Dye Easter Eggs with Natural Ingredients

If you need a kitchen experiment that the whole family can enjoy, dyeing Easter eggs for the upcoming holiday is a great choice.  But before you gear up for a trip to the store for an egg dyeing kit, save your dollars and cents by using things that you likely already have in your kitchen. dyeing

Ingredients for Egg Dyeing

Fruits, vegetables, and spices can all be used to color Easter eggs, whether you plan to dye and hide them, or save them to eat later. Here are a few things you can use to color eggs naturally:

  1. Fresh beets or cranberries, frozen raspberries, and pomegranate juice will give eggs a pinkish red color.
  2. Yellow onion skins will turn egg shells orange.
  3. For a light yellow egg, use orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin.  Ground turmeric will produce a darker yellow.
  4. Use spinach leaves for a pale green hue.
  5. Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves will dye eggs blue.
  6. Strong brewed coffee, chili powder, and dill seeds will color eggs beige or brown.
  7.  Yellow Delicious apple peels make a green-gold dyed egg.

To prepare eggs for dyeing, boil white eggs and let them cool. If you plan to eat the eggs, remember that the fresher the egg, the harder it will be to peel later. If you have eggs on hand that are close to their “use-by” date, you are all set for an easier egg peeling experience.

Recipe for Dying Eggs

The American Egg Board recommends the following recipe to make naturally dyed eggs: Toss your choice of a handful – or two or three – of one of the foods listed above into a saucepan.  Use your own judgment about quantity. This is not an exact science.  Be aware that the beautiful strong colors of purple or red grape juice and beet juice will produce a gray, not very Easter-y colored egg.

Add about a cup of water for each handful of food, so the water comes at least an inch above the dyestuff.  Bring to boiling, reduce the heat and simmer from 15 minutes up to an hour, until the color is the shade you want. Keep in mind that the eggs will dye a lighter shade. Remove the pan from the heat.

Through cheesecloth or a fine sieve, strain the dye mixture into a small bowl that’s deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.  Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of dye liquid. With a spoon or wire egg holder from a dyeing kit, lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Let the eggs stand until they reach the desired color.  With a slotted spoon or wire egg holder, remove the eggs to a rack or drainer. Allow the eggs to dry thoroughly.

Food Safety and Easter Eggs

If you plan to eat the eggs later, take special care to keep them refrigerated as much as possible.  The eggs should not be out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, and should be eaten within a week. Throw out an egg that has been used as a decoration or left out for an egg hunt for more than 2 hours.


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