Prepare the Perfect Eggs
Before you can dye your eggs, you must first hatch a plan to select and prepare them. Eggs come in a variety of shades, including pale blue, cream, white, olive and brown. Keep in mind that cream or white eggs will give you the brightest results whereas brown eggs will produce a more antiqued effect.
Here’s how to prepare hard-cooked eggs:
- Line the bottom of a large saucepan with eggs (forming a single layer) and add one inch of cold water. Heat on high until boiling.
- Remove the pan from the burner and cover.
- Let extra-large eggs rest in the hot water for approximately 18 minutes. Let large eggs rest for approximately 15 minutes, and let medium eggs rest for about 12 minutes.
- Run eggs under cool water or set them in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate until you are ready to begin dyeing process.
If you prefer to empty the eggs before decorating, follow these simple steps:
- Use a needle to poke a hole in the large end of a raw egg. Wiggle it around inside the egg until the hole is approximately one-quarter inch in size.
- Make a much smaller hole in the egg’s opposite end and then use the needle to break the yolk. Blow into the small hole with your mouth or a baby’s nasal aspirator until the egg is completely drained.
- Rinse eggshell under cold water until inside is clean and no yolk remains.
Creating Egg-straordinary Shades, Naturally
Get egg-cited because here’s your go-to guide for creating vibrant, all-natural hues:
- To create RED, use red beets or red onion skins.
- To create PINK, use red beets, raspberries or blackberries.
- To create PURPLE, use red onion skins, purple grape juice (no addition preparation required!), raspberries or blackberries.
- To create YELLOW, use yellow onion skins, turmeric or cumin.
- To create YELLOW-GREEN, use yellow or green apple peels.
- To create ORANGE, use yellow onion skins or chili powder.
- To create BLUE, use red cabbage (seriously!).
- To create GREEN, use spinach.
- To create BROWN, use coffee (no addition preparation required!).
To prepare the dye, simply combine four tablespoons of spice or four cups of chopped/mashed fruits and vegetables with four cups of water (slightly less for spinach) and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Egg-stract any remaining bits of fruits and veggies from the liquid and voila! You have beautiful, all-natural Easter egg dye!
Place your egg on a spoon and dip it into the dye for approximately five minutes. Leave it in longer to achieve a darker hue.
Helpful hints: Use a crayon to draw a design on the eggshell before soaking and add a few drops of olive oil to the finished product for shine!
This section goes out to all the vegans out there. We haven’t forgotten about you! Following are some egg-ceptional alternatives to dyeing Easter eggs:
- Bake and decorate egg-shaped vegan cookies
- Decorate unfinished wooden eggs with paint, markers and stickers
- Add personality to these ceramic Easter eggs
- Craft embroidery hoop Easter eggs
- Make Easter eggs out of yarn
- Paint colorful eggs on a canvas
- Make papier-mache Easter eggs
Written by Melissa Neiman • vitacost.com