Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dying eggs with natural dyes

My red cabbage juice experiments got me thinking. What if I used the left over red cabbage juice to dye an egg? What I have for you is the beautiful blue egg in the above picture. I did add a bit of vinegar to the cabbage juice to help the process. I left my egg in the cabbage juice about 24 hours. You have to be careful when you place the egg in the juice. Any place that the egg touches the sides of your container will not take on color. I also found that when I checked on my eggs early on, I removed some of the color when picking them up out of the juice with a spoon. It seems that the coloring is more of a coating than actually coloring the shell itself.

Since using red cabbage juice worked so well, I decided to go ahead and try another food item known to be used as a dye.

I decided to see what strawberries would do. I cut some up and put them in a sauce pan and added enough water to just cover the strawberries. I boiled them for about 20 minutes. I added vinegar to both of my solutions to help with the process and left them to soak for 24 hours. Even though I strained my strawberries through a sieve I still had pulp in my strawberry juice. I very carefully rinsed off my eggs after removing them from the juice. I wanted to wash away the pulp but not the color. What I ended up with was a pretty marbled rose colored egg.

Here is my Strawberry Juice dyed egg.

This was a fun experiment to see how different fruits and vegetables would add color to my eggs. Though I can tell you it is not at all practical for dying a dozen or more Easter eggs. You won't save money but you will have fun with your children. They will learn a little bit about how their clothes get their color and what people used for early dyes.

Note: While the eggs were still wet the color was a bit unstable. That is to say, you can rub off some of the color if you are not careful. Once they are dry the color will hold. If you need to rinse pulp off, do it in a slow trickle of water or dip it carefully in a water bath. You only want to rinse off the pulp not the color. I also wanted to note that I put them in the refrigerator after putting them in the dye. I didn't want the eggs to spoil.

Here is a link for how to make the Red Cabbage Juice.


lisaday said...

WOW! I love this!! Might have to try this out!

Lucky Mom said...

You totally got my mind thinking about what foods we could try. Blueberries, spinach, beets... How fun.