Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coloring Easter Eggs using Blueberries and Beets

Every Easter, Kim and I decorate eggs. We have up, till now, used the commercial dyes and preparations. But this year, Kim decided only natural colors would do. And even though we have some natural and organic dyes that we use in Life By Chocolate chocolates, Kim wanted to create the dyes from scratch. We used blueberries and beets.

!!! Spoiler alert: the blueberries made a much better dye then the beets. !!!

First gather your supplies!

Next, mash up your bloobs, short for blueberries, and dice your beets. Cut the beets into medium sized chunks. You need about 2 cups of each. I recommend using more than 2 cups of beets or cutting them into smaller chunks. 2 cups for the bloobs is just fine. We cut our beets into very large chunks, see the picture below, and used only two cups. (We tried putting in an extra tea spoon of vinegar but that didn't do anything. I'd recommend smaller chunks or more beets for a better dye.)

Now add 2 cups of water to the beets and also to the blueberries. Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Once they are done, strain out the particulates.

Next, add one teaspoon of white vinegar to the dye. The vinegar acts as a binder. If you've used commercially prepared dyes, you will remember this step from your other egg coloring adventures.

Before using your dye, let it cool to room temperature. Don't put the hot dye into your refrigerator; the heat will spoil your food. If you are in a rush, use a bain marie but don't add any more liquid to the dye.

When the dye is ready, have fun coloring your eggs! Make sure you turn your eggs while they are in the dye to assure uniform coloring. I would suggest that you leave the egg in the dye for at least 3 minutes.

Don't forget to set them aside to drain. As you can see, the blue dye came out dark and the eggs retained their color when left to dry. The red dye tended to slide of the eggs even when we left the egg in the dye for over ten minutes. This created a beautiful, if subtle, mottled egg surface. Don't forget to blot them dry. Do not rub them or you will rub the dye off. (Kim and I used the rubbing technique to create stripes and other effects.)

Now enjoy your colorful, naturally dyed eggs. Go ahead! Revel in the satisfaction that you have used only natural vegetable dye this Easter and have made the dye with your own two hands. Be smug. You've earned it.

Come to one of our fabric dying classes this year at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops.

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