Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

From the ages of 6 months to 26 years I thought I was deathly allergic to eggs.

The allergist I had until I was 16 used an outdated way of testing, but I never knew. Every other year I’d go and get the same response, that I had a very strong allergy to eggs.

The reaction was clear on the test, so there was no way around it, no eggs, not even a taste. So I never had eggs, never had anything with an egg baked in it, and never painted easter eggs.

Two years ago when my husband read an article about the outdated method of testing, and how many people have been falsely identified as allergic to certain foods I thought it might be worth a try getting tested again.

I found a different allergist that used the new methods of testing, and who did a test in office where you actually eat the food to make sure. IF you test negative to the blood test and skin prick tests.

So I went through the process, skin prick test first, blood test to confirm and when egg came back negative on both we did an in office scrambled egg test. Where I literally went to the office with a scrambled egg I prepared, ate it under supervision then waited hours to make sure there was no delayed response.

Long story, short. I can eat eggs now!

The first thing I did when I found this wonderful news out, is went out and bought chickens! – Of course! I had always wanted chickens, but thought it was a bit of a waste if I couldn’t have the eggs…

This week I was thinking about easter, and as most years I started thinking about what I could do for my students as something a little special. In the past years I have done easter egg hunts at the barn, mounted obstacle courses and even a bunny ear photo shoot one year.

It made me sad to think there wasn’t anything I could do this year given the current situation in the world at large.

Then I had an idea. why not harness some technology to help me reach out to my students and give them a special surprise for easter!

At first I thought this wasn’t really a good idea since, I am a horseback riding coach and we can’t include the horses in anyway. But I realized that I am first and foremost a teacher. My goal is to impart wisdom and bring joy into the lives of anyone who needs it.

So, this blog post is in preparation to a facebook live I will be doing this weekend, where I will show anyone who wants to stop by (virtually) how to dye their own easter eggs using homemade natural, food based dyes.

Let’s get crackin’… Or not actually.

First thing is first, you are going to either empty your eggs, or hardball them…

Hard-boiling Method

Nothing special to do here, just hardball the eggs as you normally would. But note that with this method it is possible that the whites of the eggs will get partially dyed as well. So they will be edible, but maybe not so appetizing. If that’s not your thing, use the next option…

Empty Egg Method

First off, wash your eggs, this method requires you to put your mouth on the egg. Using a slightly sharp and pointed object (here I used a massive darning needle) firmly chip away at one end of the egg until you have a small hole. Flip the egg over and do the same on the other side. Insert the object you used to make the holes into on end and “scramble” the yolk, so it’s easier to remove.

Place your lips on one end of the egg and blow, so that the egg comes out the other end of the shell.

Choosing Colours

This is where you can get inventive, pretty much any fruit, veggies, herbs or spices with a strong pigment can be used to dye the egg shells. Think turmeric for a bright yellow! In the eggs pictured here I used blueberries (for blue), onion skins and 1 carrot (for orange), sponge and kale (for green) and beets (for pink)

Making The Dye

Take 1/2 – 2 cups of desired fruit/veggie/herb/spice and add it to and equal part of water (for if you choose 1/2 of whatever, mix it with 1/2 of water.) Bring to a boil in a sauce pan, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Let the liquid cool before using.

Dyeing The Eggs

After the mixtures are cooled, add 1-2 tbsp of white vinegar to each colour, then place the egg in it. If you hard-boiled the eggs they will sink and if you emptied them they will float, so the empty ones will need to either be weighted or you can pour the colour over them periodically. Or you can also place a skewer in the whole used to empty it and hold it under the liquid.

Let the eggs sit for as long as you want, remove when desired colour is reached. With strong pigments I did 2-5 minutes and for lighter ones a few hours.

Once you have the colour you want, remove the egg from the water, dry it and your done!

I hope this process brings a little joy and wonder into an otherwise dreary and uncertain time. I wish you all the best and hope you are all safe and healthy!

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