All-Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipes
Use these all-natural dye recipes made from household ingredients to create Easter eggs in beautifully subdued shades.
Food dyes are one of the most widely used and dangerous additives. While the European Union has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, the United States has no such requirement. Artificial food preservatives, food colors and flavour enhancers, many of these can be dangerous chemicals added to our food and are known to be linked to Hyperactivity, Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), Asthma, Cancer and other medical conditions.
Here are some of the most common food dyes used today, according to the Food Freedom Network:
▪ Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue) An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it’s in: Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.
▪ Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine) Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it’s in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.
▪ Citrus Red #2 It’s toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it’s in: Skins of Florida oranges.
▪ Green #3 (Fast Green) Caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it’s in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet; ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics.
▪ Red #3 (Erythrosine) Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it’s in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, candies.
▪ Red #40 (Allura Red) This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it’s in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
▪ Yellow #5 (Tartrazine) Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it’s in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Here are some comments from Dr. Mercola:
Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods — and that amount only factors in eight different varieties, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
These dyes are so common in U.S. foods — especially kids’ foods — that parents don’t think twice about giving their children rainbow-colored cereal or fluorescent blue “juice,” and adults don’t consider bright orange cheese puffs out of the ordinary, either.
But you might do a double take if these food packages contained warnings detailing what these artificial food colorings may really be doing to your health, and that of your children.
Well, in the European Union at least, they do. As of July 2010, most foods in the EU that contain artificial food dyes were labeled with warning labels stating the food “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” The British government also asked that food manufacturers remove most artificial colors from foods back in 2009.
In the United States, however, consumers are still snatching up artificially colored foods with fervor, as most are completely unaware of the risks involved … and let me just say, hyperactivity in children is only the tip of the iceberg.
To get started you will need:
- Hard boiled eggs (preferably white eggs since they take on the dyes better than brown eggs)
- Ingredients to make your dyes, which I will discuss in more detail below – As a guideline, use up to 4 cups for vegetable solids and 3–4 tablespoons for spices per quart. Mash up fruits.
- White vinegar (2 Tablespoons for every quart of water)
- Several pots and bowls
- Optional: stickers, rubber bands, and crayons for decorating the eggs and making interesting patterns
- Egg cartons for drying the dyed eggs
Natural egg dyes can be made from a variety of ingredients. Here’s a list of what I used last year along with comments on the colors that resulted.
Mix 1 cup frozen blueberries with 1 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries.
Cut 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbsp. vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon.
Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.
Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Rich yellow: Simmer 4 oz. chopped carrot tops in 1-1/2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Mustard-yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp. turmeric into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Various shades: Steep 4 bags of chamomile or green tea in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes.
Pale yellow: Chop 4 oz. goldenrod and simmer in 2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Faint yellow: Simmer the peels of 6 oranges in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. vinegar.
Simmer 2 Tbsp. dill seed in 1 cup water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.
Faint pink: Chop 4 oz. amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Have a great Easter !!!