Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs Using Onion Skins

Yield: 12 eggs

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These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian dairy-free iconDairy-free gluten-free iconGluten-free soy-free iconSoy-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

This is a delightful spring project that has been handed down through families for generations. These eggs aren't just for Easter. Many cultures have used this method to decorate eggs for special occasions. The ingredients couldn't be any simpler and the results are magical.

Ingredients

Preparation

Peel the onions and place all of the skins in a medium-sized pot. Keep the peeled onions for another use. (My family loves this time of year, because of the huge pot of Caramelized French Onion Soup that comes out of this!)

Pour the water over the skins and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, or until you reach your desired color, stirring occasionally. The liquid in the pan will turn from pale tea color to a deep, gorgeous, brick red. This is your egg dye.

Strain the dye into a smaller saucepan, pressing down on the skins. At this point you may either color your eggs by simmering them in the dye bath for 12 to 15 minutes or you may do a little further decoration.

To decorate

This method will create a relief design on the surface of the egg. Cut a piece of cheesecloth about 8 inches square. Place a small herb sprig, a flower blossom or foliage on the cheesecloth and set the egg on top of the foliage. Bring the edges of the cheesecloth up around the egg and twist in the back, making sure the decoration is pressed tightly against the front surface of the egg. (This will keep the dye from seeping under the surface of the foliage.) Secure with a rubber band and trim off any excess cheesecloth. Repeat with as many eggs as you would like to decorate.

Place the eggs carefully in the dye bath (you may have to do this in batches) and bring the dye bath to a simmer. Cook the eggs gently for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the color is deep and rich.

Remove the eggs and allow to cool. Cut the rubber band off with kitchen shears and peel off the cheesecloth and the foliage, revealing your design. Once the eggs have cooled completely, rub them with a little vegetable oil to make them shiny. These eggs are edible (although slightly hard cooked) but will need to be stored in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them.

Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef

Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on April 9, 2011.

Lynne Vea

ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea

Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.

Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.

She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.

Find more recipes from Lynne.

Learn more about our recipes. View guidelines »

More about: eggs, spices

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Related Content

Other fun colors for Easter eggs

These are but a very few options for dyeing eggs. Unlike the onion skin eggs, all of these dyes work well with hard-cooked and cooled eggs.

Make sure the eggs have no oils on the surface. Create your dyes and let the eggs sit in them until the depth of color you desire is achieved. That can be anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight.

Purplish: Puree 2 cups of blueberries and add 1 teaspoon vinegar. The blueberry puree will turn a bit gel-like, but that is natural.

Butter yellow: Dissolve 6 to 8 tablespoons of ground turmeric in 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Simmer for a few minutes and cool.

Dark pink: Chop up 4 to 5 beets and simmer in 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid. (For a richer color, you may cook raw eggs directly in the beet juice for 12 to 15 minutes.)

Blue: Shred 1 large red cabbage and simmer in 4 cups water with 1 tablespoon vinegar for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid.

View more natural egg dyes »

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