yellow turmeric dye with your red cabbage blue dye and perhaps get green? I will try that next time.
Step Four: The End Result
Once you let them dye for 24 hours pull each egg out of the dye solution one by one and rinse. Let them dry. If you want a shine to each egg, you can rub a little coconut oil on them. Beautiful eggs using real food ingredients from your kitchen! Happy egg dyeing – au naturale!
Have you ever tried egg dyeing with real food ingredients? What were some of your favorite ingredients + color combos? Tell us in the comments!
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