Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs | Wow! | Cooking Light

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The custom of dyeing eggs goes back to ancient times and cuts across many cultures as a symbol of Earth's renewal after winter. Back then, onion skins, red cabbage, beets, seeds, flowers, herbs, and spices were used to tint and imprint designs on eggshells. Those simple, natural materials continue to be one of the most beautiful ways to decorate spring's most iconic food. Our recipe for perfect hard-cooked eggs and our formula for dyeing them make the whole thing easy—just pick a palette ranging from light pastels to richly saturated colors. Set an egg at each place at the brunch table, or pile them in a basket for a conversation-starting centerpiece—they'll make a delightful impression.
Natural Dye-Colored Easter Eggs

For hard cooked eggs:
Add water to a large saucepan to a depth of 1 inch; set a large vegetable steamer in pan. Add 8 to 12 eggs to steamer. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Steam eggs, covered, 16 minutes. Remove from heat. Place eggs in a large ice water-filled bowl for 3 minutes or until cooled.

To imprint a herb leaf silhouette onto the egg:
Place a leaf directly on the shell (you can use a little egg white to adhere into place) Wrap egg tightly in a single layer of hosiery (knee-highs work great) or cheesecloth, gather the ends and secure tightly with a rubber band. Then dye as directed. Blot as much dye as possible from the cloth before unwrapping the eggs

The Dye Formulas:

For Blue Dye:
Roughly chop 1/2 head red cabbage. Combine cabbage with 4 cups cold water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl, discard solids. Cool dye to room temperature. For each 1 cup of dye, add 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon Fruit Fresh Produce Protector. Add eggs (make sure the dye fully covers the eggs) and refrigerate. Turn eggs occasionally to dye

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