Food Dye and Easter Eggs: The Natural Way

There has been recent debate as to whether or not a possible link between food dyes and hyperactivity exists.  While an FDA panel recently said ‘no’ to food coloring warning labels, the panel did acknowledge that  food coloring may intensify problems experienced by children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Given there was not enough conclusive evidence to warrant the labels, the impact of food coloring on children is still a point of contention considering the FDA estimates that food dyes can cause asthma, hives, headache, and behavioral changes.

Sounds a bit risky to me over something that can easily be done naturally. Using the juice of fruits and vegetables will color frosting and other decorations such as cookies, cakes, candies, and just in time for this weekend – Easter Eggs!

Choose a few primary colors you want to focus on, and from these you can blend new colors.

Dye Ingredients

  • RED: Red onion skins (a large amount), cranberries or raspberries (slightly mashed)
  • PINK: Peeled beets
  • ORANGE: Paprika
  • BLUE: Red cabbage leaves, blueberries (slightly mashed)
  • PURPLE: Red onion skin (a small amount)
  • YELLOW: Saffron, ground turmeric
  • GREEN: Asparagus, spinach
  • BROWN: Strong tea, strong coffee

Bring 1 cup of water and dye ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes to an hour until desired color is obtained.  Strain dye liquid.  If adding to cakes, cookies, etc…stop here.  If dying Easter Eggs, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the strained liquid.  Dip in your cooled, hard-boiled eggs and let sit until desired color is achieved.  Take eggs out and let dry on a rack or in the carton.  Let dry fully (color will easily come off before they are dried completely).  If dried eggs have a dull finish, rub with a little cooking oil to add gloss.



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