Natural Easter Egg Dye - Butterfly Pea Flowers

There are some days when I can barely drag my bottom in to the kitchen. I think we all have days like that, but as a food blogger it means I'm starting to burn out. As soon as it happens I sit up and take notice. I examine my life closely— have I over committed myself? Is it personal stress? Illness? Lack of Sleep? Maybe a combination of all of the above? No matter what I find I take a step back and remind myself that I'm in charge of my schedule. If I'm not feeling into my current project, then it's time for a change, otherwise my lack of interest comes across in my writing. Since I've been feeling lackluster about several of my projects lately I've decided to shake things up a bit. Stand back everyone, because Not Starving Yet is going to preform science!

Before we begin, how about a fun story...

Have I ever told you about the time I caught the chemistry lab on fire? No? Well, it's not one of my proudest moments. This story takes place way back in 2002. It involves two lovely ladies, one a Computer Engineering major, the other, of all things went on to be a Chemical Engineer. One of these two, and I won't say which (it certainly wasn't me) may have set a hot watch glass down on a stack of lab papers before running off to do who knows what (probably flirt with a cute boy, both girls were prone to doing such things at that age.) This may have resulted in the lab papers going up in flames.

After the smoke had cleared my professor may or may not have struck a deal with me. A C+ in exchange for me never showing up to his classroom again. I never went back and decided on going to school for something less likely to get me in to trouble. True story, except I managed to get in to more trouble as an art major, but those are stories for another time.

So now you know why it's important to stand back when science and I cross paths. Fortunately for you, there is very little fire involved with our project today.

We'll have more Easter projects for you later in the week, next up: Chocolate Bunny Tails. Don't forget to check out our last chocolate project, these adorable Baby Bunny Pretzels for Easter are a huge hit with kids of all ages.

Butterfly Pea Blossom Natural Dyed Eggs

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs
makes 1 dozen eggs

Ingredients and Supplies

1 dozen eggs
saucepan with lid
cold tap water
vinegar
lemon juice
vodka
Butterfly Pea Flowers
12 pint sized mason jars and lids

Where to Purchase

Blue Chai ships their flowers directly from Thailand, so if you'd like to try this project immediately you may want to order your flowers on Amazon. I don't know how long it takes packages to arrive from Thailand, they may not arrive in time for Easter.

Directions

  • Place six eggs in a small saucepan filled with cold water. Make sure not to crowd the pan, otherwise your eggs may crack. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the sauce pan with a lid, and turn off the heat.
  • Allow eggs to stand in the hot water for 10 - 12 minutes, then transfer them to a bowl filled with cold water. This will stop the cooking process and keep your eggs from over cooking.
  • Once the eggs are cool to the touch gently place one egg in each mason jar, fill with water, and add butterfly pea flowers. You may also add lemon juice, vinegar, or vodka to aide in the color change (see notes below.)
  • Allow eggs to soak for 24 - 48 hours in the refrigerator for best results. The eggs will be edible, but using lemon juice, vinegar, or vodka may affect the flavor. 

Combinations We Tried

8 flowers, 8 oz cold water = pale blue/grey
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water = marbled blue/green
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water, 1 tablespoon vinegar = dark green (best result)
8 flowers, 8 oz warm water, juice from 1/2 large lemon = dark blue
12 flowers boiled with eggs = pale grey
leftover water w/ boiled flowers + 50ml Vodka (added after 24hrs) = 
removed the color from the eggs

Notes

I wasn't sure what to expect going in to this project. I had hoped for some brilliant blue colored eggs, but the results were surprising. I ended up with colors that ranged from pale blue/grey to brilliant green. At one point I even had purple eggs.

Small changes, especially to water temperature, created a drastic difference in color. Adding acids, such as vinegar or lemon juice, produced a much more brilliant color than the eggs left to soak with only flowers. Boiling the flowers with the eggs did nothing to improve the color, in fact, these eggs had the least amount of color when all was said and done.

There were drawbacks to using acids to change the color. The eggs soaking in vinegar began to pit badly, although they did produce the best color. The eggs soaking in lemon juice formed a blue skin which could be completely rubbed off if the eggs were touched before they dried. 

Halfway in to the experiment one of my more science-minded friends suggested that adding vodka might produce a more yellow color. I added 50ml of UV brand vodka after the eggs had soaked for 24hours, by the 48 hour mark most of the color had been removed from the eggs. This could have been due to the use of cheap vodka.

All of the eggs soaked for 48 hours before they were removed from the fridge (there are photos of the best looking colors at the 24 hour mark posted on instagram)

While I didn't achieve the colors I thought I would, this did turn out to be a great way to dye eggs naturally. You can produce a wide range of colors without needing a lot of ingredients, just keep in mind that the colors may not turn out how you expected. 

It has been suggested that removing the green portion of the flowers may produce a more brilliant blue color. I didn't have enough flowers left to try this theory out, so it will be my starting off point the next time I try this project.

If you are interested in learning more about Blue Chai (Butterfly Pea Flowers) check out our previous review featured on Tuesday Tea.

Disclosure:

I'd like to be open with my readers and let you know up front when I have been provided something for free to review as it does happen from time to time. In this case, Blue Chai provided this tea at a discount and I paid for shipping. As always, all opinions are my own. 

This post contains my Blue Chai and Amazon affiliate links.  I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible.