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Herbal Egg Dye

Let's color some eggs!

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Nature is waking up with the colors of spring and our backyard hens have been getting their egg-laying motors running, just in time for Easter.  This year, I wanted to explore what sort of colors I might be able to create using readily-available dried herbs and spices.  It was an experimental adventure—some colors were subtle, others surprised me, and there were a few that just didn't quite turn out.

I came away with some gorgeous eggs though, confident in the natural ingredients and the fact that I wouldn’t be eating anything toxic or dumping icky-soaked shells into my compost - not to mention inspired ideas for about 2 dozen more herbs and spices to try!

Basic Egg Bath and Dye Recipe

Ingredients

2-4 Tbsp dried herb or spice (up to ¼ cup for the “fluffy” herbs like Calendula flowers)

1 Tbsp organic white vinegar

2 cups hot water

Directions

First, I hard-boiled my eggs. While they were cooking, I brought my big pot of water to boil, and filled pint-sized mason jars with herbs and vinegar.  I taped a little slip of notepaper on the front of each jar with the name of the herb or spice so I’d know how each one worked (but you wouldn’t need to do this step if you are into the spirit of surprise!)

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I tried the following organic herbs, teas, and spices:

Calendula Flowers

English Breakfast Tea

Cinnamon powder

Hibiscus Flowers

Turmeric Root Powder

Curry Powder

Chili Powder

Paprika

Dill Seed

Yarrow

Green Tea

Alkanet Root Powder

Spinach Powder

Beet Root Powder

Rosehips Powder

Chaga Mushroom

The longer you leave the eggs in the dye bath, the darker they will be.  Of course, this will all depend on your patience! I only had about a half-hour to an hour’s worth of patience in me, but I imagine if you left them in the bath in the fridge overnight, you could get some nice, deep colors. You could also boil and simmer the eggs in a hot dye bath on the stove if you wanted to do several eggs of one hue, and this would likely make for richer colors.  If you are coloring eggs with the young ones, however, you might want to have some other fun activities to do while you wait for the eggs to darken.

I think a spirit of adventure is a must—this isn’t a quick dip and dye project with synthetic processed dyes, but more of an opportunity to test and try the tints that the natural world has to offer. Enjoy the smells in your kitchen, the amazing colors, and the gorgeously subtle and surprising basket of eggs on your festive table.

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Topics: Children, All recipes, New In The Shop

Friends

Written by Friends on March 6, 2013