This was the first year we dyed eggs at our house, so I decided we should try our hand at natural dyes and see what resulted. Luckily, it is more about the process with Ewan than the results, and he didn't mind that our eggs didn't come out really bright. I think they're lovely, but the colors are a bit subdued and don't fit into the bright color palette that many expect around Easter time.
We just chose ingredients that we already had to make our dyes. We used (shown above from left to right) kale, turmeric, smoked paprika, and beets. The turmeric and smoked paprika were both in powder form from our spice cabinet. The kale came from our garden, and we actually just used the fiber that remained after juicing, hence the pink rather than green color. The beets were in our refrigerator. Some other ideas I've seen include red cabbage, red or yellow onion skins, wine, coffee, red tea, and cooked spinach. Part of the fun was looking through our spice cabinet and garden for ideas.
From what I've read, one of the better methods for making dyes is to boil the ingredients for 15-20 minutes. I was going for an outdoor activity during Isla's nap times, so I just poured boiling water over our ingredients and let them steep for about four hours. After four hours, we poured the beet and kale dyes through a strainer. We left the turmeric and smoked paprika alone since I didn't think it was worth the mess of straining powders. We also made a few purple eggs using blueberries, but we didn't make a dye for those.
A bit of beet dye landed in the kale and turmeric dyes, but I don't think it was enough to affect our colors by much. We also ended up with a naturally dyed tea towel as a bonus from the days activities...
Please continue to see our methods for making the dyes and coloring the eggs...
I started making my own yogurt probably five years ago when a friend introduced me to the idea. I never realized it could be so simple and delicious. Ewan loves plain cow's milk yogurt and first tried it when he was eight months old. I can put a big bowl of it in front of him with nothing added, and it will be gone very quickly. He also likes to eat it with a scoop of frozen blueberries mixed in because when he stirs them, they make fun purple swirls.
There are quite a few methods that can be used in order to make yogurt, and my method has definitely evolved over the years. A trick I thought of very recently was to heat the milk in the jar in which I plan to ferment! I can't believe that I never thought of this before, especially since I was already making my yogurt in mason jars. A quick google search revealed that this is not an original idea of mine, but I had never happened upon this method in all of my reading. My biggest complaint about making yogurt was the burned milk that always got stuck to the bottom of the pot. Now that problem has been completely eliminated. You can't believe how excited I was to be the hundredth (okay, maybe thousandth?) person to think of this method.