Coloring Easter Eggs Naturally

After searching Pinterest for Easter eggs, I discovered posts about dying Easter eggs. I decided to give some of the recipes a try. After two days of work, hard boiling eggs using two different methods and many cracked eggs later these are my results.

naturally dyed easter eggs

Hard-boiling Eggs

I started by trying two different methods for hard-boiling eggs, cool and hot. The hot method boils the water first, then adds the eggs to the boiling water. This did result in eggs that were much easier to peel, but I cracked several of the eggs while CAREFULLY dropping them into the hot water.

putting eggs into hot water

Next I tried the cool method, which is adding the eggs to the pan, and then adding cool water over the eggs. Next, you boil the eggs for one minute and then turn off the heat and let stand for 12 minutes before placing in a cold ice bath. This method was much more successful, I didn’t crack a single egg!

eggs in a pot of water on the stove  dropping eggs into a cold bath

 

Making the Natural Dyes

Once the eggs were hard-boiled, it was time to make the dyes. I found some very cute Pinterest pins with naturally dyed eggs. I tried a few of the ideas and had more success with some than others. Making my own dyes was definitely more wok than buying a kit at the store, but I’ve always disliked the artificial colors, which sometimes seeped through the shells into the eggs.

I used onion skins, spinach, carrots and turmeric, beets and red cabbage to create the natural dyes for the Easter eggs.

Coloring the Easter Eggs

After straining the dyes and cooling them, the next step was coloring the eggs. On average, I left the eggs in the dyes for about 4 hours, some were left overnight. Some dyes worked better than others, here were my results.

Blue eggs made from red cabbage. (Yes, red cabbage makes blue eggs.) The blue eggs actually worked fairly well. They looked purple when they were first removed from the dye, but after they were dry they turned blue.

I usually buy brown eggs but when dying eggs I buy white. So I found it funny that my attempt at making orange eggs resulted in brownish ones that look like brown eggs! The egg on the left was made by using yellow dye with just a little of the “orange” one, but it still came out a bit brown.

orange dyed easter eggs

Yellow eggs were made with turmeric and carrots. They were pretty when they cam out of the dye. However, when they sat overnight in the egg carton, they discolored and got spotty.

yellow dyed easter eggs

My attempt at pink eggs made from beets was not very successful. They eggs looked pink as I was pulling them from the dye, but the color didn’t stick to the egg for some reason. I ended up with these spotty eggs.

pink easter eggs

The least successful result was the ”green“eggs made from spinach with a little turmeric, as the recipe I found suggested. They came out just ugly! I tried to add them to the other dyes because they were so ugly but the second color didn’t take.

green easter eggs

So that’s the results from my great Easter egg coloring experiment. It was definitely more work than using dyes from the store. Here is the basic recipe if you decide to give it a try.

 

Ingredients

  • onion skins from 4 yellow onions
  • turmeric
  • 1 cup carrot chips
  • 2 cups red cabbage, cut finely
  • 6 cups spinach leaves
  • 4 small beets, cut into pieces
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cover your working counter, the dye stains clothes and countertops.

Directions

  1. Make separate pots for each color. For green, use spinach and 1 tablespoon turmeric. For orange use onion skins. For yellow use carrots and 3 tablespoons turmeric. For red use beets. For blue use red cabbage.
  2. Add 4 cups cold water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt to a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the vegetable or turmeric for each color desired.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the water/veggie mixture through a strainer and let cool.
  6. Place eggs in dye for 4 to 8 hours. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon onto a thick pile of paper towels to drain extra liquid, then set them on a plate to dry.

Easter egg color chart

Happy Easter!

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