For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


How To: All Natural Easter Eggs

Easter is right around the corner and you know what that means… Easter eggs! And while I don’t quite understand the connection to Easter and colored eggs, it is a tradition I love to partake in. All my life I have happily bought egg coloring kits and mixed chemicals and dyes together to make pretty eggs. This year I thought of something new. I thought there has to be a more natural way to dye eggs for Easter. So I did some research and here is what I came up with.

For each of the following colors, use 1 cup of water with one of the following:

1 cup chopped purple cabbage = blue

1 cup red onion skins = lavender

1 cup yellow onion skins = orange

1 cup shredded beets = pink

2 tablespoons ground turmeric = yellow

For a dozen eggs, you will need about five cups of dye. So you can make five cups of one color using the same ratio or split it up and make one of each. In order to make the dye, mix the coloring agent (cabbage, onion skins, beets, or turmeric) with water in a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce it to a simmer for roughly 15 to 30 minutes. This timing difference depends heavily on how dark you want your eggs. As a rule of thumb, make sure the water is two shades darker than the desired color of your eggs. Once you have the desired color, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool before straining out the added ingredient. Add in a teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of water and you are ready to go!

All Natural Easter Eggs

Tip: Use white eggs to get the most color pay off. And if you didn’t already know, make sure the eggs are hard-boiled first!

Mix the dyes together for some fun, custom colors. Since all of the eggs are dyed with natural ingredients, they are safe to eat after. They might even have a little extra kick to them!

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The Cocoa Plan

Recently, I came across a fairly new Nestle innovation I couldn’t resist trying. It was the new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup and even though it was a Monday and I try to eat healthy (or relatively healthy may be a better way to put it) on weekdays, I bought said candy bar and devoured it as soon as I got back in my car. Clearly my health initiative and self-control are a work in progress. Anywayyyyy, unfortunately, the candy bar was not as amazing as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed every second of eating it, but being a peanut butter candy fanatic, I had VERY VERY VERY high expectations. So from now on I will just continue to consume Butterfingers and peanut butter cups separately. But I digress. The important part of this story is that I noticed a stamp on the wrapper that said “Nestle Cocoa Plan” and Googled it to find out what it was. Butterfinger PB Cups

The Cocoa Plan is Nestle’s initiative to solve the environmental and social problems that often plague the cocoa industry, which I mentioned in my very first blog post. Nestle’s solution to these issues is to educate the farming communities and create partnerships with 3rd party organizations to assure that Nestle is implementing ethical business practices.

Farmers are being educated on sustainable cocoa farming techniques, which will create a more effective supply chain and allow the farmers to produce more crops, ultimately resulting in increased wages. Nestle is working with UTZ* and Fairtrade* to certify farm practices with the 3rd  partys’ standards of ethics, both in terms of environmental

Nestle Plan School Progresssustainability and working conditions. Most recently, the Kit Kat production in the UK has become 100% Fairtrade certified and the goal is to get all European Kit Kat production UTZ certified by the end of 2014.

Nestle is also working with the International Cocoa initiative (ICI)* and World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)* to insure child labor is not being used and the children have access to education. The goal is to open 40 new schools in targeted communities in rural parts of the Ivory Coast.

So props to Nestle for taking an initiative. Obviously, like they said, the Plan isn’t a quick fix, but to me the important thing is that they are making an effort. So excuse me while I go devour as much Nestle Easter candy I can in the next 4 days. But like, not because I want to eat all that candy, I obviously just want to support the Cocoa Plan! You can learn more about the Cocoa Plan HERE. Nestle Partnerships

*Fairtrade Certified– Fairtrade works to assure fair wages, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

*UTZ Certified – UTZ provides ethical standards for sustainable farming and opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet.

*International Cocoa Initiative– Their mission is tooversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and forced labor in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products.”

*World Cocoa Foundation– This foundation promotes sustainable cocoa business practices through economic and social development.