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Color Easter Eggs Naturally With Dyes From Your Kitchen

The most beautiful dyes for Easter eggs come from foodstuff
you probably already have in your kitchen.

I have been delighted with the results of the colors I have
tried and my friends have been thrilled to receive them as
springtime gifts. The colors are very unusual -- gentle,
earthy, soft, and very vibrant, without being harsh like the
artificial dyes -- and when I tell people the colors come
from plant dyes, they always want to know the origin of each
color.

To color these eggs, you boil the eggs with the dyestuff,
rather than boiling the eggs separately and they dying
them.

Here are the general directions:

1. Put raw, white-shelled, organically-raised eggs in a
single layer in a pan. Cover with cold water.
2. Add a little more than a teaspoon of white vinegar.
3. Add the natural dyestuff for the color you want your eggs
to be. (The more eggs you are dying at a time, the more dye
you will need to use, and the more dye you use, the darker
the color will be.)
4. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15
minutes.
5. Quickly check the eggs for color by removing them from
the dye liquid with a slotted spoon.

If the color is as desired, pour off the hot dye liquid and
rinse the eggs immediately in cold water to stop the eggs
from cooking. Continue to change the water until it stays
cool in the pot because the eggs are no longer releasing
heat. Drain and allow eggs to cool in the refrigerator.

If you wish a deeper color, strain the hot dye liquid into a
container, then rinse the eggs immediately in cold water to
stop them from cooking. Continue to change the water until
it stays cool in the pot because the eggs are no longer
releasing heat. Drain the last of the cold water, then cover
the eggs with the strained dye liquid. Add more water if
necessary so that the eggs are completely covered. Put into
the refrigerator immediately and keep eggs in the
refrigerator until the desired shade is achieved. Overnight
is good. Longer than about twelve hours some of the colors
just get muddier instead of deeper, and the lighter shades
are more vibrant.

Try these foods to dye your eggs:

Red - Pink -- lots of red onion skins, cranberry juice, or
frozen raspberries.

Orange -- Yellow onion skins

Brown -- Red beet skins or grape juice (produces a beautiful
sparkling tan), coffee.

Yellow -- Saffron, tumeric or cumin, orange or lemon peels,
or celery seed.

Green -- spinach, or carrot tops and peels from Yellow
Delicious apples for a yellow-green.

Blue -- Red cabbage leaves make the most incredible
robin's-egg blue.

Deep Purple -- Red wine makes a beautiful burgundy color

Tips for successful results:

* Use filtered or distilled water. Chlorine and other
chemicals will work against the dye, making it less intense.
Buy distilled water or use your own filtered water.
* For deeper colors, use more dyestuff or let the eggs soak
longer.
* For even coverage, cook eggs in a pot large enough to hold
enough water and dyestuff to completely cover the eggs, even
after some of the liquid has evaporated during the 15 minute
of boiling.
* Again, for even coverage, if you continue to soak the eggs
in the refrigerator after cooking, make sure the eggs are
completely covered with the dye liquid.
* Blot the eggs dry or allow them to air dry, as for some
colors the dye will rub off while still wet. On the other
hand, if you wish to make a white pattern on the egg, you
can rub off some of the dye for some colors immediately
after cooking.
* Make sure eggs of different colors are completely dry
before piling them up in a bowl together, as wet dye from
one egg can transfer to another.

Read more about natural dyes for Easter eggs at
http://www.debraslist.com/food/aboutcoloringeggs.html.

About the Author

Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times,
Debra Lynn Dadd has been a consumer advocate for products
and lifestyle choices that are better for health and the
environment since 1982. Visit her website for 100s of links to 1000s of nontoxic, natural and earthwise products, and to sign up for her free email newsletters. http://www.dld123.com

Debra Lynn Dadd