Coloring Easter Eggs with Ingredients from the Pantry

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It’s time again for Peter Cottontail to make that trek to my house and deliver baskets to my kids. This year, for sure, we’ll be ready for him. You see, we have a tradition where Peter Cottontail delivers plastic eggs filled with goodies and then takes the eggs we colored from our refrigerator and spreads them all over the lawn.

Coloring the eggs for Peter Cottontail has always been fun. But this year, I stepped up my game. No more grocery store egg coloring kit. I’ve been experimenting and have found some fun ways to dye eggs with ingredients from the pantry. Frankly, the colors are better and the possibilities are endless.

Most egg coloring recipes use hard boiled eggs. If you have a favorite method, feel free to use that. If not, you can try my method. I always put clean, fresh eggs in a pan and fill them to an inch above the eggs with cool tap water. I put the pan on the stove and slowly bring to a boil. I let the eggs boil for a few minutes and then turn off the heat leaving the pan on the burner with the eggs in it. I let the whole pan, including the water and eggs, cool completely and then store the dried eggs in the fridge.

As an aside, most people are familiar with the white store-bought eggs which work fine. But, I would encourage people to change things up. Try buying some brown eggs or maybe even green eggs from a local farmer. Both dye really well and make beautiful additions to your Easter baskets.

Here are two of my easiest and favorite recipes.

Marbled Eggs
These are easy and quick to make with just a few pantry ingredients. The secret to success is how quickly you insert and remove the egg after stirring. The longer you wait, the less dye will adhere to the egg. I would encourage trying it both ways and seeing what you like best. Also, you can dye an egg with one color, then dry it and use this marbling technique with another color for some really cool results.

  • Fill cup with 1 Tablespoon each of white vinegar, canola oil and dye of choice
  • Then fill cup with warm water (enough to cover egg)
  • Stir and quickly drop egg into water, then quickly remove from water
  • Dry egg with paper towel

I used brown, green and white eggs in the above photo. I also “double dyed” the egg on right with overall red and then marbled it with blue.

Tie Dye Eggs
This method produces vibrant and unique eggs. The secret to success is to start with a light color and then repeat with no more than 2 to 3 colors. If you use any more, the colors will become mottled and ruin the effect.  Also, I’ve written this recipe as if using one egg, but you can dye multiple eggs at once for quicker results.

  • Rinse hard boiled egg with vinegar and place in colander
  • Squirt two to three drops of food dye directly onto egg then agitate the colander to spread color
  • Let color set for 30 seconds
  • Repeat process for multiple colors (I use fewer squirts of color as I go along)
  • Once finished, quickly rinse eggs in water to remove excess dye
  • Dry eggs and rub with cooking oil if desired to produce shine

These tie-dye eggs started white. I dyed them first with green then pink and purple.

DIY Entertaining Ideas Holidays Pam Freeman

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