I made natural egg dyes and hosted a brunch party to celebrate my graduation from Natural Chef school almost a month ago and I am just now sitting down to writing about it. I started a business (more details coming soon) two months ago and it has literally swallowed me up in a black hole of endless stuff to do. I’ve been finalizing some baked oatmeal and lemon cashew bars for upcoming posts, along with lots of ideas/thoughts to share on life. For today, I’ll keep it short and sweet.
I have dyed eggs since I was a kid, every single year (not joking) minus the year I lived in Spain and was busy eating croquettes on Semana Santa. This was the first time I’ve ever attempted homemade natural dyes, and let me tell you it was a hit. I personally think the eggs are more beautiful. The colors are more simplistic and authentic than the Paas kind. I don’t fuss with the candle wax decorating. Just the old fashioned single dip, maybe split colors 50/50. The color layering does not work with natural dyes, just a FYI.
I went to the farmer’s market and got my ingredients while also looking for some sarsparilla and sassafras roots. People looked at me crazy when I asked for the roots, even when I told them it was for homemade root beer. Only the hippiest co-op in SF had the roots in their dried bulk section. My root beer was a huge success with my guests.
As far as convenience, the make-your-own-naturally method obviously takes longer than dropping the color tab in water. I just made it my Saturday night plan and opened a bottle of red. Nice thing is with these, once you get them going they just work on their own so you can multitask and move onto another project (perhaps hard-boiling eggs). I chose to have a couple glasses of wine and make almond butter carob chip cookies for my brunch (later I actually broke my hearty spatula). Win some lose some.
I found my inspiration from the queen herself, Martha Stewart. For perfect eggs, follow her tips. From what I’ve read, the dyes best work while warm. I didn’t have the option, so I hard boiled all of my eggs the night before and made all of the dyes the night before. I left the dyes out overnight at room temperature and didn’t bother reheating them because I was hosting a brunch. If you wanted to, you could A) make them the day of and keep them warm or B) reheat them. I didn’t want the hassle so I blew it off and my eggs still turned out beautifully.
Method: I took the following ingredients with 2 TBSP white vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 qt of water and brought to a boil, then simmered uncovered at least 30 min, up to 45 min. If there wasn’t enough water to cover the mass I used more vinegar to cover. After simmering, strain and your dyes and then they are ready for use. Note: The turmeric needs more of a fine strain, some tumeric grounds were still stuck in the dye so the color wasn’t as smooth.
Red Onion – sienna/olive green, skins of about 8-10 red onions
Beets – pink, 2-4 beets peeled and cut into pieces
Red Cabbage – blue , 1/3 to 1/2 of a head cut into pieces
Turmeric – yellow, 3 tbsp powder