Your pantry is 'dying' to help color eggs
You have a fun science experiment waiting in your own pantry: using natural dyes to color your Easter eggs this year. You may be surprised at all the colors available right in your own home. All you need are white eggs, vinegar and a cupboard or refrigerator full of possibilities.
You can create your own natural dyes for coloring eggs by using common foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices, tea or coffee. Dying eggs with natural dyes is a longer process and may require eggs to soak in color for several hours to develop darker colors. Although a longer wait, the fun is watching colorful eggs develop from dyes you have created from foods found right in your kitchen.
One of the easiest methods is to use foods that are ready-to-dye in their natural form to create colors, such as canned blueberries or cherries. Steps to use natural, ready-to-dye colors are: pour dye mixture into bowl or jar that will allow dye to completely cover egg, add 1 to 2 teaspoons white vinegar per cup of liquid, add a boiled egg that has been cooled and let eggs remain in dye in refrigerator until it reaches desired color. Deeper colors will require eggs to soak in the dye longer.
Dry dyed eggs in an empty egg carton in the refrigerator. Natural dyed eggs will not be glossy. Once eggs have dried, give eggs a shiny sheen by rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil on them.
Refer to chart below for ready-to-dye colors or use your imagination to create your own colorful dye:
• Purple:Grape juice or red wine.
• Blue:Canned blueberries.
• Pink:Canned beet juice (from canned beets) or cranberry juice.
• Red:Canned cherries or dark red fruit juice such as pomegranate.
• Brown: Strong coffee.
• Yellow: Strong green tea.
• Orange:Paprika mixed with water; bring to a boil, strain, then use.
• Green: Boiled spinach leaves.
If you want to decorate the surface of your egg, you can use other household items: crayons, rubber bands, stickers and a sponge. Draw with a crayon or add rubber bands prior to dyeing to create fun designs. Add stickers to dried eggs. Or use a sponge as the eggs come out of the dye to give the egg a textured look. Not to forget about food safety — dyed eggs that have been at room temperature for more than two hours should not be eaten.
Makes 24 servings
All you need:
12 large hard-boiled eggs (see tip), peeled
1/3 cup non-fat cottage cheese
¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion greens
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Paprika for garnish
All you do:
Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (reserve remaining 8 yolk halves for another use). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives or scallion greens, relish, mustard and salt. Process until smooth.
Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
Nutrition per serving:34 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 85 mg sodium.
Tip:To hard-boil eggs, place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and cover eggs with ice cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling.