Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Natural Dyes for Ostara (Easter) Eggs

Ostara is fast approaching and you can feel spring in the air. Well here in Tennessee you can feel spring coming especially with the temperature forecast to be in the mid 70’s toward the end of the week. This year my family and I are going to have an egg dying party. I haven’t dyed eggs with my sisters since we were little kids and I look forward to resurrecting that tradition this year for the first time in over 20 years at my parents house along with our own children. This time will be a little different though. Instead of using commercially bought food colorings for the eggs many of which have petroleum in them, we will be endeavoring to make our own natural food coloring using various natural plant and vegetable extracts.
There’s several ingredients in your kitchen that you can choose from. Here’s a small list of suggestions to get you started.
•    Beet juice will give you a lovely shade of magenta. You can juice a raw beet or drain the liquid from a can  of beets.
•   Turmeric gives a golden yellow color to your eggs.
•   Chlorophyll drops (which can be purchased at any health food store) will turn the eggs a deep shade of forest green. You can also juice any green leafy vegetable and achieve a similar result. Experiment to get the shade of green you want.
•   Carrot juice will give a pale peach color
•   Coffee will produce a soft brown color
•   Blueberry juice will give a violet color
Adding vinegar to these colors and bringing the mixture to a boil will help the colors adhere to the eggs better. The longer the eggs sit in the color mixture the bolder the color will be. Remember, that these colors will not be a vivid as those of the store bought food colorings, but hey Ostara is all about the pastels anyway.  Happy Coloring!

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