It seems that many cultures throughout the world incorporate decorating and dying eggs into their traditions. The main symbolism behind eggs are rebirth and fertility. The Pagan tradition of celebrating the Spring Equinox as a vibrant celebration of new light and life after a long, hard winter predates Christianity. In the Pagan culture, it is believed that the word "Easter" is derived from the name of the Pagan fertility goddess, Eostre. In the Iranian culture, while celebrating Nowruz, eggs are decorated to represent fertility and rebirth. In general, eggs represent rebirth, fertility, and a celebration of new life in most cultures. The Christian tradition of dying Easter eggs red represents the Blood of Christ and his resurrection and new life after death. The Spanish word, Pascua, the French word, Pasques, and the Greek and Latin word, Pascha, all carry the meaning of "Passover," and are said to have given us the word, Easter, and its meaning as we know it today.
The game of Easter egg rolling is symbolic of how Jesus's tomb was opened by rolling a large stone across the opening of his tomb. This tradition is still prevalent today in many Easter festivities and every year the White House holds an annual Easter egg roll. The tradition of having children hunt for Easter eggs is a more modern event that was created for general merriment and it symbolizes the resurrection of Christ. Many European cultures baked colorfully dyed Easter eggs or red-dyed Easter eggs into sweet breads to celebrate Easter. Learn more about Easter Bread traditions and check out some of our favorite recipes in our article, "5 Traditional Easter Breads and Their Origins."
The best way to tell if an egg is raw or cooked while it is still in its shell is to place it on a flat surface and try to spin it. If it spins, it's cooked, and if it doesn't, it's raw. To prevent cracking your eggs while boiling them the best two things to do are to add a teaspoon of white vinegar and a half of a teaspoon of salt to the water. The vinegar prevents the egg whites from spreading into the water if the eggs do crack and the addition of salt prevents the eggs from cracking while they are boiling. Be sure to gently place your eggs into the water, which you can do before the water is boiling or after. Another good trick is to bring your eggs to room temperature before you cook them, because eggs contain gases and once they are brought to room temperature and are no longer cold, these gases do not expand as much as they are cooking, which can cause cracking. Some people like to take a thumb tack and poke the larger, fatter end of each egg to release these gases and further prevent cracking.
Be sure to use older eggs that are at least ten days old because older eggs cook better than fresher eggs. The best way to boil eggs is to bring them to room temperature, then place them in a pot. Cover the eggs with water about an inch above where the tops of the eggs reach inside the pan. Then, add a teaspoon of vinegar and a half teaspoon of salt to the water, do not try to stir the water because this could disturb the eggs and cause cracking. The salt and the vinegar will incorporate into the water once it is heated up. Place the pot over medium heat and allow it to come to a boil. Once the water starts boiling turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat source.
Cover the pot and allow your eggs to sit for three minutes for soft-boiled eggs with a soft, slightly running yolk, allow them to sit for five to seven minutes for medium-boiled eggs with a cooked but soft center, allow them to site for nine to twelve minutes for solid cooked yolks.
Once the eggs are cooked to your liking remove them from the pot of water and immediately place them in an ice bath, a bowl of water and ice, to cool them down and to shock them, which separates the outer white part of the egg from the shell making them easier to peel.
Cooked eggs with their shells removed can be frozen and kept in your freezer for up to one year. To thaw frozen eggs, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in your refrigerator or run them under cold water to thaw them. Once frozen and thawed, cooked eggs must be used immediately or discarded.
Hard-boiled or cooked, dyed Easter eggs are a tradition because it is better to hide cooked eggs rather than raw eggs and hard-boiled eggs make a great, healthy snack while you're out there hunting for the real prize of the chocolate bunny or money. Hard-boiled eggs are also easier to dye and decorate because there is no risk of the eggs cracking and having liquidy eggs running out everywhere.
Hard-boiled eggs last up to one week when kept in the refrigerator. Hard-boiled eggs should never be kept out at room temperature for more than two hours and even less time, maybe thirty minutes to an hour if placed outside in any kind of moderate heat. Hard-boiled and all types of cooked eggs should always be refrigerated to prevent food poisoning.
Once dyed, Easter eggs can be eaten as is with a little salt or even hot sauce or they can be incorporated into several recipes which we have included below. Easter eggs can be eaten whenever as long as the proper precautions are taking to prevent them from going bad. If you peel your cooked egg and immediately smell a strong sulfur or off smell, discard that egg because it has gone bad.
Easter eggs can be dyed with food coloring. Mix a half cup of boiling water with one teaspoon of vinegar, and ten to twenty drop of food coloring carefully together, then dye your Easter eggs like you usually do. Mix and match different food colorings together to create your own custom colors, and be sure to get the kids involved, Easter is a great time to teach the kiddos about colors while allowing them to get creative with mixing colors together to see what the new colors they can create.
Skip the fuss of boiling water with salt and vinegar and use this easy, oven-baked, hard-boiled egg recipe for your Easter eggs this year. With this recipe, you can hard-boil two dozen or more eggs at one time with the ease of your oven. Be sure to still shock your cooked eggs by removing them fromt he oven and immediately placing them into a bowl of ice water. This will ensure that they are easier to peel.
Eggs can be dyed using natural ingredients for a healthier approach to all of those delightful Easter traditions. Tumeric can be used to make festive golden eggs, while red cabbage yields a lovely teal-like color. Yellow onions created orange-colored eggs and beets create a bright, fun, and festive magenta color. Using both red cabbage and beets creates eggs with a vibrant purple color that the whole family will love. This year skip all the artifical Easter egg dyes and opt for this healthy recipe for dying your Easter eggs naturally.
Easter eggs are not only the hard-boiled variety, many people crave the chocolatey treats that come with celebrating Easter. Check out some of our favorite Easter egg recipes that are sweet instead of savory, but if you need some dessert recipes for your Easter celebration check out some of our favorite Easter dessert recipes in our article, "Easter Sweets that Put Chocolate Bunnies to Shame."
Perfect for your vegan and vegetarian friends and family, this recipe is made from cashews, good quality vanilla, cacao butter, cacao powder, and other delicious ingredients. Wrapping them in festive foil that can be bought at any craft store or specialty food store is optional and dependant on if you can wrap them up before they get eaten.
Ditch the store-bought treats and opt to make your own, homemade chocolate-covered peanut butter Easter eggs for the kids and the whole family to enjoy! Get the kids in the kitchen, they will love dipping these treats in chocolate, then decorating them. Filled with the scrumptious flavors of sweet vanilla, creamy cream cheese, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and other delightful ingredients, these sweet treats are sure to quickly become a new tradition at your Easter celebration this year and in the years to come.
Delightfully jiggly, these Jell-O deviled eggs are the fun recipe that is sure to be a big hit at your Easter party this year. Make several different flavors for a tray of assorted vibrant colors that will keep your Easter celebration festive and fun-filled. The kids will love to help you in the kitchen when you make this recipe and how fun is it that the filling is creamy whipped cream?
Hard-boiled leftover Easter eggs make the best snack or quick, on-the-go breakfast, but if you would like to reinvent your leftover Easter eggs check out some of our favorite recipes to use up those leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs.
Add a little avocado-love to your typical egg salad with this healthy egg salad recipe that the whole family will be more than happy to have packed in their lunches or as an afterschool snack. This recipe calls for avocado and hard-boiled eggs and cuts out the traditional high-fat mayonnaise for a healthier approach to egg salad. This healthy egg salad recipe is sure to be an after Easter hit in your household.
Egg piglets have to be the cutest way to use your leftover Easter eggs. Be sure to get the kids in the kitchen to help, they will love decorating their own cute little piglets and then eating them. Utilizing leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs, salami or sausage, and cloves to secure the sausage onto the hard-boiled eggs, this recipe is both delicious and is sure to use up all those leftover hard-boiled eggs. These egg piglets will make a great snack for your Easter celebration this year!
Use up those leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs with this recipe for Gribiche, a salad dressing that uses hard-boiled eggs to emulsify the salad dressing to create a smooth salad dressing that is perfect for any refreshing spring salad mix or vibrant vegetable salad mix. This recipe is the best way to use up leftover Easter eggs while getting back to eating healthy.
You really cannot go wrong with the classic deviled egg recipe when it comes to using up any leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs. This recipe stays true to the traditional deviled egg recipe which includes mustard, mayonnaise, and even a dash of paprika on each egg for added color and a pop of zesty flavor.
Make a tray or two of these colorful deviled eggs to glamourize your appetizer table with festive Easter pastels. Using whatever food coloring you'd like you can make your typical deviled egg recipe more fun and celebratory for your Easter day festivities. The kids will love helping you make these colorful creations and then eating them as fun savory treats.
Still need a few scrumptious recipes to round out your Easter meal? Check out some of our other Easter articles to help you plan your Easter celebration: "Easter Brunch Munches," "How to Make the Perfect Crock Pot Lamb," and "The Best Easter Dinner Menu."