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11 April 2014

Easy-Peasy DIY: All-Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

Le Creuset - How to naturally dye Easter eggs

With school holidays taking place right now (and with the winter weather drawing in), why not indulge in a crafty Martha Stewart moment and make naturally dyed Easter eggs in your favourite Le Creuset colours? It’s easy-peasy and fun for the whole family – even the small ones can pitch in as the dyes are totally nontoxic.

Natural botanical dyes are surprisingly easy to make using basic ingredients you’ll find in every kitchen. Love our Caribbean Blue? Use shredded red cabbage leaves to dye your eggs. A spoonful or two of turmeric will give you Soleil yellow, or use red grape juice or chopped beetroot for Cassis. See the chart below for other colour favourites.

The finished shades vary depending on the colour of the eggshell, the concentration of the dye and the length of time the egg is soaked – but you will get gorgeous, subtle colours.

Follow our simple steps below or click here to download our Easter egg ‘how to’ PDF.

Le Creuset - How to naturally dye Easter Eggs

Step One: BOIL YOUR EGGS

Try to choose eggs with white or very pale shells; darker shells will still look lovely but will give you a slightly different finished shade. Hard-boil the eggs and then set them aside until cooled to room temperature. NB: Don’t remove or crack the shells – leave them intact!

(Note: If you’re pressed for time, you can instead simply hard-boil your eggs in the dye bath, adding them during step 2 below*.)

Le Creuset - How to naturally dye eggs

Step Two: PREPARE YOUR DYE

For Caribbean blue:
1 red cabbage, shredded or chopped
2 litres water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

For Soleil:
1 teaspoon to 6 tablespoons turmeric, depending on how deep you want your yellow to be
2 litres water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

For Cassis:
2 litres red grape juice (no additional water is needed)
1 teaspoon white vinegar

OR

1 to 1½ kg beetroots, unpeeled and chopped (about 8 cups)
2 litres water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Method

  1. Using a separate pot for each colour, add cabbage, turmeric or beetroots/grape juice, water and vinegar.
  2. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer, covered with a lid, for 30 minutes. (*Add uncooked room-temperature eggs now if you want to skip Step One above. Then simply simmer for 15 minutes before removing eggs to a bowl. Pour over the strained liquid dye, cover and refrigerate until you get the hue you want.)
  3. Strain the liquid into large bowls.
  4. Lower the hard-boiled eggs into the dye baths in a single layer. Cover and leave in the fridge until the colour deepens to your liking (you can even leave them overnight).
  5. Prepare a drying rack: cover your countertop with a thick layer of paper towels (to prevent staining the surface) and then place a wire rack on top. Carefully lift out each egg and place it on the rack until dry.
  6. Store in the fridge until you’re ready for a game of Easter hide and seek.

NATURAL DYE COLOURS

Skins from yellow apples/chopped fennel tops = Pale green

Skins of yellow onions = Orange

Paprika = Pale red/Orange

Chopped carrot tops = Rich yellow

Orange peels = Pale yellow

Dill seed = Brown/Gold

Strong coffee = Brown

Skins from avocados/Pickled beet juice = Pale pink

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Stainless Steel Saucepans
Perfect for boiling eggs, the 3-ply Stainless Steel Saucepan’s versatility makes it essential for everyday cooking. Available in several sizes to suit any purpose or household.

Stainless Steel Saucepans by Le Creuset


Wire Skimmer
The Wire Skimmer’s long handle keeps hands safely away from hot liquids, allowing boiled eggs to drain quickly before being set aside to cool.

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Batter Bowl
The stoneware Batter Bowl features a generous depth that will help prevent splattering during the dyeing process. Its large handle is designed to steady the bowl and provide control.


Egg Cups
These stoneware Egg Cups, with traditional footed design, are the perfect way to show off Easter egg creations in style. Mix and match for a colourful rainbow effect.

Egg-Cups


Shop online at www.lecreuset.co.za where we offer countrywide free delivery or visit your nearest Le Creuset Boutique Store. Did you like this post? Sign up to our newsletter and we’ll send you more news and promotions!

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