Dyeing hard boiled eggs for Easter is a lot of fun, but it can get a little messy. If you have a lot of little helpers around, dealing with boiling water on the stove is not always the greatest idea. Why not get your slow cooker out of the cabinet and dye your Easter eggs in it this year?
Before you get started, do yourself a favor and grab a package of crockpot liners. They are fairly inexpensive and will prevent the dye from penetrating your crock. Even though we’re dealing with food safe ingredients here, it won’t harm you to skip this step, but if you do, don’t be surprised if your slow cooker insert ends up being discolored.
Dyeing With Kool-Aid
A fun and easy way to start coloring Easter eggs is with packets of Kool-Aid. Grab a few bright colors and think about how you want to go about dyeing your eggs. Start with the lightest color and then mix to your heart’s content. For example, you could go from yellow to orange, red and finally purple. If you have more than one slow cooker, you’ll have even more coloring options.
Start by lining your slow cooker and adding just enough water to cover your hard boiled eggs. Turn your slow cooker on high and allow the water to heat up for about 2 hours. Add enough Kool-Aid packets to get a nice, deep color, and then carefully dip your eggs into the slow cooker. There’s no need to add vinegar since the drink mix has citric acid in it. Dye the eggs as you would with commercial Easter egg dyes.
Natural Dyes in The Slow Cooker
Another fun option is to use things like onion skin and red cabbage to dye your eggs. You’ll end up with some lovely natural shades. Cook up the dye stock in your slow cooker, then carefully ladle it into cups or glass jars and dip your eggs in for dyeing. You’ll still want to add a liner before you start cooking will prevent discoloration of your crock.
In each case, fill your slow cooker about half full with water. Add plenty of the plant material suggested below and allow it to cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until your dye liquid is fairly dark.
Here are some ideas for making the dyes:
– Several big handfuls of dry onion skins (I save them ahead of time)
– One small head of red cabbage, sliced
– Six beets, quartered
– 1 to 2 cups of coffee grounds
– 8 to 10 tea bags – more for deeper colors.
Allow the dye to cook, then carefully ladle some of the liquid in jars and let your hard boiled eggs to sit in the mixture for several minutes. The longer they sit, the darker the color. You’ll end up with pretty soft shades of yellow, purple, red, brown, and green. All will be earthy, subtle tones.
Until next time,