When you dye eggs the natural way, you can’t help but feel like a bit of a chemist throughout. You’re using the natural pigments in potently colourful foods like turmeric, beets, and more to create dyes to dip your eggs in. You’ll see though, that many foods in these dye recipes actually produce different colours than you would expect.
Why dye the natural way?
Chemical dye kits for Easter eggs are widely available, but contain harmful chemicals that can make eating the post-dyed eggs unsafe. With natural dyes, you don’t have to worry about any of that, and are still able to achieve vibrant hues, and fun designs. Plus, you’ve probably got almost everything you need for a full rainbow set ready to go in your kitchen right now.
Hard boiled VS. egg blowing
There are two ways to prepare raw eggs for decorating.
- Hard boiled: Which you can learn about here. This results in boiling the eggs whole until the eggs have been cooked completely through.
- Egg blowing:Which you can learn about here. This involves piercing a small hole on the top and bottom of the eggs, and blowing through one of the holes to empty out the insides.
Can you eat the eggs after?
When you’re using natural dyes, you don’t have to worry about the dye being an issue when it comes to safety and eating your eggs. However if you’re hard boiling your eggs, they need to stay refrigerated and shouldn’t be eaten if they are out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.
If you opted for egg blowing, you can absolutely use the eggs to make something! This Leftover Veggies Frittata is perfect for using up your eggs, the leftovers of a big Easter dinner, or any extra veggies you’ve got in the fridge.
Natural dye recipes
Pink: Cut 1 medium beet into small chunks, then add to 4 cups of boiling water. Add 2 tbsp vinegar. Remove beets when mixture has cooled to room temperature.
Orange: Simmer the skin of 6 yellow onions in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain. Add 3 tsp of white vinegar.
Yellow: Stir 2 tbsp turmeric into 1 cup boiling water. Add 2 tsp white vinegar.
Jade/green: Simmer 6 red onion skins in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain. Add 3 tsp of white vinegar.
Blue: Cut ¼ head of red cabbage into chunks. Add to 4 cups of boiling water with 2 tbsp vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with slotted spoon.
Bluish-gray: Mix one cup of blueberries with 1 cup of water, bring to room temperature, remove blueberries.
Purple: Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Brown: Add 1 tablespoon to 1 cup strong coffee.
Leaf and flower designs using plants: Use leaves and flowers to create cute designs across your eggs. Small plants with firm edges, like ferns, work best. Dip the plant into a bit of egg white thinned water, then stick it onto the egg. Then, wrap the entire egg into a cheesecloth, securing the top tightly with a string. Dip the egg into the dye, and let dry slightly before unwrapping.
Marbled designs using onion skins and rose petals: Lay onion skins on top of a square piece of cheesecloth. Layer rose petals (they’ll add a peachy hue) on top of the onion skins. Place eggs in the center, then gather the corner of the cheesecloth, fastening tightly with a string. Place the wrapped eggs in a pan with enough water to cover, then bring water to a slow and gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Unwrap and gently dry.
Speckled look using a sea sponge and butter: Dab a sea sponge into room temperature butter, then lightly dab it all over your eggs. Do this by holding your eggs with two fingers (one on top, one on the bottom) and turning the egg on an axis. The butter resists the dye, so the places where you put butter will have less colour than the rest of the egg. Carefully (don’t touch the butter) place the eggs in the dye, then allow to dry before wiping the butter off.
Decorating Easter eggs is a super fun way to spend an afternoon, and doing so the natural way makes things even more exciting! Ready to get started? Pick up everything you need just in time for the weekend!
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