What better way to celebrate the beginning of Spring than to make naturally dyed Easter eggs using real food? I know, I know – it’s a lot easier to just drop by your local grocery store and pick up some of your typical store bought dye. But here are a few reasons why naturally dying your Easter eggs this year should be on your to-do list:
- It’s Safer. Using all-natural egg dyes allows you to leave behind the petroleum-derived, artificial colors.
- It’s prettier. Making dyes from natural ingredients creates beautiful, softer colors instead of the neon, caustic colors you get from artificial options.
- AND…It’s way more fun!
You’ll still be heading over to the grocery store, but while everyone else is walking out with their pre-packaged, marketed boxes of Yellow #5 and Red #40, you’ll have a couple of bags filled with fresh produce. Leftovers can find their way into your week’s meal plan instead of gathering dust over the next year.
The first step is to determine which colors you want your eggs to be. I had trouble with this one, so I went ahead and made six dyes at the same time. Having six different pots and timers going at once proved a bit chaotic, especially with only five burners!
Here are the ingredients you would need to get the colors I chose…
- Blue – Blueberries (2 cups, chopped/squished/crushed)
- Dark Blue – Grape Juice (2 cups)
- Green – Brown Eggs + Purple Cabbage (3/4 to 1 head, chopped)
- Yellow – Turmeric (2 Tbsp)
- Pink – Beets (2 cups, chopped/grated)
And, as with any good DIY project, feel free to experiment with any other color-laden ingredients: carrots, red wine, spinach, yellow and red onion skins, paprika, chamomile, blackberries, coffee, hibiscus tea. . . you get the idea.
DIY All-Natural Easter Egg Dyes
- Hard-boiled eggs (I did them the old-fashioned way, but you could always stick ‘em in the oven)
- Dye stuffs of your choice (in quantities listed above in “Colorology” section)
- 2 cups Water per dye color
- 1 tbsp of White Vinegar per dye color
- Bring dye ingredients to a boil along with two cups of water, and reduce to a simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the water has reached a deep, rich hue, remove from heat and strain into jars. Let cool – room temp is fine.
- Add vinegar to dye, and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Carefully fill jars with boiled eggs. I was able to fit about four-five per jar. One or two cracked on me during this process, which while initially nerve-wracking, brought out variations in the natural dye. So don’t fret – remember, we’re having fun here!
- Place filled jars in the fridge, preferably overnight for maximum color penetration.
- When you’re ready to fish your eggs out of the jars, don’t be alarmed if they have what appears to be a thin film on them. You can leave this on for a darker, more intense, color, or rub it off for a more muted tone. It may just scratch off anyway, which just adds character!
The end result? An egg-celent masterpiece! I was struck by how subtle and rich the colors turned out, especially the green eggs and the blue eggs. The (accidentally) cracked eggs definitely added some personality to the mix.
And now… how to take this to the next level? I can’t wait to try using wax to first draw on the eggs to create some truly unique designs!