Dyeing Easter Eggs; Au Natural + Grandma Rose’s Chopped Egg Salad

April 2, 2012

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Dying Easter Eggs using vegetables, herbs, and tea leaves. Such a fun project | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comFrench Ceramic Bowls from D.L. Rhein

When it comes to holidays, I do not discriminate. Any excuse to bake massive amounts of new treats, purchase unnecessary packaging, ribbons, and lovely little boxes, then gift them to the those that I love gives me great joy. Easter creates endless possibilities. We don’t celebrate Easter, but why should my kids miss out on all the creativity that the holiday has to offer?

Eggs - 'Tis the Season | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI had been reading about naturally dyeing eggs and I was trying to find an excuse to do this intensely laborious project. When I was asked by Levi’s kindergarten teacher for some cooking project ideas related to both Passover and Easter, it took me about 2 seconds to know exactly what I wanted to do with 25 kinders. Upon doing a little more research (here, here, and here), I turned my kitchen into an Easter egg lab. Utilizing all my pots, pans, and bowls the mad scientist in me came alive and I could not have been in a more happy place.

Simple Garden Staples are natural dyes. Perfect for dying Easter Eggs | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comSimple garden vegetables; beets, spinach, carrots, carrot tops, parsley, and cabbage make wonderful, rich colors.

Egg Dying - All Natural | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comStoring the dyes in ball jars made transporting the materials to Levi’s class effortless. I waited to add the vinegar until right before the kids placed their eggs in the dyes of their choices.

Levi watching his white, hard boiled egg transform into lovely blues, purples, greens, yellows, and oranges.

Egg Dying - All Natural | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comIf you have the time, let the eggs rest in the dye for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The longer they sit, the richer the color.

Marinated Beets | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comBoth M and I love marinated beets. The beets were the only vegetable I could salvage. Roasting beets keeps their earthiness and their color. I cleaned the beets (leaving some of the stem on for more color), and placed them in a covered, glass Pyrex. Filled the container with water and roasted the beets at 375* for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender. Peeled them right away and cut into chunks. Pour equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar, Celtic sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a bit of dried oregano, over beets and store in the fridge for up to a week. These are great on their own or toss them into a salad with some roasted pumpkin seeds!

Chopped Eggs - A Simple Snack | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comChopped eggs are a staple in our fridge. There are those times when I don’t always have time for a proper lunch. A few tablespoons of chopped eggs with various veggies always gets me through. For the class project, I hard boiled 15 eggs. In a wooden bowl, I placed 3 tablespoons of chopped, raw onion, 15 egg whites, and 7 of the yolks until finely chopped. Add 3-4 tablespoons of soft (room temperature) organic, unsalted butter and mush all together with the back of a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste. For the Passover element of this project, I put the eggs on top of matzoh.

Happy kids eating unprocessed | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI was actually surprised at how many kids at the eggs. My kids will eat cooked eggs, but not hard boiled. Seeing the kids coming back for seconds and thirds was wonderful to witness. With the help of a handful of parents, we pulled this little DIY craft project and healthy snack without any glitches. Seeing the kids proudly leaving school that day, with their colored eggs in hand, was joyful. This entire project was joyful! What else we can accomplish with natural dyes! Fabric? Paper? Who knows what we may come up with!

GORGEOUS! Natural Dyed Easter Eggs | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

Natural Dyeing Easter Eggs
yield: 3-4 cups of dye per color

Making the dyes:

Red
1 jar Just Cranberry Juice
3 cans beets and their juice
in a large saucepan, bring the cranberry juice and beets to a boil. lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Pink
7 fresh beets, roasted in water
preheat oven to 375*. cut stems off of beets (I left about 3 inches for added color) and place in a glass casserole dish with a lid. cover beets with water and roast in the oven for about 45-50 minutes or until fork tender. remove skins from beets and set aside. let liquid cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Orange
3 heaping Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 bunch fresh carrots, chopped
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water, chili powder, and chopped carrots. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, lined with a piece of cheese cloth over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Yellow
3 heaping Tablespoons Tumeric
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water and tumeric. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, lined with a piece of cheese cloth over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Green
1 large bunch spinach
2 cans canned blueberries and their juices
1 Tablespoon Tumeric
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water, spinach, blueberries and their juices, and tumeric. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, lined with a piece of cheese cloth over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Blue
1 head of red cabbage, chopped
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water and the cabbage. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Purple
1/2 cup Hibiscus Tea Leaves
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water and the tea leaves. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, lined with a piece of cheese cloth over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Light Brown
4 Tablespoons Dill Seeds
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water and dill seeds. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer, lined with a piece of cheese cloth over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

Brown
6 Organic, Black Tea Bags
in a large stock pot, place 3-4 cups of filtered water and the tea bags. bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 30-45 minutes. set a strainer over a glass bowl and strain liquid. let cool completely. transfer to a glass jar.

when ready to dye, add 2-3 tablespoons of white, distilled vinegar to each color. mix and start dying.

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 HeatherChristo April 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

Susan- these are completely stunning. I would love to make my eggs this way this year, and I think the kids would really find it interesting! Thanks :)

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2 Lucy Lean April 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

Susan – this has totally inspired me – Minty has been asking to dye eggs and I’m now going to follow your lead – thank you and HAPPY EASTER/PASSOVER xxx

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3 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] April 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I love how rustic natural dyed eggs look. I don’t think I’ll be dying eggs this year, but I am def bookmarking this for next year. Thanks, Susan!

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4 Jessica April 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This is fantastic. What a great idea! Love the tags on the dye jars too!!

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5 sally cameron April 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

Just beautiful Susan! Your eggs look like the marble ones adorning my dining room table in a big glass bowl. The colors are amazing. I miss dying eggs, but with no little ones at home I decided to pass. But your post is so engaging I will have to do them and just give them away after making egg salad. Thanks for another great post. Love the natural approach.

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6 Susan April 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

Thanks, Sally! Next year, you will have to come to my house and we can do this with my kids and all of their friends!

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7 marla {family fresh cooking} April 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

This is one of the most inspirational Easter posts I have seen. Great job with all of this Susan!

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8 Susan April 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thanks, Marla! It was really fun. And having a rainy day to indulge in a project such as this was a bonus!! Very fun project with little kids (especially if you have some of this stuff in your garden). xx

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9 Nancy@acommunaltable April 3, 2012 at 9:12 am

Brilliant, just brilliant!! The colors are gorgeous and I love the tags you made for the ball jars!! What a fun project – I miss dying eggs with the boys… hmmm… maybe I will just need to “borrow” some kids so I can do this!!!

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10 Susan April 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

hmmm……adult egg dyeing party next year??!!!

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11 sally cameron April 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Yes!

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12 Barb Bamber April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

Such pretty eggs, I love the natural process! And a lovely little snack to go along with it!! xo Smidge

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13 Susan April 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm

thanks, Smidge! It was such a fun way to spend a rainy day – and the results were just what I wanted!

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14 Kankana April 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

So adorable and love that you used natural products to make the dye. very inspirational!

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15 aida mollenkamp April 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

What a great way to dye eggs in an un-scary way, Susan! I’m going to try it with my niece and nephew.

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16 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 6, 2012 at 2:16 am

Those eggs are beautiful, so so pretty!!

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17 Alexandra March 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

What a GORGEOUS post! Thank you xoxo

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18 Susan March 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Hi Alexandra – thanks for stopping by and sharing! Happy Spring to you and your family!!

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