Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eggs. Naturally!

Easter Eggs 2009
starting in the 12 o'clock position and going clockwise:
1. boiled in cinnamon (no overnight) 2. covered in shredded blue potato 3. blue potato (big color disappointment; see below) 4. paprika 5. 3 berry mixture (raspberries, blueberries & blackberries) 6. covered in shredded berries overnight (this produced pink and purple spots mixed with the greyish 7. cinnamon 8. (in the middle of both pictures because it was our favorite) egg was boiled wrapped and tied in already used yellow onion skins (no overnight)

starting with bright red egg and moving clockwise: 1. yellow onion skins 2. curry 3. beets 4. shredded red cabbage leaves 5. (looks green but is more teal) red cabbage juice and baking soda 6. shredded beets 7. red cabbage 8. golden turnips 9. middle one is the same as above

While we didn't achieve all of the colors we were hoping for, the combination of colors and textures just astounded us. I just don't think I can ever go back to PAAS after this!

I have read that some people have had trouble producing colors from natural food dyes. I suspect that they aren't giving the process enough time or eliminating the vinegar. The vinegar that is added to the tablet dyes isn't to help the dye but rather to help the shell accept it. Remember this science experiment? Vinegar breaks down the egg shell. So you still need that vinegar when you are using vegetables, spices and fruits.

Regarding the time, this is not an instant gratification process like food coloring. In the top picture, the egg in the 12 o'clock position and the one next to it (at 11) were both boiled in cinnamon. The 12 o'clock egg was not left to sit in the liquid overnight while the 11 o'clock egg was. You can see the difference in intensity of color pretty clearly. My husband joked and congratulated us that we had made a brown egg... just like a chicken!

I think there are too many eggs and too many variations to play a guessing game this year. The identifying information is below each picture. All eggs were boiled with the item mentioned and all but two were left in that liquid overnight in the fridge except for those that were covered in shredded vegetable or fruit and refrigerated overnight without the liquid included.

Biggest disappointment! This purple potato looked like it would produce a beautiful purple or lavender color. Nope. Brown and grayish-green. Meh.

Hope you had a wonderful today and a glorious tomorrow!


  1. Just beautifully done, Charlotte!
    Blessed Feast to you and your dear family!

  2. I'm so jealous. Mine were a big flop. I guess I thought the process was more instant once you achieved the dye. Oh well, maybe next year, although there might be a mutiny if I try it again!

  3. PS I'll be curious to know (and maybe you already do) if the egg takes on the flavors of the spices/vegetables you boiled them in.

  4. I've only tried this once, but you gave me so many more ideas to try for next year...thanks for your detailed notes and the lovely photos!

  5. These are so beautiful! I was inspired by your post from last year (linked from Elizabeth Foss), and other blogs, so I tried this with my kids. We had so much fun experimenting. How did you get such a dark red color from onion skins?! Even with soaking over night we could only get a dark orange. I suppose our Japanese onion could be a little different, but I don't think so.

    If you'd like to see ours I have a post on my blog. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

  6. For the dark red, I used the skins of three yellow onions to dye three eggs. The variety of onion makes a bog difference. They must be yellow onions (not red or white). The eggs, skins, and vinegar boiled for about 10-15 minutes and then I let the eggs sit in the strained water overnight.

  7. Hmmm... I thought our Japanese onions were yellow, because the skins look orange/yellow, but maybe they are actually white. Thanks for answering my question!


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