Natural Dyes for Eggs

The tradition of eggs, egg magic, and symbolism in the springtime is woven throughout history and culture.  Each thread carrying their own intention for the humble egg.  It is used in fertility magic, protection magic, and cleansing magic to name a few.   Eggs are used in healing in the case of Mal de Ojo, or the evil eye and to detect other such spiritual issues. Eggs are eaten for protein and for ritual; to bring in abundance and good fortune for the rebirth of the year in the spring.   Many cultures include traditions of dying eggs to enhance these energies and imbibe the egg with even greater spiritual significance.

Today, many of us will continue these traditions of dying and eating eggs to welcome in the spring and remember the old ways handed down to us. However, the modern world as gotten away from what is natural; very often, using the store bought dyes to color the eggs is akin to soaking food in a chemical bath. If we gave it half a thought, I’m sure that we would turn away from that practice and return to the old ways of dying.  Here are some recipes and natural suggestions for dying eggs that are safe for your kids and your family to experiment with and eat.  Buy only organic items if you want to keep them chemical free.

Bluish-Gray

Mix 1c blueberries with 1c water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.

Blueberries will create a slightly marbled blue color. Experiment with the differences between fresh, frozen and canned.

Blue
Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. white vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.

Green / Blue

2 cups shredded purple cabbage + enough water to cover cabbage by 1 inch + vinegar. Brown eggs will turn green and white eggs will turn blue.

Dark Green

  • Strongly brewed hibiscus tea (with one tablespoon vinegar per cup) will create the dark green pictured in the photo at the top.
  • Using Spinach with vinegar will also create a green dye
  • Liquid Chlorophyll; Stir 2 Tbsp.into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white
  • Spirulina powder; Stir 2 Tbsp.into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white

Jade Green
Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Green-Yellow
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Orange

  • Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.
  • Carrots

Faint Red-Orange

  •  Stir 2 Tbsp.paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white
  • 1 cup yellow onion skins — makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
  • Stir 2 Tbsp. Chilli powder into 1 cup of boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar

Red

  • 1 cup red onion skins — makes lavender or red eggs
  • 1 cup yellow onion skins — makes orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
  • Beets left long enough will also make red eggs
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Canned Cherries (with syrup)

Maroon 

  • 1 cup shredded beets — makes pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs

 Yellow

  • Rich yellow:Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
  • Mustard-yellow:Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric, saffron, celery seed, or cumin into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
  • Various shades:Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • Pale yellow: Chop 4 oz. goldenrod and simmer in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
  • Faint yellow:Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.

Brown-Gold
Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. 

Brown

  • Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.
  • Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup Instant Coffee
  • Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
  • Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup Black Tea
  • Or just leave a brown egg its natural color, hard boiled

Pinks

  • Faint pink:
  1. Chop 4 oz. amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white

vinegar.

2. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes;

strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

3. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

4. Try also raspberries or blackberries

5. Cranberries or Juice

  • Dark pink:Grate 1 medium beet and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar and let cool to room temperature; remove beets.

Lavender

  • Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup red onion skins — makes lavender or red eggs
  • 1 bag Red Zinger tea — makes lavender eggs
  • Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Purple

Use one cup of red wine and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

How To:

Pour the amount of water you need for the dye you’re making into a saucepan — you can make 4 separate batches of different colors or 1 large batch of a single color.

Add the dye matter (purple cabbage, onion skins, etc.) and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes. The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg.

Drip a little dye onto a white dish to check the color. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove the pan from the heat and let the dye cool to room temperature.

Pour the cooled dye through a fine-mesh strainer into another saucepan. Stir the vinegar into the dye; use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of strained liquid.

Use room-temperature eggs in a container you are using for dying, a glass bowl, coffee mug, mason jars, whatever you have chosen, and carefully pour the cooled dye over them. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged.

Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired color is reached.

Carefully dry the eggs. The dried eggs will have a matte finish.

For a shiny luster, massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them.

Also, try blending dye types to create new colors, make sure you write your recipes and outcomes down as you go, you may want to repeat them for another time or next year.

Recipe Notes:

You can also start with raw eggs and cook them in the dye bath. Dyes like the Zinger tea and beets, the color was more concentrated with the refrigerator method.  Of course, this method requires clearing out some space in the refrigerator.

Adding Designs to your Eggs:

You can make your eggs even fancier by using a clear or white crayon to draw on your eggs before dying.  This will prevent the dye from contacting the shell and will remain the original color.  You can layer colors in your design also by applying a wax design and starting with the lightest color dye you egg, each time, covering in the crayon or wax to protect that color. Next dye the egg in a darker color and so on until you have your desired outcome.  This will take some planning if you have a fancy design in mind or you can just experiment.

You can use things like rubber bands or stickers to also cover areas that you do not wish to be dyed.  There are a number of ways you affect the outcome by using different objects to block the dye from reaching the shell.  Try some experimentation until you get your desired result.  If you have tie dyed a shirt before, it has some of the same basic principles.

So here try dying your eggs this year with natural dyes; experiment have fun.  It will take a bit longer, overnight, but the results will be beautiful and so much better for you and your kids will have a blast.  Happy spring!

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer available at http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

 

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