These Easter eggs are to Dye-for!
So Easter is upon us. Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion like any other holiday—with too much food, too much family and overindulged, under-slept children that cannot even form a sentence by 6 p.m. Oh…and some totally awesome dye-free Easter eggs!
Now I know what you are thinking…
“I work for hard for the money. So hard for it honey. And I do not have the time or the patience to be concerned about a little Red 40 dye on the shells of my Easter eggs.”
I get it.
When donning my hazmat suit, rubber gloves and “take no prisoners” attitude right before an epic egg decorating sesh (that is sure to end in tears, stained furniture and a healthy case of regret), the last thing I want to do is try a new recipe. But rest assured, there are no extra steps, extra work or extra stress.
But first, why should we care about a little Red 40 on our Easter eggs?
Because synthetic dyes are bad for you. And there’s legitimate science to back it up.
The Center for Science and Public Interest (CSPI) conducted a study wherein they tested ten different food dyes that are currently approved for use in the U.S. And here is where the legitimate part comes in—all dyes were individually tested by leaders in the chemical industry, as well as academic consultants. In their 58 page report, they concluded that all nine of the dyes tested contained chemicals that have been linked to a whole host of barf inducing health concerns, like cancer, organ damage, birth defects, allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. (See full report here: https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf)
Say what? Hyperactivity in children?
While this laundry list of potentially deadly health concerns is frightening, I have to admit that the thought of my children being any more hyperactive than usual is enough to swear off these food dyes for good!
Also, the good ole EU, who seems to be light years ahead of us when it comes to all things related to public health, has actually required that warning labels be attached to products containing synthetic food dyes as they “MAY have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” “MAY” have an adverse effect on their behavior? That’s like saying holding a lit firecracker in your hand “MAY” blow your hand off…” True, it may spare your hand or maybe leave a couple fingers attached, but I’m sure as hell not willing to test that one out.
Okay so now that I have pretty much ruined every single pleasurable moment you have ever gotten from a 7-11 slurpee or pop rocks as a kid, let’s move onto the eggs!
Here’s what you need for your dye-free Easter eggs:
**Please note that when using artificial or natural dyes I highly recommend prepping the dye and the eggs the night before and letting them soak overnight. Year after year I was ending up with these dull eggs and the trick is to really let them absorb that dye!
- 1/2c vinegar (per color)
- 1/2c boiling water (per color)
- Natural food Dye (I love India Tree)
- Small glass bowls to mix colors
- White crayon for decorating
- Optional: Standard egg decorating kit (obviously minus the deadly dye pellets) but then you can use those cute egg stands and other bells and whistles.
- Select which colors you want to use.
- The India tree kit comes with red, yellow and blue dyes. You can mix them up to make more colors. If you are brave and willing to involve your kids in this process, it is highly educational. I had to google how to make every single color. 🙂
- Add 1/2c water per color to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- While water is boiling, fill each small bowl with 1/2c vinegar.
- Add 1/2c of water to each bowl.
- Add food coloring to each bowl.
- My original recipe was 20 drops (10 of each if combining colors), but I would even go 30 total (15 of each if combining).
- Now this is the money shot. Let Eggs soak in bowl for a couple hours, even overnight! The longer, the better.
- Let dry & then decorate your little heart out!
- Admire your work. Because you’re an egg boss and I’m proud of you!
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And please stay tuned for my next article: “The Hype Behind Hygge” It’s a cultural phenomenon that’s basically giving us permission to wear flannel pajamas, take baths and read US Magazine. Alone. You won’t want to miss it….