Easter Madness: How to dye eggs with plants?




What do you need?

Eggs (the recipe is for approximately 5 per colour) - white or brown, the colour will be a bit different for each one. 



Dye material: 

  • for brown-ish: beets (two medium size beets)

  • for red: onion skins (a mix of red and yellow - only yellow will turn out orange-ish and only red will turn out brown-ish ) (from about 20 onions)

  • for blue: red cabbage (1/2 of one medium sized cabbage)

  • for light green: spinach (1/2 kg)

  • for light yellow: red orach (1/2 kg)

  • for gold yellow: curcuma (30 grams)

For each colour you need a different pot and different spoons.

A strainer and a piece of cloth to strain the curcuma powder.

A few bowls.

Vinegar (two medium cups)

Dish washing detergent (one spoon)

Soda ash (two spoons)

Cooking thermometer

Oil and a cotton cloth for the end step.





1. Washing and boiling the eggs

One of the most important steps for a good result is the washing process. Add a cup of vinegar, a bit of dish washing detergent, 2 spoons of soda ash and warm water in a bowl. Mix all together and wash each egg really well with a sponge. You have to get rid of all the grease and impurities on the surface. Rinse well and prepare for boiling. Add water (as much as the eggs are covered) and a cup of vinegar and boil for 20 minutes. Take the eggs out of the pot, rinse with cold water. The eggs should be squeaky clean now. 


One of the most important steps for a good result is the washing process!


2. Preparing the colour.

Each colour has a different temperature and process of extracting. Some dye materials are temperature sensitive so you have to be careful and maybe use a cooking thermometer to make sure that the temperature stays within the limits. Don’t add vinegar in the dye pot, as it is acid and it will modify your colour and make it lighter (or destroy it).

Beets: 

Chop the beets and put them in a pot with about 1 and 1/2 litres warm water. Do not boil the beets because high temperature makes the colour fade. Bring the pot to a max of 50-60 degrees and then leave it to rest for about an hour (or until it cools down). Strain the mix and put the colour back in the pot. 

Red cabbage:

Chop the cabbage and put it in a pot with about 1 and 1/2 litres warm water. Simmer (don’t boil!) for 20 minutes and then keep warm for another 10 and leave it to rest until it cools down. Strain the mix and put the colour back in the pot. 

Spinach:

Add the spinach in a pot with about 2 litres of warm water. Simmer for 20 minutes and then keep warm for another 10 and let it rest until it cools down. Strain the mix and put the colour back in the pot. 

Onion skins:

Add the skins in a pot with about 2 litres of warm water. Boil for 30-40 minutes and let it rest until it cools down. Strain the mix and put the colour back in the pot.

Red orach:

Do not boil because the colour is very light and high temperature will destroy it completely. Bring the pot to a max of 50-60 degrees and then leave it to rest for about an hour (or until it cools down). Strain the mix and put the colour back in the pot. 

Curcuma:

Add the curcuma powder in a pot and add 1 litre of hot water on top. Bring it to a boil and then let it rest. Strain the mix (use the cloth above the strainer as the powder is very thin) and put the liquid back in the pot. 


Do not add vinegar in the dye pot, only use vinegar to wash and boil the eggs. It might destroy the colour if added in the dye pot


Leave over night in the dye pot for better results and stronger colours


3. Submerging and dyeing the eggs:

Add the eggs in the desired colours. Bring the pots to 50-60 degrees max, keep warm for 20 minutes and then stop the heat. Leave the eggs inside the mix (move them a few times so that they dye evenly) and leave them in the dye pot overnight. 


4. Final steps

Take the eggs out of the pots. Let them dry for a few hours and apply some cooking oil with a cotton cloth to make them shiny and bright. 

Enjoy!




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