DIY Natural Easter egg dye

Adapted from Rodale Organic Life

Chemical dye is not the only option for creating beautiful Easter eggs. This year, skip the store-bought kit and opt for ingredients that may be hiding in your kitchen or compost bin! Many common foods and spices can create beautiful colours and be less harmful than synthetic dyes for the whole family.

Here are a few common foods and spices and their resulting colour:

  • Yellow onion skins = Yellow to dark orange
  • Turmeric or cumin = Bright yellow
  • Red beets = Pink to red
  • Red onion skins = Pale purple to red
  • Red cabbage = Blue 
  • Spinach = Green
  • Purple grape juice (use as is) = Lavender
  • Coffee (use as is) = Tan to brown
  • Chili powder = Orange
  • Raspberries or blackberries = Pink to purple
  • Yellow or green apple peels = Yellow-green

To make the dye, add 4 cups of chopped/mashed fruit or veggie OR 4 Tbsp. of spice to 4 cups of water and 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes and then strain into a mason jar or bowl – this is your dye.

Soak hardboiled eggs in dye overnight. If the colour is not desired intensity, add dye liquid and egg to a saucepan and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Note: Natural dyes will take longer to work than synthetic dyes—sometimes overnight—so be sure to allow sufficient time to prepare the dye and color the eggs.

Egg-tastic breakfast muffins

Let’s face it, mornings are hectic. I (Meg) have 2 kids to ready breakfast, pack lunches for, pick out clothes (or edit what they’ve chose these days), and organize backpacks. True, I could do it the night before, but that’s not me. Since following a paleo diet a few years ago, I needed a go-to breakfast that I could pack and eat at the bus stop or when I got to the store. These egg breakfast muffins fit the bill and can use up whatever is in your fridge.

The basis for this is always the same and what I add in depends on what I’m in the mood for, or what I need to get rid of in the fridge.

  • 10-12 large eggs (preferably organic free-range)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ half moons
  • 1 leek, sliced in 1/2 rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 medium brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large handful cilantro, chopped
  • 6 strips bacon, almost completely cooked and sliced
  • coconut oil – 2 tbsps.
  • salt, pinch
  • pepper, pinch
  • cheese (optional) – 1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat coconut oil on medium in pan (I use cast-iron – love them!!!) until melted. Saute garlic until soft, then add mushrooms and leeks. Cook 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook an additional 3 minutes until all veggies are tender. Set aside to cool.

Whisk eggs in large bowl and, when veggies are cooled, add to eggs. Add bacon, salt, pepper, cilantro and cheese (if using).

Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and pour mixture into cups until 3/4 filled.

Bake until muffins are firm. Let cool and then remove and enjoy!!

Vegan Pulled Pork (using young jackfruit)

From Cha’s Organics recipes


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can young jackfruit
  • 1 cube low sodium vegetable or mushroom stock
  • ½ to ¾ cup organic barbecue sauce (get your favorite)
  • ¼ cup hot water


  1. Rinse and drain the young jackfruit.
  2. Heat up a skillet and sauté the jackfruit pieces in oil for about 3-4 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
  3. Lower the heat. Dissolve stock cube in hot water, add to the jackfruit, cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour bbq sauce over jackfruit mixture and simmer 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a little water at this point to get the proper consistency.
  5. Gently crush the jackfruit pieces with a potato masher and simmer without covering 5 more minutes or until excess water evaporates. Enjoy!

Note: for a “meatier” texture, put the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake in medium-heat oven for about 10 minutes, right after crushing the jackfruit in step 4. Serve in tacos or on burger bread with your favorite fillings: coleslaw, avocado, lettuce, etc.

Treat your valentine to a massage

Recipe from Aura Cacia. For more recipes like this, please visit their website

An invigorating, purifying massage oil featuring peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, to soothe and relax targeted muscles

  • 2 oz Aura Cacia sweet almond skin care oil
  • 10 drops Aura Cacia peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops Aura Cacia eucalyptus essential oil
  • 4 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 2-ounce Aura Cacia amber bottle

Measure sweet almond oil into glass bottle. Add essential oils and shake gently until well-blended. Apply 1 to 2 teaspoons to targeted area and massage as long as desired.

Loaded carrot salad

This middle period can be tough. We are about as far away from the next growing season as we are from the previous one and fresh, local produce is but a distant memory. However, you can still find locally-grown vegetables like potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, squash as well as apples in the Dandelion Foods produce section.

A few of our staff recently attended an event at the Two Rivers Food Hub to meet with food growers and producers to discuss our needs as buyers and their upcoming growing/production season. It was a potluck and we were asked to create a dish that celebrated local by using ingredients purchased from local farmers/producers, through the Food Hub. Farhat made a carrot salad, featuring delicious, sweet carrots from Patchwork Gardens near Kingston. This salad is sure to bring colour to your table and celebrates the local vegetables that are still available. Enjoy!

Get the recipe here!

Spicy Azuki Bean and Brown Rice Salad

Adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen

Adzuki bean is a small reddish-brown bean with a cream coloured seam and sweet, nutty flavour. It is particularly popular in Japanese, chines and Indian cooking. Like other legumes, the adzuki bean is very rich in protein, fiber and folic acid.Here is a very easy recipe to enjoy a dish packed with nutrients and flavours.


  • 3/4 cup dried adzuki beans
  • 3/4 cup lundberg short grain brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (you can use any oil you want)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced (or 1 tea spoon crush red chilli flakes, only if you like heat! Otherwise omit this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 green onions, green and white parts sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 3 radishes, finely sliced
  • Bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds


Rinse the azuki beans under cold running water and soak overnight in a bowl covered in several inches of cold water. Separately, rinse the brown rice under cold running water and soak overnight in 1 1/2 cups cold water in a small saucepan. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender but firm. Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, bring the rice and soaking liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice are soft. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.  Combine the oils, vinegar, tamari sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne and the white parts of the green onions in a bowl and whisk. In a large bowl, combine the cooled beans and rice with the carrots, radishes and chilies, and toss gently with the dressing. Lightly toast the sesame seeds to a golden brown over medium-low heat in a frying pan or small saucepan. Scatter the toasted sesame seeds, green parts of the green onions and cilantro leaves over the salad and enjoy.