The Iron Cupcake

Food, design, fun stuff.


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Easter Eggs, Au Naturel

Oh, hello blog… it’s been a while.  Nice to see you again!

Alright, I’ll get on with it.  For a couple of years I’ve been intrigued by the idea of dyeing our Easter eggs naturally, with homemade dyes instead of food coloring.  Not that I have anything against food coloring, I just thought making the dyes from scratch could be cool.  I found a couple of articles online about how to do it, like this one and this one, and got some ingredients at Whole Foods.  I ended up using red beets, red onion skins, and yellow onion skins.

I used a dozen white eggs from Fresh Market, and a dozen eggs from our chickens, which already come in a variety of colors, from light brown to darker brown to blue-green.  To hard boil them, I steamed them rather than actually boiling them to prevent cracking and promote uniformity.  I followed instructions in this article.

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Here are those beautiful beets, which sure clean up nicely after a quick scrub in the sink:

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Then I quartered them, covered with water, and cooked them till done.  Then I strained out the beets and reserved the liquid.

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The greens are lovely, too.  I later sautéed them up with some garlic, olive oil and butter.  So good!

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Parker helped me peel the onions.

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I covered these with water and simmered for 20 minutes or so.

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After the eggs and dyes had cooled somewhat, we dropped in the eggs.

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Unlike the regular food coloring method, you need to leave the eggs in the dyes for a while.

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We went out and ran some errands and left the eggs in the dye in the fridge for a few hours.

Later, I took them out to dry on a rack.  I was really surprised how much color some of them took on!

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The textures and patterns were really cool.  The blue-green easter egger eggs only partially took on color, giving them a nice mottled look.  And the orange from the yellow onion skins turned out a lot more intense than I expected.

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I left a couple of the easter eggers’ eggs undyed since they’re such a lovely shade of blue-green already.  Those may still be my favorites!  After the boys had a lively egg hunt and checked out what the bunny brought, Kieran and I dove in and nommed on some of these lovelies.  Salt, pepper, nom nom nom.

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Maybe I’ll do this again.  If so, some other dye ingredients you can use are blueberries, red cabbage, turmeric, and red zinger tea. This was a little more work than our usual method, but it was fun and they look great!

Have you ever tried this?  Or do you have any other fun egg decorating techniques?  Lemme know!

 

 

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