Coloring eggs: naturally colorful Easter eggs

Eggs are in high demand at Easter   , especially when they are attractively colored with Easter egg dyes. But is the food coloring on the eggshell really harmless to health? Instead of buying colorful Easter eggs, children and adults can quickly and easily dye eggs themselves with food coloring or use natural substances from nature as egg dyes. But how do you use  beetroot , onion skins,  turmeric  & Co. as coloring agents? You can read here what to consider when dyeing eggs and which natural home remedies are suitable for dyeing Easter eggs.

Health risks from Easter egg colors

The Easter eggs that are already bought are often slightly colored under the shell, as the color can seep into the egg through small cracks and is then eaten. Many people then ask themselves whether these eggs can still be eaten without hesitation.

Brightly colored eggs from the supermarket have been treated with food coloring. The Easter egg colors are considered harmless to health, since only approved dyes may be used. However, artificial substances are often used to color the eggs. Some of these are controversial because of their health effects.

Easter eggs dyed with food coloring

Popular dyes, also for Easter egg colors, are the so-called azo dyes, which ensure bright colors. Many dyes from this group are suspected of having a carcinogenic effect.

In addition, they can trigger allergy-like symptoms (pseudoallergies) of the skin and respiratory tract in some people. Cross  -allergies  or health effects in people with  asthma  or  neurodermatitis  are also possible. Furthermore, there is a suspicion that some azo dyes could negatively influence the attention and activity of children ( ADHD ), which is why they must be provided with a corresponding warning – even if the connection is not yet proven.

Even if the dyes used to dye Easter eggs are approved for  food  , the following additives, for example, are considered controversial:

  • E 104 Chinolingelb
  • E 110 Gelborange S
  • E 102 Tartrazine – for yellow eggs
  • E 122 Azorubine – for red eggs
  • E 124 Cochenillerot
  • E 129 Allurarot AC

The list of ingredients must show which dyes were used to color the eggs. For hard-boiled Easter eggs sold individually, however, the label “with dye” is sufficient without having to give details. The best-before date or from which type of husbandry the eggs come from does not necessarily have to be stated for colored Easter eggs, so that the eggs can come from cage husbandry, for example.

Organic eggs with colors from nature

A safer alternative to colored eggs from the supermarket can be colored organic eggs, because the manufacturers only use natural colors. Examples of natural food colors are:

  • E 100 Curcumin – for yellow eggs
  • E 120 real carmine – for red eggs
  • E 132 Indigotine – for blue eggs
  • E 140 Chlorophyll – for green eggs
  • E160a to E160c carotenoids – for orange colored eggs

Please note: Even if these dyes are considered non-toxic in nature,   allergic reactions can still occur if you have an allergy .

Dyeing Easter Eggs: Natural and non-toxic

If you want to be absolutely sure that there are no chemicals or anything toxic in the colors, you can dye Easter eggs yourself without artificial colors – just as naturally as your grandmother used to do. Dyes from natural colors are not quite as bright, but non-toxic.

The best known are ingredients such as onion skins, beetroot juice, elderberry juice,  spinach  and turmeric, which is related to  ginger  . However, caution should also be exercised here in the event of allergies.

If you dye eggs yourself for Easter, you also have the advantage of being able to choose the quality of the eggs – you can simply choose free-range eggs or organic eggs.

Dyeing eggs with onion skins & Co.

Mother Nature offers the following colors to conjure up on the shells of eggs for Easter:

  • Chamomile, turmeric or  saffron  turn eggs  yellow.
  • Beetroot turns eggs  red,  and red onion skins also turn eggs reddish.
  • Elderberry juice or red cabbage give them a  bluish tint.
  • Black  tea  or  coffee  turns white eggs brown, while rooibos tea turns them  dark yellow to  orange .
  • Cranberries bring  pink  to the dish.
  • Spinach,  parsley  and nettles achieve  shades of green.
  • Blueberry juice gives them a  purple  tinge.
  • Onion skins shade the eggs  yellow-brown.

In addition to these home remedies, you can also use natural Easter egg colors that you have bought, for example from the pharmacy, drugstore or supermarket. Look at the ingredients list to check what colorings are included. This is especially true for known allergies.

Nail polish, felt-tip pen and other paints are not suitable for coloring hard-boiled eggs. They should only be used to paint blown eggshells.

Dye eggs yourself – that’s how it works!

If you would like to dye your Easter eggs yourself, it is best to use white eggs, as the color result is more intense with these – but brown eggs can also be dyed. The color tones are then darker overall.

First you should hard boil the eggs. Depending on the size of the egg, this will take 5 to 10 minutes.

Don’t scare the eggs off afterwards. Quenching makes peeling easier. However, this shortens the shelf life of the hard-boiled eggs from four to two weeks (when stored in a cool place), because the layer of air created under the shell makes it easier for microorganisms to get into the egg.

Then you can color the eggs:

  1. For the color you want, select the plant or food that goes with it, chop it up and boil it in a pot of water until the color turns intense. For powdered spices like turmeric, add about two teaspoons to boiling water.
  2. Pour off the liquid, catching the colored liquid and then let it cool. Add a tablespoon or two of vinegar for a better color result.
  3. Add the (still warm) egg and leave it there for about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired coloring – longer if necessary.
  4. Finally, rub the colored and cooled eggs with bacon rind or some vegetable oil – this not only gives a nice shine, but the fat closes the pores and thus extends the shelf life.

Tip: It may be a good idea to wear rubber gloves when dyeing the eggs so your fingers don’t get dyed as well.

6 techniques for creatively patterned Easter eggs

If you find monochromatic Easter eggs too boring, you can try the following tricks with different techniques:

  1. Floral patterns from the nylon stocking:  Put the boiled egg together with leaves, grass or flat blossoms in a tight-fitting piece of nylon stocking that is tied tightly at the top and bottom. The plant must fit snugly on the bowl. During the brewing time in the colored brew, individual pattern imprints are created on the egg.
  2. White Stripe Rubber Bands:  Before coloring the egg, stretch some rubber bands criss-cross around the eggshell. A varied line pattern is created.
  3. Color change with a whisk:  Carefully insert the egg into the inside of a whisk before placing it in a glass with the color decoction. Choose the filling level of the broth so that the egg is only half covered. After 5 minutes, add some water and let the egg sit fully covered – this way you get a lighter and a more intense half.
  4. Marble effect with oil or shaving foam:  Mix the color with some vegetable oil and rub it into the egg. The result is a marbled coloring. A beautiful marble effect can also be achieved with colored shaving cream.
  5. Rice imprints:  Mix some uncooked  rice  with the colored broth, place in a tupperware or nylon stocking and insert the egg, covering it. Allow the color to sit for a while before removing the egg. A speckled pattern emerges.
  6. Batik look thanks to kitchen paper:  Wrap the egg in kitchen paper and tie it at the top with a rubber band. Dab a few drops of different colors on the paper, spaced apart, and then use a spray bottle to spread water over them so the colors blend. Allow the packet to dry before removing the paper.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *