How To Make Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

How To Make Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

This article first appeared on The Kitchn.

This time of year there are some pretty amazing craft-tastic ideas online and in magazines, making it entirely possible to devote days to creating museum-quality ova, but I prefer a less design-y and more rustic approach. After all, they’re eggs you might be stashing somewhere in the lawn. And with a small child in the house, this is not a project likely to involve X-Acto knives and tiny electrical tape stencils.

Easter is a reminder of fertility and abundance, so I say turn on nature’s color and let loose.

 

The tradition of dyeing Easter eggs has wandered in many directions throughout history, from the early practice of staining eggs red in remembrance of Christ’s blood to what a lot of kids will tell you now: They color eggs to make them look like jelly beans.

 

A long time ago, I wrote about dyeing eggs with onion skins, which gives the eggs a pretty spectacular result, especially if you rub them with oil to add shine. Then, I decided to take coloring eggs with vegetable scraps a step further and created a larger palette. This year we’ll push it further, and as the kids around me get older, we just might add a few extra flourishes. No razors and making tape, but maybe a few of those rubber band tricks. I’ll let you know.

 

Keep in mind the effect of the dyes varies depending on how concentrated the dye is, what color egg you use, and how long and how many times the eggs are immersed in the dye. I used half a purple cabbage, shredded, to dye four eggs. Err on the side of more material rather than less when creating your dye. Here’s a handy guide to follow.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Per cup of water use the following:

  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage = blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
  • 1 cup red onion skins = lavender or red eggs
  • 1 cup yellow onion skins = orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
  • 1 cup shredded beets = pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric = yellow eggs
  • 1 bag Red Zinger tea = lavender eggs

 

Add one tablespoon white vinegar to every cup of strained dye liquid. For every dozen eggs, plan on using at least four cups of dye liquid.

A Note on the Coloring You Want

We’ve tested this method several times and have found that the number of dips in the dye is even more important than the duration of time spent in the dye. The more stints in the dye, the deeper the color will be. Our point? You can really play with the final color.


What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • Hard-boiled eggs, room temperature (white or brown eggs, preferably not super-fresh)
  • Water
  • 1 cup chopped purple cabbage per cup of water
  • 1 cup red onion skins per cup of water
  • 1 cup yellow onion skins per cup of water
  • 1 cup shredded beets per cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric per cup of water
  • 1 bag Red Zinger tea per cup of water
  • White distilled vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of strained dye)
  • Liquid neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed

Equipment

  • Saucepan with lid
  • White dish
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • A second saucepan or bowl
  • Baking dish or other container
  • Paper towels

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients: You can make separate batches of different colors or one large batch of a single color. Follow the ratios given above for each ingredient to make more or less dye.
  2. Add water to a saucepan: Pour the amount of water you need for the dye you’re making into a saucepan.
  3. Start making the dye: Add the dye matter (purple cabbage, onion skins, etc.) and bring the water to a boil.
  4. Adjust the heat: Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Check the color: The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Drip a little dye onto a white dish to check the color. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove the pan from the heat and let the dye cool to room temperature. (I put the pot on my fire escape and it cooled off in about 20 minutes.)
  6. Strain the dye: Pour the cooled dye through a fine-mesh strainer into another saucepan (or into a bowl then back into the original pan if that’s all you have).
  7. Add vinegar: Stir the vinegar into the dye — use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of strained liquid.
  8. Pour the dye over the eggs: Arrange the room-temperature eggs in single layer in a baking dish or other container and carefully pour the cooled dye over them. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged.
  9. Put the eggs in the fridge: Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired color is reached.
  10. Dry and oil the eggs: Carefully dry the eggs, and then massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them.

Recipe Notes

  • You can also start with raw eggs and cook them in the dye bath as described in this post on onion-skin eggs. I found that with dyes like the Zinger tea and beets, the color was more concentrated with the refrigerator method. Of course, this method requires clearing out some space in the refrigerator.
  • If you want your eggs to be more vibrant and less pastel, give the eggs multiple soaks in the dye, being sure to dry them between stints in the dye.
3 Easy & Affordable Paleo Breakfasts To Start Your Day Off Right

3 Easy & Affordable Paleo Breakfasts To Start Your Day Off Right

This article first appeared on Mind Body Green.

Mornings can be a particularly stressful time, so it’s helpful to have quick, healthy recipes on hand that you can whip up before getting your day started.

Image by Nadine Greeff / Stocksy

Jennifer Robins, the founder of Legit Bread Company and author of the new book Affordable Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot, makes paleo meals accessible through affordable ingredients and easy-to-make Instant Pot recipes. The paleo diet includes foods like high-quality grass-fed meats, omega-3-rich fish, fermented veggies, nuts and seeds, and fruit. Some of its many benefits include reduced belly fat and decreased inflammation.

The paleo avocado egg, breakfast porridge, and squash frittata recipes are delicious and pack in nutrient-dense ingredients. With your Instant Pot on hand, eating whole foods will be easier, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying.

 


1. Two-Faced Avocado Eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

Method

  1. Slice open the avocados lengthwise, then remove and discard the pits.
  2. Crack open an egg and gently discard or reserve the white without breaking open the yolk. Ease the yolk into the opening of one halved avocado and set it aside, then repeat with the remaining eggs and avocado halves. Sprinkle with the paprika and your desired amount of sea salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the water into the stainless-steel bowl of your Instant Pot and lower in the trivet. Place the egg-filled avocados onto the trivet carefully. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and the +/- buttons until 4 minutes is displayed.
  4. Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick-release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Carefully remove the egg-filled avocados and eat them immediately or refrigerate them for later. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro if desired.

 


 

2. Liver Lovin’ Breakfast Porridge

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½ small beet
  • 2 bananas (less ripe)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 ounces (170 g) fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pomegranate juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (no alcohol)
  • 1 light green apple, cored

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in the stainless-steel bowl of your Instant Pot. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and press the Pressure Cook/Manual button, then press the +/- button until 5 minutes is displayed.
  2. Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick-release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Puree the contents with an immersion blender or transfer to a standing blender.
  3. Serve the porridge warm or chilled, and top it with additional fresh fruit if you desire.

 


 

3. Smoky Spaghetti Squash “Frittata”

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1 small/medium spaghetti squash, sliced across the shortest part (you’ll need to yield about 2 cups [240 g] of actual cooked spaghetti “strands”)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) melted ghee, avocado oil or olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Method

  1. Pour the water into the stainless-steel bowl of your Instant Pot, then lower your steaming tray/trivet. Place the spaghetti squash sliced-side down onto the trivet—the halves can be stacked if necessary. Secure the lid and close the pressure valve. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and then the +/- buttons until 9 minutes is displayed.
  2. Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick-release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Carefully remove the cooked spaghetti squash using a utensil since it is very hot. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button.
  3. Allow the squash to cool slightly, and then scoop out the strands from the spaghetti squash using a fork. Discard the seeds and place the strands in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a 3-cup (700-ml), pressure-cooker-safe casserole dish (high-heat-tolerant tempered glass or silicone work well) and lower the dish onto the trivet, covering it tightly with foil.
  5. Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and then press the +/- button until 20 minutes is displayed. Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick-release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Slice and serve or refrigerate for later.
10 Tips for Self-Care on a Budget or Busy Schedule

10 Tips for Self-Care on a Budget or Busy Schedule

When you need a self-care recharge, it can seem almost impossible if you don’t have one or both of these: time and money.

The truth is, there are a number of hidden ways to get a little self-care boost each day, no matter what your money situation is or what your schedule is like. So, hold on to your time and your hard-earned cash. If you’ve been skipping out on a much-needed self-care fix, you don’t want to miss these tips:

 

1. Drink water first thing in the morning.

If you wake up feeling kind of sluggish and find it hard to get going, chances are you’re waking up a tad dehydrated. At least, that’s what dietician and diabetes educator Vandana Sheth believes. If you want to start your day out right, lead with hydration. This small self-care tip can have you feeling better faster than you can say “La Croix.” Drink up, but if you really want to hydrate well, skip the fizzy stuff for plain old water.

2. Think good thoughts.

Another morning habit that will help you recharge your mental battery is to focus on the positive. Get in the routine of doing something that makes you happy in the morning and helps you think upbeat thoughts. For some, this may be listing five things about the day that they are most looking forward to. The early hours of the morning can be an important time for self-care and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime or cut into the scheduled part of your day.

3. Unplug for a bit.

If you’re like me, a news alert on your phone can be enough to give you jitters. If your phone is blowing up faster than you can attend to it, or you’re easily distracted by pings and social vortexes that drain your time and energy, it may be time to unplug. This little act of self-care can go a long way, especially if you fill your downtime with something you enjoy like a quality outing with family or a cup of hot cocoa. Make it a great day by giving yourself permission to unplug, even if just for five minutes.

4. Relax with nature.

You know what doesn’t cost a dime and can be as time-consuming or quick as you want? Spending time with nature. I say spending time “with” nature, rather than “in” nature because this could be as simple as closing your office door for a few minutes to listen to the rain beat on the window, or as grand as, well, A Sunday on La Grande Jette. You get the picture.

5. Aromatherapy and meditation.

I know what you’re thinking: “But… aromatherapy is expensive!” The fact is, yeah, it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m definitely not suggesting you get in deep with a company slinging the latest in luxury scents for your home and office. Just sniff things that make you happy. This could be fresh flowers, herbs and cloves in a cloth bag or essential oils you made at home by infusing your favorite non-toxic herbs with olive oil. As far as meditating goes, it only takes a few moments of your day and a comfy chair. Make the magic happen!

6. Meal plan for health and reduced stress.

Raise your hand if you knew grocery shopping could be an act of self-care? When you start your shopping list with a meal plan, you save money on groceries and ensure that you and everyone in your care eats healthier. Healthy eating is a form of self-care, especially for people on the go. So, next time you’re stopped in the grocery store produce aisle looking for the perfect eggplant, toss a few affirmations your own way. You won’t regret it.

7. Dance with yourself.

Turning up the tunes and having an impromptu dance party-of-one can be an excellent, free form of self-care, and it doesn’t have to be very time-consuming. So, get those socks and sweatpants on the living room dance floor and turn up the Billy Idol; it’s time for the exercise you never knew you needed in your life.

8. Set an early bedtime.

When I haven’t made time for much self-care and I’m on a tight budget, sometimes I just turn in early. It should come as a surprise to no one that sleep is super important, and if you’re not getting enough of it, that could leave you feeling bad. A pervasive lack of sleep causes a whole slew of problems from dietary issues to problems with weight lossdepression, a correlation to heart disease and more. Don’t feel bad about winding down to get your snooze on; sometimes it’s just the inexpensive self-care technique you’ve been longing for.

9. Take that shower, unapologetically.

A small self-care tip that often goes overlooked, especially when it comes to busy people and parents, is to take a shower. Have you ever looked in the mirror, hair in a messy bun, and thought, “When was my last shower?” As a mom who has worked both in and out of the home, I’m not going to lie about it — I’ve been there. If you’re feeling a little grody, you’re definitely in need of self-care, and a 15-minute shower can answer the call.

10. Just say no.

Between work, friends, family, intimate relationships, parenting or whatever you have on your plate, a full schedule doesn’t leave much time for self-care. Sometimes you’ve got to tell people “no,” even if it means disappointing them. Don’t be afraid to gracefully bow out of Uncle Jordy’s football party or dinner with a friend you’ve been wanting to catch up with. Give yourself permission to take a rain check if it means you get a chance to deepen your connection with yourself in a way that’s required for balance in life. You can’t be a good friend or family member if you aren’t taking care of yourself first.

 


The EatLoco INDOOR Farmers Market at Chefscape

The EatLoco INDOOR
Farmers Market at Chefscape

When the Chefscape Leesburg Location was just an idea – the plan included an indoor farmers market right from the start.

Chefscape’s concept is built around giving food producers a space to test their products in the real world, grow a following, and develop their brand. EatLoco markets provide the same opportunity to many small business owners (farmers and crafters alike), so bringing an EatLoco market inside Chefscape was a natural fit.

With an emphasis on fresh ingredients, shoppers will be able to purchase proteins, produce, coffee, kombucha, chocolates, and more at this market. The Grand Opening on Thursday, March 21 from 3 to 7 PM will include live music, free food, and giveaways! You do not want to miss it!

Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms

This delicious Creamy Lemon Chicken is prepared in a skillet and sautéed with mushrooms and asparagus. Full of flavor, but also dairy free using coconut milk as the cream base. Serve with rice, pasta, or zoodles for a complete healthy dinner that the whole family will enjoy!

I’m gonna be honest with you guys on this dish; it was really hard to photograph. I am not quite skilled in food photography (but getting better with practice) and I struggled with this one. I almost didn’t post it because I wasn’t happy with my photos, but I couldn’t bring myself to to nix it. Know why? Because it’s really really really good. I told my husband I wasn’t so sure about posting it, and he was adamant that I must share with the world because he loved it so much. So just trust me on this one, and try it out! No more worries about the yucky pictures because after almost 2 years, I finally posted new ones! And phew, I feel so much better about thee new ones…….

As mentioned above, this is a creamy dish. But instead of butter and cream, I used coconut milk and coconut oil. Coconut oil and milk are better alternatives to heavy cream and butter. Although they have high saturated fat content, they are much healthier source of fat than most saturated fat because they contain medium-chain triglycerides (also called MCT’s). I don’t want to get too scienc-y on you, but let me just share with you the difference between MCT saturated fats and other common saturated fats (such as vegetable oils, animal fats, etc.) MCTs are sent directly to your liver and are quickly converted into energy as opposed to being stored as fat. This also creates less stress on the digestive system and does not require special enzymes to break down. So don’t be turned off by the saturated fat content! Surprisingly, the coconut taste in this dish is nonexistent. But, if you are really scared of that part, you can always use half and half or cream as your base (but remember that these saturated fats behave differently and are not as beneficial like our MCTs).

So back to the dish I started off by heating up some coconut oil in a skillet. I sautéed each chicken breast for a few minutes on each side (they will not be cooked through), set aside. You may need to add a bit more coconut oil, and add your mushrooms, garlic, and asparagus to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the asparagus is nice and crispy, and the mushrooms are fragrant and soft:


Ingredients

  •  3-4 large chicken breasts
  •  2 tbsp coconut oil
  •  3 garlic cloves crushed
  •  8 medium sized asparagus spears cut into 1 inch pieces
  •  8 oz sliced mushrooms
  •  3/4 cup coconut milk the canned stuff, you can use light or full fat
  •  Juice of 1 lemon
  •  Zest of 1 lemon
  •  Salt to taste

 

Instructions

1. Begin by heating up a large skillet to medium-medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp coconut oil.
2. Place chicken in pan, heat about 3 minutes per side, and set aside (chicken will not be cooked through).
3. Add remaining coconut oil if needed. Toss in crushed garlic, asparagus, and mushrooms.
4. Saute until asparagus is crispy, and mushrooms are soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes)
5. Return the chicken to the pan. Add in coconut milk, lemon juice, and lemon rind.
6. With the skillet on medium high heat, cover. Wait until the mixture bubbles, then lower to medium low. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
7. Salt to taste and serve with rice, pasta, or zoodles.

This article first appeared on Wholesome Delicious.

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