The more reading and research I do on how our food is processed and how it effects our body, the more I become resolved to have a different plan.
Growing up, I would say I had the typical American diet. Breakfast cereal first thing in the morning, sandwiches with either meat and cheese or a PB&J followed by a heavier dinner option of meat and vegetables. Friday night was always pizza and pop night and we usually ate tacos and spaghetti at least once a week.
Holidays were centered around traditional foods and events. Life was good. Food was great!
Speaking of holidays next to Christmas and my birthday – Easter is my third favorite holiday.
As a child, Easter meant getting a new fancy Sunday dress (usually a dress matching my younger sister). It meant a big Sunday meal with all the trimmings and the highlight…the Easter basket. Loaded with chocolates, candies, lip gloss, socks and other little knick knacks. After diving into chocolate bunnies and sitting still for family photos; we would dye eggs. The colors were vibrant and it was so fun to see the perfect hue of color on each egg.
Now that I’m older, Easter means so much more. Chocolate, easter egg hunts and fancy dresses are nice but nothing compares to the TRUE meaning of Easter. The death and resurrection of Jesus, the son of God. I remember the first time I watched the movie, The Passion of the Christ. Horror filled me. It was hard to believe that anyone let alone Jesus would endure so much pain and suffering for me. I forced myself to watch and not look away during this part of the movie because I wanted an imprint of these images in my mind forever. The nicely drawn pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross so nicely have been replaced with the gruesome reality every Easter since.
I am truly thankful that the son of God, who has so much power, chose to endure deep pain, suffering, and torture for me. And what makes the story even better? Jesus spoke his last words, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they do.” – Luke 23:34 Wow, what an example of forgiveness and love.
So, as our family moves forward with Easter this year, we embrace it like so many of the other special holidays and traditions. My kids will enjoy a fancy dinner, egg hunts, and healthy Easter baskets but they will not get lost in chocolate and bunnies. Instead, they will enjoy these fun traditions but they will know that Jesus died on the cross for them. They will know that Jesus rose from the dead in 3 days. And more importantly that Jesus was more than a prophet or a good man. 🙂
Although our family has no known allergies to food dyes, it is something that I don’t want my kids to interact with when it comes to food. Allergies and negative reactions to artificial food colors is a real problem. Unfortunately, it is something that can not be tested at this time but I know parents who have seen night and day differences in the children’s behavior after they have eliminated artificial food coloring from their children’s diets. You may want to read the following articles if you have any concerns with your own child.
12 Signs your family has food coloring sensitivity
Understanding food dye allergies
Here’s a great way to dye your Easter eggs naturally
To be honest, dying with natural food colors is a much longer process and much more tedious. I found myself thinking multiple times – “Oh, man we still have a ways to go.” But when I compared it to chopping and cooking up a fresh ingredient meal rather than making instant ramen noodles, I became more at peace with the process. We will only do this once a year and while the process was more time consuming, my daughter had a great time. 🙂
The other perk was that Emma got to enjoy eating the cooked beets. Beets is one of her favorite vegetables.
Since this was my first time dying Easter eggs naturally, I am by far not an expert. I used the following resources for guidance and direction. You may want to check this website and this website out for more ideas on food choices. I will definitely make some changes and try some new foods for next year. Here is what we did.
How to dye Easter eggs naturally
24 hours, 10 minutes
Skip the artificial dyes and use real ingredients to get beautifully colored eggs.
Blue - Purple Cabbage (3-4 cups chopped)
Yellow - Tumeric (2 tbsp)
Orange - Paprika (2tbsp)
Pink - Red Beet (1 medium size beet chopped)
8-12 eggs (mix of white and brown)
Water (1 or 4 cups depending on food item)
Vinegar (2 tsp - 2 tbsp. depending on food item)
Oil - (optional)
Place eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling cook eggs for 7-8 minutes.
Drain eggs and allow eggs to cool to room temperature.
Chop all vegetables in large chunks and set aside. Boil each vegetable individually with required amount of water. Boil liquid mixture and bring to a simmer for 15-30 minutes or until desired color is achieved.
Let colored liquid to cool to room temperature than add in required amount of vinegar. Place egg in the color mixture and refrigerate overnight or until desired color is achieved.
Scoop out each egg and place in egg carton to dry. Run oil over each egg to set color.
Water Amounts Per Food Item
Cabbage - 3-4 cups chopped cabbage with 4 cups water.
Tumeric - 2 tbsp tumeric with 1 cup water.
Paprika - 2 tbsp paprika with 1 cup of water.
Beet - 1 whole beet chopped with 4 cups of water.
Vinegar Amount Per Food Item
Cabbage - add 2 tbsp vinegar
Tumeric - add 2 tsp. vinegar
Paprika - add 2 tsp. vinegar
Red Beet - add 2 tbsp vinegar
There are several food choices you can use when dying your eggs. All in all, the below worked fairly well for me. The only color I wasn't too thrilled with was the paprika. It looked beautiful on my brown egg but not so great on the white egg.
Even though it was time consuming, we were happy to see that the eggs turned out and had fun making them.
I would love to hear from you. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know by giving the recipe a rating and leaving a comment.