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How To Dye Eggs Naturally Plus The Best Deviled Egg Recipe

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Happy Spring. Celebrating the season of rebirth and new life with eggs is an ancient custom.

See, eggs were a forbidden food during Lent for Christians; so folks painted and decorated these symbols of renewed existence to mark the end of penance and fasting. 

Today, even the Fabergė jeweled creations commissioned by Russian czars and czarinas might be spring, pea-green with envy at today’s Easter Eggs, Egg Hunts, and Egg Decor.


 

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There is a bounty of decorative eggs to choose from. 

Some folks lament that their children are now too old for Easter baskets… 

And yet, there’s no age limit to indulging in chocolate eggs, or marzipan or ~ who can resist Peeps?!

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I used them in a happy Tablescape centerpiece.

 

By the way, eggs are a complete protein, nutritionally dense, containing every nutrient needed for life but Vitamin C. They are so versatile, any time of day – sweet or savory

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In search of a better Easter egg, there was the year we pursued the Easter egg craft ideas inspired by Martha Stewart, and Eastern European traditions, where one blows out the inside of the eggs and uses a wax crayon to inscribe the name of family and dinner guests — I like to use them as place card markers sitting in a pretty egg cup with the beribboned monogrammed eggs hung from forced cherry blossom or pussy willow stems in a seasonal talblescape design. 

This decoration is a bit more complicated than straight to dying but if cared for,  they last forever.

 

My quest was to create a natural food coloring for the Easter eggs that will decorate the baskets and tablescape.  

This recipe is a doable and fun tradition. Most of the ingredients you probably have on hand, and the others are readily available from the garden or pantry or accessed from the market.

 

Dying to Make Natural Easter Eggs?

If you’re like me, meaning a bit compulsive about sustainability and keeping chemicals off your family’s ingredients menu, then coloring Easter or spring eggs should be made using homegrown, pure ingredients, not synthetic food coloring.  Some years ago, I set out to discover – or rediscover – how to color eggs with natural – plant-based dyes. Yes, the fizzie PAAS Easter Eggs is a holiday favorite or tradition.  But those pellets are rather scary. 

In addition to eggs, you will need white vinegar, water, and veggies, fruits, and spices for colors. Don’t leave out the vinegar – it’s a necessary fixative, ensuring that the color will adhere to the eggs.

Reds/Pinks:

• grated beets
• chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
• Red Zinger tea
• chopped frozen cherries

Blues/Purples:

• chopped frozen blueberries
• chopped red cabbage
• red onion skins

Yellows/Golds:

• yellow/brown onion skins
• chamomile tea
• ground turmeric
• saffron

Greens:

• chopped spinach

Mix these together to create other colors, as well; for example, reds and yellows combine to produce orange shades. Customize your colors.

It’s a fun and easy way to teach children about colors, too.

  • Use about 2-3 cups of water in a saucepan for each color. 
  • Add one tablespoon of vinegar and the plant(s) of choice. 
  • Bring to a boil for fifteen minutes before adding eggs.

Chopping the frozen blueberries and the spinach was easy. Likewise, the grating of the beets.

Rather than use four different pots on the cooktop, I used the microwave.

The natural ingredients were added to coffee cups, with the vinegar; heated for five minutes to a boil.

The best color was the chamomile and yellow onion skins. The yellow was a bright and happy hue.

The red turned out to be more pink. It worked better with the addition of the rest of the beet. Don’t shave it – just cut it up and add to the vinegar water.

The thinking was to turbo-charge the blue color and add a blueberry tea to the frozen chopped blueberries for the test recipe.

The chamomile worked swell. But the blue turned out to be more grayish blue initially. The addition of more vinegar accelerated the blue color.

The only not-so-impressive color, was the green. Which is more than disappointing as the spinach even dyed the cutting board when chopped! Perhaps more spinach and a bigger container to accommodate the intensified plant dye ingredient.

The result was great Yellows, and good Red & Pinks and Blues. 

There are now more than a few brands available and ready to use straight from the retail shelf or online so you don’t need to create your own natural and organic egg dyes. If the Easter Bunny has you hopping around with too many tasks, here are a few suggestions from which to choose:

ColorKitchen: Plant-based, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Artificial Dye-Free, Vegan, and lots of deep, rich colors:

Blue: Maltodextrin, spirulina extract.

Pink: Maltodextrin, beet powder.

Yellow: Maltodextrin, turmeric.

Orange: Maltodextrin, turmeric, annatto extract.

Green: Maltodextrin, turmeric, spirulina extract.

Even the spice behemoth, McCormick offers all-natural food coloring pack derived from plants: vegetables and seeds.

Chefmaster Natural Liqua-Gels King Arther, to create all-natural, vibrant food coloring — they even offer Black in their line:

Fancy Eastern European Egg Art
Last year, we made a pilgrimage to a kind of nearby Polish specialty food store, to garner all kinds of smoked meats, pastries, artisanal foods, and treats. I couldn’t resist these Eastern European egg wraps. They look like fine art.

Bill, ever the iconoclast, didn’t go the hot water route but rather used his torch! Boys and their toys!

Egg Salad Recipe:
This is my family-favorite Duchess Deviled Egg Recipe that I’m asked to make every year and share with all for Easter Dinner. Placed on the special, pink, petal deviled egg platter – it’s a glamorous presentation. I received this deviled egg platter at one of my wedding showers from my Aunt Irene. I treasure it.

Don’t you just love single-use dishes and tablescape serving pieces? It’s a lost art to find and use them. A pity. Back to the Devilishly Delicious Duchess Egg

Recipe:

  • Place room temperature eggs into a pot with water covering the eggs. 
  • Bring the water to a boil, cover, remove from heat, allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Add cold water to the pot and remove the eggs. Allow to cool. This method makes it easier to remove the shells, keeps the whites pure – especially important in making egg salad and deviled eggs (no gray or bluish whites.) It also provides a rich, creamy yolk.
  • Six eggs, removed from shells and broken up with a fork. 
  • Add diced and finely chopped red onion, to taste, even amounts of mayonnaise and sour cream — I also add a dollop of creme fraiche, teaspoon of chives – or to taste. 
  • ¼ teaspoon of dry mustard, or a Dijon mustard, and a splash of briny pickle juice (straight from the jar). 
  • Mix well and refrigerate. Can be used in lettuce wraps or on salad dish with arugula or market-fresh lettuces and asparagus from the garden. 

Cut the egg whites along the length of the egg using a warm knife, running warm water over the knife after each cut so that egg “debris” doesn’t litter up the next egg white.

Using a pastry bag, pipe the egg yolk mixture into the egg white “shells.” There are swirls and scallops options that will elevate the deviled egg to elegant, edible, entertainment to grace the cocktail bar, brunch or dinner tablescape. Dust with paprika and garnish with cornichons nestled around those edible flowers.

Sprinkle with good paprika. I use Hungarian paprika.

Deviled Eggs Presentation:
Place happy-face edible pansies or other flowers around the eggs – not only is it pretty but the blossoms will prevent the eggs from sliding into one another.

Storing and Handling Eggs

Always store pointy end down – air sac at top protects nutrient-rich yolk from bacteria (bacteria lives better in yolk than white)

Refrigerate store bought eggs.

Eggs last seven times longer when chilled; unwashed ~ two-three weeks on the counter. Wash eggs just before using.

Happy Keaster!Happy, Natural Spring. Please enjoy an egg-cellent, glamorous Holiday. Cheers!

2 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    I sincerely hope you do enjoy this delicious, tried and true and family-approved 🙂 deviled egg recipe. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    This is a most delicious recipe for deviled eggs. I keeper for sure. Try it, you will love it. Thanks

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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