Dyeing Easter Eggs with Herbs
by Candace Hunter and Sue Sierralupe
Children have enjoyed coloring eggs with plants for centuries. This procedure uses easy plants to find in the garden in early spring.
A General Procedure for Dyeing Easter Eggs
Coloring eggs with plants is fun, easy and produces results you'll be proud of. Every egg will be wildly different. It's fun to experimant with other edible leaves like sage, passionflower, or plantain. Try using the other plant dyes listed below. After you have found the eggs that the Easter has hidden, try Deviled Eggs with Sage or Hot Mama Egg Salad for a delicious addition to Easter brunch.
Equipment you’ll need to Dye Easter Eggs:
- String or Rubber Bands
- Large Cooking Pot
- A Ladle
- A Kitchen Timer
Ingredients for Dyeing Easter Eggs:
- 12 Uncooked Eggs
- Dandelion leaves, Pine needles, Red or Purple Onion skins
Procedure for Dyeing Easter Eggs:
|1. Fill the cooking pot with about 6 inches of water and start it boiling on the stove. Be sure to ask an adult to help you if you're not yet fully trained on cooking safety.
|2. Gather the flexible tips of pine or fir branches. The tips should be about 6 inches long and bristling with needles. Parents may need to help snip these from the trees with pruning shears.|
|3. Gather a variety of fresh dandelion leaves to wrap around the eggs. Large dandelion leaves are easier to work with than small leaves.|
|4. Peel the papery outer skins from red or purple onions. Try to keep the skins as whole as possible.|
|5. Wrap a few dandelion leaves and pine tips firmly around 6 of the uncooked eggs by using the string or rubber bands to keep it attached. Remember these eggs will be moving around in the boiling water so be sure your string or rubber bands are really tight, but not so tight they crush or crack the shells.
|6. Let some of the egg show so the natural leaf pattern is contrasted by the color from the dye in the water.|
|7. Wrap the rest of the eggs firmly with the onion skins using the string or rubber bands to keep them attached.|
|8. Drop the remaining onion skins into the boiling water on the stove.|
|9. Using the ladle, carefully place the wrapped eggs into the boiling water.|
|10. Cook the eggs for 20 minutes.|
|11. Using the ladle, remove the cooked eggs and wait for them to cool.|
|12. Carefully unwrap the finished eggs and rinse them in cold water.|
|13. When your eggs are cool and dry, arrange them in a basket or on a platter so everyone can enjoy their beauty.|
Other Herbs for Dyeing Easter Eggs:
Instead of using onion skins to dye your eggs, try using the plants listed below in your cook pot.
If you use already have hard boiled eggs, you can soak your eggs in 1 cup of hot water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 hefty tablespoon of the herb of your choice. The longer you soak the egg, the darker it will be. This method allows you to scratch a pattern in the finished egg with your fingernail before it dries.
- Strong Coffee
- Pomegranate juice
- Goldenseal root
- Violet flowers
- Nettle leaves
- Red Cabbage