Most of us remember plopping colored tablets into bowlfuls of vinegar and waiting patiently for the tablet to dissolve, giving the vinegar a vibrant color and, thus, giving way to hours of Easter egg decorating. This year, instead of running to your local department store to pick up egg dyeing kits, reach into the pantry. Spices, juices and even some vegetables can help give Easter eggs vibrant color without the manufactured chemicals often found in those egg-dyeing kits. Follow these recipes courtesy Better Homes and Gardens to make a natural dye for your eggs.

For Blue: Mix one cup frozen blueberries with one cup of water, bring to room temperature, then remove the blueberries from the liquid. Also try adding one quart of boiling water to 1/4 head of red cabbage and two tablespoons of vinegar. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then remove the cabbage with a slotted spoon.

For Green: Peel the skin of six red onions and simmer them in two cups of water for 15 minutes. Add three teaspoons of white vinegar. Also try peeling six yellow apples and simmering the peel for 20 minutes in two cups of water, then adding two teaspoons of vinegar and four ounces of fennel fronds. Strain out the peel and fennel.

For Yellow: Stir two tablespoons of turmeric into one cup of boiling water, then add two teaspoons of vinegar. Chamomille or green tea also works well. Just steep four bags of tea in one cup of boiling water and steep for five minutes; remove the teabags and use the liquid.

For Pink: Chunk up one beet and add to a quart of boiling water. Stir in two tablespoons of vinegar, then remove the beets. Red wine vinegar also makes a lovely pale pink.

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