It's almost Easter. And Easter means colored eggs. Of course if you have some colored egg-laying chickens, you don't need to worry about dyeing eggs for Easter, but since this is our first spring having white duck eggs, I wanted to try some. I decided to experiment with natural ingredients for the dyes instead of using either food coloring or Kool-aid.
Its was so easy and the results were glorious as you can see !
Here's the method that I used and then some suggestions for ingredients to use to achieve an assortment of beautifully dyed eggs. The beauty of this method is that you hard boil and color the eggs in one step.
I started with a bowl of white duck eggs (although you can use white chicken or goose eggs also) and rinsed them in warm water, scrubbing gently to remove the bloom.
Then I placed a few eggs in a small pot in a single layer and covered them with water, adding 1 Tablespoon white vinegar per Cup of water, along with whatever I was using as coloring agent, brought the mixture to a boil and then simmered for 15-20 minutes, checking the color intensity after 10 minutes.
~eggs simmering in onion skins~
~eggs simmering in beets/stalks~
When I had achieved the desired color, I removed the eggs gently and placed them in a plastic egg carton to dry. I poured the remaining water mixture (except the onions,coffee grounds and wine) into a large bowl to give to the chickens when I was done.
These are the colors I got from various common food items:
CRANBERRY JUICE/CRANBERRIES ~ PINK
I didn't use any water, but instead covered the eggs with the cranberry juice (fresh or frozen cranberries would also work - I just didn't happen to have any) and added 1T white vinegar per Cup of juice to get a nice rosy pink.
BEETS & STALKS ~ BEIGE
I added two sliced fresh beets and stalks to enough water to cover the eggs (canned beets would also work) for a beige color.
ONION SKINS ~ ORANGE
Onion skins produced an orangish color. One egg came out after about 10 minutes, the others I left in for 20 minutes for a contrast in colors. (I discarded the skins when I was done)
I added a few Tablespoons of turmeric to the water and white vinegar for cheery yellow eggs.
A handful of fresh spinach leaves added to the water/vinegar produced pale green eggs.
Fresh blueberries, mashed and added to the water and vinegar produced gorgeous blue eggs.
RED WINE ~PURPLE
Again, no water, just boiled the eggs in wine and added 1T white vinegar per Cup of wine
(the wine I discarded when I was done) and got a pretty purplish color.
I brewed a pot of strong coffee, putting the eggs right into the carafe while the coffee was brewing, and then leaving them to steep for 10 minutes for the lighter tan and 20 minutes for the darker color. I discarded the coffee when I was done.
I ended up with a beautiful assortment of naturally dyed eggs ...
and the chickens got a nice fruit and veggie soup mix to enjoy.
Try these ideas or others - such as pomagranates, carrots, or other types of greens.
from the Ducks !
You can also use blown eggs so they will last indefinitely.