Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs, a fun way to get Easter started. Dying eggs with onion skins to get the red colour, and with turmeric to get a lovely yellow is not only a lot easier, but also healthier, since no chemicals come into contact with the eggs. Quick, easy, the best Orthodox Easter tradition.
Why do we DYE eggs for Easter?
Dyed Easter eggs are found on every table in Romania on Easter day. Although other colours like yellow, blue, green or purple are quite common, red is the main colour, as it symbolises the blood of Jesus Christ.
Colouring eggs is one of the many beautiful traditions we have for Easter. There are quite a few legends about why we dye eggs red for Easter. One of them says that, when Jesus was crucified, a woman who was passing by carrying a basket of eggs stopped to look at Jesus. She put the basket next to the cross and blood poured over the eggs, colouring them in red.
Special egg colour can be bought, quite cheaply too, but then, that's not really healthy. After all it's chemical, so better use natural ingredients. You still get a lovely colour though.
Romania is mainly an Orthodox country and Easter day rarely falls on the same day as the Catholic or Protestant Easter, and that is because we follow a different calendar.
Even so, as l live in the Isle of Man, l always get very excited about Easter, since over here it is usually celebrated first. One can never have too many Easter treats, and if l can have twice, why not!
How TO DYE eggs naturally
Unlike other countries, in Romania we don't really eat chocolate eggs for Easter, but real eggs dyed in different colours. The eggs are usually dyed on Maundy Thursday, but any other day closer to Easter would do too.
If I organise myself well, which I hardly ever do, a few days before I start colouring the eggs, I keep the onions skins rather than throwing them away whenever I cook a dish that asks for onions. In this way I don't need to peel them all off at once. If not, I peel them off, then chop the onions, and freeze them into separate freezer bags to be used at later dates.
Note! Make sure you gently wash and dry the eggs before adding them to the pan, if the eggs are not 100% clean, the colouring might not be even.
HOW TO DYE EGGS WITH RED ONION SKINS
To get a lovely red colour, red onion skins are the best. If you use eggs that have a white shell, they red colour will be nice and bright, otherwise, the eggs with a darker shell will have a much darker colour.
- add the clean eggs to a pan
- cover the with onions skins
- add water and vinegar
- boil for about 10-15 minutes until you get the colour you like
The longer you leave them to boil, the darker the colour, so it's up to you. Super simple, isn't it?
HOW TO DYE EGGS WITH TURMERIC
Turmeric works amazingly well for a lovely yellow colour. The best natural ingredient, no chemicals whatsoever, and the perfect results are guaranteed every single time.
- bring a pan of water to the boil
- add the vinegar and turmeric
- leave to boil for 5 minutes, then add the eggs, and continue to boil them for 10-15 minutes until you get a nice yellow colour
NOTE! DO USE VINEGAR, IT'S WHAT HELPS THE COLOUR STICK BETTER.
You can keep the eggs plain, or decorate them with Easter stickers too. The best way of decorating them is by placing fresh leaves in different shapes on an egg, wrapping it in a cloth or nylon socks.
Alternatively, you can wrap the eggs in rubber bands, or draw different patterns with crayons or wax, the colour won't stick on the drawings. You can get as creative as you wish, without worrying about nasty ingredients. Do give them a go, you will have fun!
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Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs
- 16 eggs
- 8 red onions
- 4 tablespoon vinegar
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoon turmeric
- oil to add shine to the eggs
- To get a red colour, add 8 eggs to a pan, remove the skins from the onions and place over the eggs.
- Next, cover the eggs and onion skins with water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
- Boil for at least10-15 minutes, so that the eggs can get a lovely colour. You can leave them longer, if you want a darker colour.
- Remove from the heat and place them on a kitchen towel. Polish them with any oil to make them nice and shiny.
- To get the yellow colour, add 2-3 cups of water to a pan together with the turmeric and the rest of the vinegar, and leave to boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the eggs, and boil for a further 10-15 minutes until you get a deep yellow colour.
- Remove from the pan, and polish them with oil for a good shine.