Happy Easter From The Food Allergy Chronicles

Happy Easter!

A knitted Bunny Egg Cozy a top of a 'grape juice' dyed Eggnot

Enjoying an Easter weekend with family…how about you?

Click here for the cute pattern for this super easy Bunny Egg Cozy from Zakka Life…crafts, recipes & life… sitting atop of my ‘grape juice’ dyed Eggnot.


Natural Dyes For Our Eggless Easter With ‘Eggnots’

Easter without eggs?

Eggnots ceramic dyeable eggs

Yes…it can be done.  It has taken a bit of ‘creative imagination’ over the years to create an ‘Eggless, Dairyless, Peanut/Tree Nutless  Easter’…but such is the life when you have a son with an egg (dairy, sesame, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nut, mustard and raspberry) allergy.

So you can just imagine my excitement when I discovered ‘Eggnots’ last year…I was giddy as a schoolgirl…even my teenage sons got caught up in my ‘eggnot frenzy’!

‘Eggnots’ are dyeable, ceramic ‘eggs’…created by a ‘most awesome Aunt’ whose niece has an egg allergy.

Last year my eldest son held an ‘egg’ in his hand for the first time…they really do have the weight and feel of a real egg! Click here for my first post on ‘Eggnots’. 

As much as I love ‘Eggnots’…I was not a 100% sold on the results of my dyeing with store-bought food colouring…the colouring faded as they dried and seemed a bit patchy.  After sending my comments to ‘Eggnots’…they sent me a free dozen for me to try again…this year I decided to try some natural-dyes.

‘Eggnots’ recommends going to Allyson Koerner’s review for natural-dyes…click here. She used natural-dye recipes from Better Homes and Garden…as did I.  Click here for their list of natural-dye recipes.

I made the cabbage (blue), yellow onion skin (orange), turmeric (yellow), paprika (red/orange) and the grape juice (purple) recipes.

I made all the natural-dyes (minus the grape juice) in the day…then left them overnight…I ran out of time. The next day I tested three of the colours…

Submerging eggnots in natural dyes

…submerging each ‘eggnot’ in the blue (cabbage) , yellow (turmeric) and purple (grape juice) natural-dyes…needed to use a spoon to hold the ‘eggnot’ under the natural-dyes.

I left them for over an hour…wanted to make sure they really got hold of the colour.

Eggnots floating in their natural dyes

Boy, did they ever!

I then tried the red/orange and the orange…these both needed much more time…I left the red/orange one over night and still the colour was quite pale in comparison to the other natural-dyes.

My results…totally impressed with the natural-dyes…just look at the beautiful colours of nature! Love, love, love them!!!

Eggnots coloured with natural-dyes

From left to right in the front are…blue (red cabbage), purple (grape juice), and brownish orange (yellow onion skins). Back row left to right are…purple (grape juice), light orange (paprika) and mustard yellow (turmeric).

Tips:  Pat the ‘eggnots’ dry with a paper towel when finished dying…let them sit upright in the paper towel to dry…placing them in an eggcup holder will result in a two-tone colour…which you may or may not be after.

Are you familiar with ‘Eggnots’? If so, what has your experience with dyeing ‘Eggnots”? What is your experience dyeing eggs with natural-dyes?

Celebrating Easter With An Egg Allergy

My eldest son, Michael has multiple food allergies…one of which is to eggs.

ceramic eggs by EggNots in a ceramic egg carton

I have mastered baking without eggs but how does one get through Easter without eggs?.

Chocolate eggs, marshmallow eggs, creme eggs, caramel eggs, peanut butter eggs, mini eggs…grocery stores are overflowing with ‘eggable treats’ for Easter!

Many of these ‘eggable treats’ for Easter may not contain eggs…but they often contain other allergens such as dairy and peanut/tree nuts…thus scratching them off the list for our family.

Thankfully, Allergic Living Magazine has put together a list of ‘Best Safe Candy, Bunnies for Easter 2012.’

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Guardian Angel order of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Chocolate Eggs and a box of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolates Tasting Box…salt flower caramel, chocolate ganache, honey and caramel, maple butter and coffee. Yummy! Do you think they might share them?

The boys will be so surprised!

Easter Egg ‘treats’ are covered…but what about colouring and decorating eggs?

This has been a stumbling block for me for years. In years past, we substituted colouring eggs with decorating plastic eggs with stickers.

On one of my Dollar Store rounds, I found this cool kit to decorate ‘eggs’ with cardboard cut out stands and foam stickers to stick on cute animal heads, arms and legs.

cardboard cut out decorations on a plastic egg

A little finicky for young children…but with a little help… a great decoration or centre piece!

Now, imagine trumpets tooting!!

Wait till you hear what I discovered on my Allergic Living Newsletter…words cannot describe how ecstatic I was upon reading about the company EggNots!

EggNots was created for all those children with egg allergies that have never been able to touch let alone dye an Easter Egg. EggNots are dyeable ceramic eggs with the look and feel of real eggs.

I kid you not…I quickly ordered myself a dozen ceramic eggs!

They arrived in a typical cardboard egg box. (They were packed in another box for delivery)

carton of ceramic eggs from EggNots

Oh my gosh…they are a thing of beauty!

opened carton of ceramic eggs from EggNots

Tears welled in my eyes as Michael, with the egg allergy, held his ‘first egg’!

“Really….this is what they feel like?” he exclaimed with the biggest grin ever on his face. He looked over at his brother to confirm…”Yup!”, his brother nodded. “Except the real ones usually are colder cause they’re in the fridge.”…“Cool!”

Worth ever penny I spent…and we haven’t even coloured them!

I then discovered our friend up the street, with an egg allergy to raw eggs, had never dyed an Easter Egg herself! So she joined in on the egg decorating party…the more the merrier!

I had some Club House food colouring leftover from years ago but decided there would not be enough so I purchased Club House’s Neon food colours.

Following the instructions on the EggNots packaging…we mixed up the 1 tsp of vinegar and food colouring with 1/2 cup boiling water, dunked in our eggs and waited.

EggNots ceramic eggs being dyed


EggNots ceramic eggs dyed beautiful colours

The old food colourings (yellow and green to right) paled in comparison to the Neon colours. Luckily our friend, Victoria, chose purple (her favourite colour)…she was very happy with the results! Even happier that she could take it home!

Colouring ‘eggs’ is fun at any age…there were lots of laugh, great banter…memories made!

When I questioned Michael about the experience, he gave me a typical 15 going on 16 answer…“Ya, it changed my life forever!”

You watch…they will be asking to do it again next year!

Note: Not sure what the perfect way to dry coloured eggs is…when they finished drying the top half seemed darker than the bottom.  Any tips?

Update 1: I redyed the EggNots with blue, green and pink…it seemed to help them keep their colour better.

EggNots redyed with the Neon food colouring in blue, green and pink.

Update 2: I was so pleased to witness my friend’s two-year old son, with an egg allergy, hold his first ‘egg’! (It’s an EggNot)

My friend's two-year old son, who is allergic to eggs, holding his first 'egg'.

Update 3: I redyed Victoria’s EggNot purple, dressed it up with some purple thread and popped it into a hen egg cup for her to take home.

Victoria's EggNot redyed in a hen eggcup

P.S. Does your child have an egg allergy? What ideas have you come up with at Easter? Please share!

P.P.S. Did you think the first picture of the ‘eggs’ at the top of the post were real?They’re EggNots.