In the midst of preparing for Easter, today we Christians pause to remember the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. Sunday we will celebrate his glorious resurrection. My husband just released a single, “Ransom”, that celebrates what Christ did for us on Calvary. Read the words, listen to the song, or purchase it here. Beautiful lyrics and music.
Who says that natural dyes have to be ineffective and drab? Our dyes produced lovely yellows, blues, pinks, and greens. I actually find that I like these colors better than the bright fake ones. Using this method, or the onion skin method produced great results for us! I am so glad that I challenged myself to try out some natural methods this year.
I found the options for how to make natural dyes overwhelming, so I decided to choose ingredients that would be both frugal and also make effective dyes. Beets for pink, red cabbage for blue, turmeric for yellow, and chlorophyll for green (I already had some that I use as a supplement, so I decided to try it. It works! I mention what brand I used, but I am sure you could experiment with other brands as well). These dyes are a cinch to put together, though I recommend making them the day before dye day.
I choose to do “cold dips” so that my four year old and her cousins could enjoy the process. But for darker colors, you can hard boil you eggs right in the dye (for up to 30 minutes).
However, I did discover one trick for cold dyes. If you warm up your natural dyes before you “cold dip”, they will set even better and much more quickly! When warm, the red dye made out of beets happens almost instantly, the turmeric takes only a minute to get a beautiful golden color, and the blue sets just about as fast. I didn’t try the chlorophyll warm yet though.
If you need more recipe ideas for Easter, you may find some in my Ode to Spring. Since then I also added Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms with a Lemon Butter Sauce, Aeblesivers (with a gluten and dairy free option), and Simple Deviled Eggs, all of which would be Easter worthy recipes.
Blue Dye: Take a small cabbage and shred. Put four cups into a medium sized pan with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer for 30 minutes and strain.
Pink Dye: Take 3 medium sized beets and chop. Place in a medium sized pot with four cups of water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer for 30 minutes and strain.
Yellow Dye: Mix 6 tablespoons of turmeric with 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Green Dye: In 2 cups of water add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Add 50 drops of ChlorOxygen®, or your choice of concentrate of chlorophyll.
For the cold dip method: Give the concentrates a stir if needed, and fill a paper cup 3/4 full of dye. Carefully lower an egg into the dye and leave in until it reaches desired color. For faster action dye, warm the dye before the dip. You will get almost instant results with warm red dye, and a beautiful yellow and blue in one minute of warm dye. The green takes the longest to dye, I left mine up to 30 minutes.
Drip dry on cooling sheets and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
For more ideas and directions, check out Martha Stewart’s directions (just make sure to add salt to her recipes).