Spring 2020, the days melt into weeks and settle into a pool of months. Even though I became numb to time and dates, annual family traditions do not slumber. We will continue with the hallmark tradition of dyeing eggs using all-natural ingredients collected from the pantry and refrigerator.
This year could be the year to expand your healthy living perspective and skip the egg dye kit (if you were lucky enough to find one). It may seem like a grassroots approach, but now more than ever, we need to find beauty and contentment in being resourceful.
Sometimes we need to reframe obstacles as learning opportunities. Often a crisis awakens our inner resourcefulness, which then motivates us to meet challenges with creative solutions.
Bring the Colors of Spring Inside This Year
Every year, I can depend on spring to deliver newness that evokes all my senses. Dusty pink wild azalea blossoms unfold from winter slumber; the whippoorwill starts to serenade at dawn or the smell of an April spring rain that lands on freshly cultivated soil.
The sweetest sign of spring is to peer over the brim of a bird’s nest and count tiny eggs. New life—after all, that is what the story of Easter is about. But I digress.
A quiet glance into a nest is like looking at nature’s palette. In previous years, you probably bought the Easter egg decorating kits and never imagined mixing up dyes made from herbs, spices, and vegetables.
This year, in particular, is different. We’ve all had to conjure up a new normal.
An easy Easter centerpiece is to gather your eggs dyed in earthy, muted colors and place them in a basket lined with moss or linen napkin. Collect small stems of cherry blossoms or any other branches from a blooming tree and tuck them in your basket.
Healthy and Sustainable Egg Dyes
Even if you’re just now transitioning into a lifestyle of soulful healthy living, small step changes in daily habits and rhythms make a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
There’s always the question about the effects of ingesting food-grade dyes. The likelihood of harm caused by eating a few hard-boiled Easter eggs is probably remote. But typically, consuming foods that contain artificial colors doesn’t stop at Easter.
Food dyes in some form are part of the daily diet of most Americans.
All-Natural Egg Dyes
Colors will vary in shade depending upon how long you leave the egg in the mixtures. Be creative and have fun!
Blue – heat 2-3 cups of frozen blueberries with 1 cup of water, drain, then let cool. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar to the blueberry-water mixture.
Mix 1 head of red cabbage chopped with 4 cups of boiling water. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Let cool. Strain.
Pink/Red – Add 2-4 Red Zinger tea bags or 2-4 Hibiscus tea bags, but 3-4 tbsp of loose-leaf Hibiscus works best with 4 cups of boiling water. Add 2 tbsp vinegar. Strain. Let cool
*Note: the Hibiscus creates a light red with gray undertones.
Boil 2-3 cups of beets with 4 cups of water until your desired shade. Add 1 tbsp vinegar. Let cool. Drain. A shortcut is to buy a large jar of pickled beets, drain the juice from the jar. Eat the beats.
Lavender – Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Yellow – add 1 tbsp turmeric to 2 cups of water. Boil. Add 2 tbsp vinegar. Let cool.
Orange – Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 teaspoons white vinegar.
Brown – use strong coffee grounds (dark roast, espresso grounds) and add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Let set until desired shade appears. Drain through a fine sieve.
Get Creative with Your Easter Eggs
Crayon designs – before you dye the egg, write on the eggs with a white crayon. Then place the egg in the dye. The areas that you sketched with white will remain white.
Rubber band art – place rubber bands of different widths and lengths on the egg. Check to make sure they are securely fastened. Place the egg in the dye. Make sure the egg is submerged. Let egg completely dry before removing rubber bands.
Hand painted designs – once the eggs are dry, use acrylic paints to
Make Your Easter Eggs the Centerpiece
Now plan how you will display the eggs. One of my favorite ways to decorate is to rummage through closets and bins to find a rustic basket or vintage bowl to nestle the eggs. The all-natural dye offers both practical and pretty Easter table centerpiece.
With any extra time, gather the kids for a walk to rescue bird’s nests fallen from trees. Gently carry them home and adorn your table with the decoration from nature.
Wherever you are in your healthy living journey, let this be the season that you stretch your skills and create new practices in other areas of your life.