Hi, I thought this was worth re-posting with Easter upon us. Beside using natural dyes, don't forget to buy healthy organic eggs from free ranged chickens. If you can buy them from a local farmer, even better.
A lot of people are going to be dyeing eggs this Easter, and so many will be using those awful food coloring dyes. I stay away from all food coloring, and if you can color eggs that will look just as nice why not use natural dyes.
You can dye them all with just 4 things, beets, spinach, yellow onion skins, and blueberries (you can use frozen). Actually you can do it with only a couple of items and mix them to create different colors, but to start out with, those are great. With the beets your color ranges from pink to red, with spinach it's a green, the onion skin will give you a nice yellow to orange color, and the blueberries will give you a pretty lavender to blue color. These are the ones I've used, but there are many other choices. Here are some I've heard of:
red - red cabbage, cranberry juice, red onion skins
blue - red cabbage, purple grape juice
yellow - lemon skin, orange skin, turmeric
orange - orange skin, chili powder, carrot tops
You can combine the colors for an interesting effect. Play around with them, and see what you get.
I suggest you wash the eggs first in a vinegar or vinegar and water wash. I used the heat method, and just put the raw eggs in a pot, use glass, with the dyeing ingredients, and about 1/4 cup of white vinegar to about 2 quarts of water. Make sure you use a lot of the coloring ingredients if you want a rich color. You don't have to put the vinegar in but the dye won't hold as well and you might not get a very deep color. I bring the eggs to a slow boil, so as not to crack them, and then simmered for about 15 minutes.
You can use a cold method as well. Wash the eggs, hard boil them, and then let them cool. Boil the dyeing ingredients, separately of course, unless you are combining colors. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30. Cool, and add about 1/4 cup white vinegar to about 2 quarts of color. You can strain the dye through a coffee filter, and then dip the eggs in the dye, or leave the coloring ingredients in for a interesting effect. Leave eggs in the dye until desired color is obtained. You can leave them in for hours for a deep color as long as you refrigerate them.
Either way, you can combine colors for different shades. One year I wrapped the eggs in the onion skins before boiling them, and got a pretty design on them, so you can try that also with any of the ingredients. You almost can't go wrong; experiment. It's great for kids to be involved this way, and a great lesson for them, about how things used to be dyed using natural items, before we become a chemical society.
There are many other more detailed websites on how to do this, then I just explained. Just Google for them. I just wanted to remind anyone who came across my blog, to do more things without chemicals, and to try and get people thinking about forgoing the chemicals in even the small things.
Good Health and Wealth,