Lighten Up with Natural Egg Dyes

DIY Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs

What do leftover cabbage, wilted kale, and unused onion peels have in common? They all make easy, inexpensive, and naturally beautiful dyes for your Easter eggs! Plus, chances are you already have everything you need sitting right in your fridge.

By now you’re probably aware of the concerns that food dyes present and, while your Easter eggs may not pose the biggest threat, the natural option is safer and much more fun. This DIY also is a great learning opportunity for your kiddos to see how many beautiful colors can be derived straight from nature — the perfect kitchen experiment.

Ingredients for Making Natural Egg Dyes

Materials

  • Hard boiled eggs

  • Purple cabbage

  • Kale

  • Brown onion skin

  • White vinegar

  • Chopping knife

  • 3 medium saucepans

  • 3 Quart sized Mason jars

Natural Egg Dyes

1. Chop your cabbage and kale, and peel away your onion skins. Or use whatever vibrant colored fruits and veggies you have on hand — think beets, blueberries, blackberries, orange peels, spinach.

Prepping Natural Egg Dyes

2. Add each food type to its own pot and fill with enough water to cover. Measure a tablespoon of vinegar into each pot.

3. Place each pot over the stovetop and allow a boil. Bring down to a low heat and allow each to simmer for about 15-30 minutes. (If you don’t have enough pots, you can do this step separately and repeat for each different dye).

Making Your Own Natural Egg Dyes

4. Heat each dye until it appears to be several shades darker than your desired hue. You can test a sample in a white cup or bowl to see the color’s saturation. Once you are satisfied, remove each mixture from heat and allow to cool.

5. Once cooled, strain each mixture into its own Mason jar. If you prefer your eggs to have a natural speckled effect, feel free to allow some of the food pieces to remain in your dye.

Your dye is ready!

Colored Eggs

1. Wipe each of your hard boiled eggs clean to make sure there are no particles on the outside of the shells.

2. One by one, divide your eggs among each jar of dye. Be careful not to crowd your eggs, as you may risk cracking them.

Natural Egg Dyes

3. Place a lid on each of your jars and store them in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Natural dyes will take longer to set than your risky artificial dyes, so be patient!  However, this step can be customized depending on the color saturation you are aiming for — try removing individual eggs as you go to get different shades of each color.

4. After all of your eggs have been removed, set them on a paper towel to dry. Refrigerate your eggs and keep them on hand for a quick and nutritious snack, or arrange them into a naturally festive centerpiece!

Drying Easter Eggs

Tip: Make sure to compost all of your vegetable scraps!

How to Make Natural Egg Dyes

What do you use to make natural dyes? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Celebrating National Volunteer Week Together

As part of our commitment to National Volunteer Week, over 50 Honest employees joined Food Forward in the Huntington Gardens to harvest oranges for a local food receiving agency. In total, we picked over 3,200 pounds of fresh fruit to serve to Los Angeles families in need.

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

As a volunteer-based organization, Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste and connects this abundance with agencies across Los Angeles county. From backyard harvesting to farmers’ market recovery, Food Forward recently celebrated their 2 millionth pound of food recovered and served in Southern California.

Join Food Forward and Make a Difference

The Honest Company Joins National Volunteer Week

Because National Volunteer Week celebrates the collective power of giving back, we also want to honor your contributions by sharing your #HonestCares stories. See how your fellow community members got involved in their neighborhoods:

#HonestCares Volunteer Stories

Thank you for working together to make it better!

Inspired to do more? Let us know how you hope to volunteer this year.

Monday Meditation: Native American Proverb Reminds Us to Protect Earth

Monday Meditation Native American

What is Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Oil?

What is Helianthus Annuus - Sunflower Seed - Oil

This is part of our ongoing series helping consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Sunflower Seed Oil

Botanical name: Helianthus annuus

  • Helianthus = Helianthus comes from the Greek helios anthos, meaning “sun flower.”

  • annuus = The species name annuus means “annual.”

What it is: Sunflower seed oil comes from (drumroll please…) sunflower seeds! The sunflower oil we use is extracted using a cold press expeller method, which is essentially squeezing raw materials (e.g., sunflower seeds) under high pressure until all the oily goodness is squished out.

What it does: Sunflowers are like sunshine for the soul and have a long history, beginning as a common crop among Native American tribes. Full of edible and medicinal benefits, sunflower seed oil has only grown in popularity and has many uses from creating cosmetics to cooking dinner. It’s external body benefits include the following:

  • Essentially odorless, when the oil is made into butters, balms, salves, or kept as an oil and applied directly to the skin, it helps in preventing your skin from drying out, retaining moisture and softness.

  • Sunflower oil has a high concentration of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that may help protect the skin from sun damage.

  • In addition, sunflower oil provides protection against nosocomial infections in preterm, very low birthweight infants.

Why we use it: In addition to the skin care benefits mentioned above, sunflower oil is also an amazing carrier for essential oils. This wonder oil is extremely versatile and, as far as natural resources go, sunflowers are a great choice because they’re drought tolerant, tough, and easy to grow.

Why we’re featuring it today: We’ve had customers ask about whether sunflower oil is safe to use on children (and adults) with related food allergies. While only eight foods (milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy) account for approximately 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions, a person can be allergic to almost anything. Seed allergies are uncommon and there is little research documenting the prevalence of a sunflower seed allergy, but they do exist. As with any new skin care product, always do a patch test on the skin first and consider discussing specific products with your family physician.

Please let us know if you have any other questions or comments — we love hearing from our community!

References:

Albert A. Schneiter, ed. “Sunflower Technology and Production.” The American Society of Agronomy 1997: 1-19. Print.

Nachbar F and Korting HC. “The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin.” Journal of Molecular Medicine Jan 1995: 7-17. Print.

Danby SG, AlEnezi T, Sultan A, Lavender T, Chittock J, Brown K, Cork MJ. “Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care.” Pediatric Dermatology Jan 2013: 42-50. Print.

We Be Jammin’ with Food Forward

Honest Cans Jams for Food Forward

Instead of pranks this April Fool’s Day, Honest joined Food Forward in jamming class. There, we prepared artisanal strawberry and blueberry jam to help the social enterprise arm of the organization. All proceeds from the sale of these preserves support Food Forward’s mission of reconnecting to our food system and creating change around excess food and urban hunger in Southern California. Our goal was to “Harvest Food. Fight Hunger. Build Community” on this Jamming occasion.

Food Forward Uses Excess Food to Fight Urban Hunger

Harvest Food. The two jam recipes we made called for blueberries, strawberries, and lemon juice. Instead of buying these at the grocery store, we followed Food Forward’s approach to use “seconds.” Seconds is the term used by the produce industry to refer to fruits and vegetables that will generally go to waste due to over-ripeness or over-abundance. This produce is often thrown into the trash even though it is still perfectly safe to eat. The Food Forward team collected our blueberries and strawberries from the leftovers at our local farmers’ market and procured the lemons from one of their backyard harvests.

Fight Hunger with Food Forward

Fight Hunger. These ingredients were then mixed with sugar, cooked, and bottled to turn into an all-natural jam, which would be sold to support Food Forward’s effort of redistributing over-abundant food to local people in need. Our artisanal jams will soon be available as a limited-edition batch for sale as part of Food Forward’s Mother’s Day fundraising campaign.

Building Community with Food Forward

Making Jam to Benefit Food Forward

Build Community. Our Honest team gathered at the Gourmandise School in Santa Monica to learn these jamming skills from a culinary expert, Chef Clemence Gossett. Side-by-side we prepared and cooked the ingredients while learning about preventing food waste.

To share the sweetness of giving back, here are the recipes we made with Chef Clemence:

Strawberry Jam Recipe

Strawberry Jam (yields about 18 4-ounce jars)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds strawberries
  • 2 1/2 lbs sugar
  • 4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces lemon juice, reserved

Directions

1. Place the strawberries, sugar, and 4 ounces of lemon juice in a large saucepan (at least 12 quarts). Cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer and foam.

2. Once the mixture begins to foam, turn the heat up and stir continuously for about 20 minutes. Strain strawberries and add it in about 15 minutes into the cooking process. If you feel any sticking, turn your heat down.

3. Once a thick jam has developed, add in the remaining lemon juice and stir for 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

5. Pour into hot, sterilized jars.

6. Immediately put a lid on clean, filled jars.

7. Place jars in a pot of boiling water so the water is at least 2” above the lid of the jar. Boil for 10 minutes and then remove.

8. Safely pick up the jars, careful not to tip them sideways, and place on a towel-lined counter or cookie sheet.

9. Once cooled, put in your cupboard for 6-9 months.

Preserving Jams with Food Forward

Blueberry Jam (yields about 5 8-ounce jars)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. blueberries
  • 1 lb. 8 ounces sugar
  • 5 ounces fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Place the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan (at least 12 quarts). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until your mixture thickens just slightly. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

2. Turn your heat up and stir constantly as the mixture begins to simmer. Once it reached a boil, turn the heat to medium and continue stirring another 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

4. Pour into hot, sterilized jars.

6. Immediately put a lid on clean jars.

7. Place jars in a pot of boiling water so the water is at least 2” above the lid of the jar. Boil for 10 minutes and then remove.

8. Safely pick up the jars, careful not to tip them sideways, and place on a towel-lined counter or cookie sheet.

9. Once cooled, put in your cupboard for 6-9 months.

And, of course, enjoy them on toast, with a scone, or in a tasty sandwich!

Learn more about Food Forward and how you can get involved.