Dying eggs is a fun and wholesome way to entertain the kids at Easter time. Why not keep it real with some natural alternatives to synthetic food coloring?
An increasing amount of evidence from various studies conclude that food dyes such as Blue 1 and 2, Red 3 and 40, and Yellow 5 and 6 are dangerous additives containing carcinogens. Unfortunately, these dyes are most commonly used in foods that are geared toward children, such as cereals, candy, baked goods, dessert powders and some juices.
And to think, the only reason these dyes are used is to make food look more attractive while offering no added flavor or nutrients, just plenty of harmful chemicals.
Thankfully, there are alternatives to using artificial coloring, such as (you guessed it) real food! Beets, berries and turmeric are all natural and healthful foods that can safely be used to create color and improve appearance.
Whole Foods Market shared this great recipe on their website to naturally dye eggs:
- 2 cups roughly chopped, raw beets (for pink/red)
- 2 cups blueberries, crushed (for blue/purple)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (for yellow)
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
Put your choice of coloring ingredient (beets, blueberries or turmeric) into a small pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any solids, and then stir in vinegar. Set aside to let cool until warm or room temperature.
To color eggs, submerge in dye, turning often for even coating, until desired color is reached. For more colors, dye eggs first in one color, then wipe dry and dye in a second color.
Enjoy this simple and healthy craft with your children, worry free. Continue to explore with other vegetables, fruits and spices to offer a rainbow of colors and draw out the natural artist within. The kids will be delighted when they learn that sometimes it is okay to play with your food!