No need for artificial food dyes to transform hard cooked eggs into beautiful eggs for your Easter basket when you can extract the natural vibrant colours from real food like purple cabbage and turmeric, just to name a few!
I also tried blueberries, frozen wild as well as fresh, and paprika.
I had never done this before as I had not truly become aware of how many toxins I was exposed to on a daily basis. Eliminating or, at the very least, minimizing exposure to toxins has become a major focus for me. So when I noticed how staining the purple cabbage in my salad was, I thought about whether it was possible to colour Easter eggs with the gorgeous natural colour extracted from it. (You all know that food colouring is made in a lab and is the farthest thing away from being natural…)
I searched in my fridge, freezer and cupboard and found purple cabbage, blueberries, turmeric root and powder, and paprika. I got to extracting colour from these few items.
The cabbage was very interesting… The first thing I did was roughly chop some cabbage and soak it in white vinegar.
(1 cup cabbage + 1/2 cup white vinegar)
Next, I boiled some cabbage for about 10 minutes and drained it.
(1 cup cabbage + 2 cups water)
To half of that I added 1 Tbsp white vinegar; the other half no vinegar was added.
What was interesting with the cabbage was that adding vinegar turned the liquid red and the one where no vinegar was added, it cooled to a bluish purple.
The hard boiled eggs were placed in the cooled cabbage liquid and left overnight to soak in the fridge. I would be rewarded with some beautiful colours but not as I had expected!
With the blueberries, I poured warm water over the frozen ones, mashed them a bit and let sit for about 15 minutes
(1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries + 1 cup water)
and boiled the fresh ones for 10 minutes, drained and liquid cooled
(1/3 cup fresh blueberries + 1 cup water)
No vinegar was added to either. The liquid produced was red. Egg dropped in and put in the fridge to soak overnight.
With the turmeric, I used both the fresh (frozen) and the powdered form. Turmeric slices were boiled in water for about 15 minutes, drained and liquid cooled
(1 inch root, sliced + 2 cups water)
and boiling water poured over the powdered form, stirred and cooled to room temperature.
(1 Tbsp turmeric powder + 2 cups boiling water)
The eggs were dropped in and into the fridge they went to soak overnight.
I wasn’t sure about the paprika… But I tried it anyway. Poured boiling water over the paprika powder, stirred and cooled to room temperature before dropping the egg in. Soaked overnight.
(1 Tbsp paprika + 2 cups boiling water)
The following morning, the eggs were removed from their liquid and set on a cooling rack to dry. The colours were gorgeous! I was so thrilled!
However, after they had completely dried, a few had changed…
The ones soaked in turmeric remained yellow with some orange, the brighter one being the fresh root.
The one soaked in paprika turned a very pale pinky orange.
The egg shell blue (far left) was the result of the one soaked in the blueberries.
The surprise eggs were the ones soaked in the purple cabbage extract. The one on the top left was the no-vinegar one, and next to it was the boiled one where vinegar was added. Remember the liquid this one was soaked in was red! AND the mottled blue one below it went from purple to blue when it dried!
I was surprised. No matter. They are all beautiful and more importantly, safe for the little ones to handle.
Whatever your traditions are, enjoy your Easter weekend! Happy Spring!
Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. -S.D. Gordon