• Anita Hollerer-Squire

Colouring Easter eggs - the natural way


What I remember most about Easter growing up was colouring eggs. We would always colour our hard boiled eggs in red, blue, yellow and green. In Austria we have the custom of giving a red coloured egg to all the men who visit us at Easter. For some weird reason we would only give them to men and not to women - don't really know why. Back in those days we used artificial colours and I never even thought about the health impact of those. Since then numerous studies have shown that artificial colours may contribute to behavioural problems in children and might even have links to cancer. Some of the artificial colours we used back in the old days have since been withdrawn from the market. Europe is on the forefront of this - while other countries (like the USA, Australia and NZ) are limping a bit behind.

Since I became aware of the health risks associated with artificial colours, I am using natural colours to colour our easter eggs.

Here are some easy ideas for colouring eggs using spices, vegetables and fruit:

Blue

Use 2 cups of diced red cabbage and put them in a pot with the eggs and enough cold water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, turn off the heat and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water.

Yellow

Cover eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water.

Bring 2 cups of water with about 3 tablespoons of turmeric to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until you are happy with the color. Remove from heat and let cool. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Dip the cooled eggs into the cool turmeric water - the longer you leave them, the more they will take to the colour.

Red

Cook the eggs like above. Dip in Cranberry juice and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar - the longer you leave them, the stronger the colour. Alternatively, you can use beet juice.

Green

Cook the eggs like above. Bring 2 cups of spinach with enough water to cover the leaves to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Strain into a cup, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and allow to cool. Again - dip the eggs in and leave until you are satisfied with the colour.

Purple

Cook the eggs like above. Bring 2 cups of blueberries with enough water to cover them to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Strain into a cup, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and allow to cool. Dip the cooled eggs and cover with the blueberry water until you are happy with the colour.

Tip: if you like your eggs shiny - pat them try and rub them with a bit of oil.

#eastereggs #naturalcoloring