Do You Know Nutrition: Dye Easter eggs naturally with ingredients from your pantry

By Phylis Canion
Feb. 21, 2012 at midnight
Updated Feb. 20, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.

Can you please tell me how safe dying Easter eggs are? Can you dye eggs naturally? I have often wondered.

It is important to read the egg dye package label. Most dyes in the kits are vegetable dyes and are safe, but there are still some out there that contain color additives such as Red No. 3 and Yellow No. 5.

According to a 1983 study by the Federal Drug Administration, Red No. 3 dyes were found to cause tumors and Yellow No. 5 to cause hives.

If you are looking for a safe alternative to dying eggs, look no further than your pantry and refrigerator. Here are some suggestions: • For red/pink natural dyes - beets, canned cherries, strawberries

• Orange - Yellow onion skins, lemon peels and ground cumin

• Red/orange - Chili powder

•  Light yellow - Tumeric

•  Golden yellow - Blueberries with two tablespoons of turmeric

•  Green- Spinach

• Blue - Red cabbage leaves or crushed blueberries

•  Purple - grape juice.

You can accomplish your color by using either hot or cold water. You can remove your cooked ingredients (i.e. spinach) and place your eggs in the colored water and then boil your eggs or you can remove the ingredient, allow the water to cool, then add your eggs (already boiled) and let them sit. If you leave some of the ingredient in the water, it does add a bit of texture to the egg color. The longer the egg sits in the color, hot or cold, the deeper the hue will be.

Experiment, and have a fun time dying eggs.

Are there really that many vitamins, nutrients and healthy chemical compounds in tea leaves?

Here is a breakdown of all of the benefits of steeping that tea leaf and savoring each sip.

Each 1 ounce serving of tea leaves contains; approximately 18 percent of antioxidants, 25 to 30 milligrams of caffeine (unless decaffeinated); approximately 25 milligrams of carotene; almost 1 percent of flavonoids; approximately 160 parts per million of fluoride; almost 1 percent of glycosides; between 400 and 2,000 parts per million of magnesium; almost 1 percent of polysaccharides; approximately 65 milligrams of vitamin E; approximately 75 parts per million of zinc; and trace amounts of vitamin B2, theanine and saponins.

Thought for the week: Burn the candles, use the nice sheets and say I love you. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

The next free nutrition class is at 7 p.m. on March 12, at the Organic Emporium. Call today to make your reservations at 361-576-2100.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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