With our small dining room table covered in newspaper, my sisters and I used to dye Easter eggs every year using one of two methods. Our most common way was to use drops of food coloring mixed with water and vinegar. This way was good for bright and vibrant colors sunshine yellow or tropical ocean blue. Some years we found a second method when we convinced our mom to buy an official egg coloring kit complete with candy looking tablets that would dissolve in water. This method wasn’t anything special except I loved the twisted wire tool that was included in the kit to help lower and raise the eggs out of its color bath. As you know, to a six year old, using a regular old spoon wasn’t as cool.
Fast forward a few decades. My method for dyeing eggs has gone from commercial to natural using vegetables, fruits, spices, and other foods. The color difference between dyeing eggs naturally versus the commercial dyes is noticeable. The different subdued hues of the naturally colored eggs have a beautiful look to them that cannot be replicated by the store bought options.
Foods such as raspberries, red cabbage, spinach, turmeric, beets, tea, onion skins, red onion skins, and coffee are just some of the many foods you can use to dye eggs. However, unlike the commercial kits, it takes a lot more time for the color to adhere to eggs. Give yourself at least an hour; in some cases they may require a color bath overnight.
I invite you to watch the video above to see how we dyed our eggs naturally. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to step away from the kits and go natural this Easter.
Recipe: How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
Naturally dyed Easter eggs using vegetables like onion skins, red cabbage, raspberries, spices, and other items in your garden or pantry is a great alternative than the commercial dye kits or food coloring.
- Red cabbage (blue)
- Turmeric (yellow)
- Red onion skins (red)
- Spinach (green)
- Crushed red raspberries (pink)
- Coffee (brown)
- Beets (pink or maroon)
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of dye
- baking soda (optional)
- White or brown hard boiled eggs
- optional: oil
- (1/4 cup) and coffee (use as is).
- Chop each of the vegetables or skins.
- Bring different pots of water to boil and add the chopped ingredient.
- Allow the water to boil for five minutes before turning off the heat.
- Allow the water to cool in the pot until room temperature, at least one hour.
- Strain the water using a fine mesh strainer.
- Add one tablespoon of vinegar to each cup of dye.
- Dip the eggs in enough dye so the egg is covered.
- Allow the eggs to rest in the dye long enough until your desired intensity of color.
- Some colors take longer than others to adhere and may require to sit in a color bath overnight in the refrigerator.
- Dry the eggs and store in the original egg crate.
- For a glossier egg, buff and shine each egg with a little bit of oil on a paper tower.
- Finished eggs should be refrigerated until ready to eat.
For two cups of dye, you will need one cup of raw food with the exception of the turmeric