Egg-Free Vegan Easter “Eggs” for Decorating
Easter is ubiquitous with pastel colors, and dyeing eggs for Easter is a tradition for many families. Since vegans don’t use animal products, dyeing chicken eggs isn’t an option.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal? Chickens aren’t killed for eggs!”
It’s a good question.
Here’s the sad reality: Animals do die for eggs. Lots of them.
The Male Chick “Problem”
If there is only one fact that you remember about egg production, let it be this one: Male chicks don’t produce eggs; therefore, they are useless to egg producers.
So, what does that mean exactly? For male chicks, it means culling.
Chick culling is the process of killing newly hatched chicks for which animal agribusiness has no use. Because male chickens do not lay eggs, they are killed shortly after being sexed.
The primary methods of culling are gruesome stuff and differ from region to region.
Asphyxiation is the standard in the United Kingdom, for example. While the United States uses macerating with a high-speed grinder. (1)
Family traditions can be an important part of growing up, and parents might worry that their kids are missing out as wee vegans.
Luckily there are plenty of fun alternatives to help you ditch the chicken eggs while still keeping your treasured family traditions.
Here are a few egg-free eggs that are a great alternative and ideal for vegan Easter baskets or decorated egg plates.
Now, let’s talk about what to use to dye these egg-ternatives (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
How to Make Homemade Food Coloring
The unofficial colors of Easter are pretty and pastel. Not just limited to eggs, these colors are everywhere you look; from cookies to cakes to cupcakes, too. Generally speaking, these food and drinks get their colors from artificial food colors.
I am not a fan of artificial food colors.
These toxic chemicals masquerading as food, artificial food colors are possible through the wonder of chemistry and the industry of oil drilling. Studies have shown various adverse health effects from ingesting them. And, did you know that artificial food colors undergo animal testing to ensure their safety as a food additive?
Relatedly, animal testing sucks and can yield dangerous results when physicians treat patients using medicine based on the results of these studies.
Artificial Food Colors Are Everywhere
Every time a holiday approaches, the artificial colors go on sale. Magazines, blogs, and videos feature impossibly cute and creative treats made with a variety of unnatural colors achieved through the magic of artificial colors.
There’s a better way; make bright, vivid colors at home.
A Better, Plant-Powered Rainbow
Look at those colors! Yellow, red, purple, green, and even blue. Easy to make, these colors come from everyday ingredients found in your fridge or pantry. Trust me, it’s not complicated or expensive.
Click here for the full step-by-step homemade food coloring tutorial.
Buying Vegan Food Dyes
Here are a few dyes that are colored with vegetable juice or spices, and contain no synthetic dyes.
Color Kitchen Food Colors from Nature
This brand started popping up at my local markets, so I picked up a few packets to test out on my favorite sugar cookies. I’m a fan.
First, the colors come packaged in individual packets, which means I don’t over-buy. Second, the colors mix easily and create beautifully, even colors. I don’t even mind that they’re more pastel than bright. Lastly, they’re budget-friendly. Here’s a 10-pack, Color Kitchen Food Colors from Nature, that makes a perfect starter pack.
McCormick Nature’s Inspiration Food Colors
By far, these colors from McCormick are the cheapest and the most widely available in mainstream grocery stores everywhere. These plant-based powdered colors come in a pack of three colors (Sky Blue, Berry & Sunflower), which you can mix for an infinite amount of color options. And I know this is a small thing, but I really like how they’re packaged in resealable dry powder pouches. That makes for easy storage, and more importantly, easy re-use.
I bought this McCormick Nature’s Inspiration Food Colors pack for these unicorn sugar cookies, and I love how vivid the colors turned out. I would absolutely buy these again.
Natural Earth Paints
Natural Earth has a full line of products to choose from. They come in biodegradable packaging made from pure, natural earth and mineral pigments and organic ingredients. This natural egg dye kit is perfect for those who are looking to dye artificial eggs.
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