I feel like as moms we are constantly bombarded with how to do things healthier, but since I can’t make a complete overhaul of my grocery shopping and cooking habits overnight, it must be a process.

The best I can do is pick a few things to start with and then add one thing at a time.

So a few years ago I finally decided I was done with the grocery store egg dying kits. That color does seep through the eggs and I am just not so sure about all of those food dyes.

I could go into the science of it all and what they are made of, but frankly, I will leave the technical stuff to the experts. I will just take their word for it. If I want natural I am going to avoid the word, ARTIFICIAL. So I have decided that is a good one for me to work on right now.
That is where the egg dying comes in.

There are some foods that have amazing pigments. I will be  honest with you here, this will take more time than the tablet that comes in the egg dying box, but it is fun! I don’t do this by myself, my kids love to be involved. And even though it takes a little longer, the kids have never minded. It becomes something to look forward to. They love to see what we can create and how it will turn out. Use this as a teaching lesson for the kids about colors.

And the best part is, they are safe. I don’t have to cringe when I see this.

I can just smile instead, and say, Ah!! How cute!

Now, down to the nitty gritty. You will need the secret ingredient. Okay, not so secret, in fact it should make perfect sense if you have ever done one of those grocery kits. VINEGAR! Yes, that is what makes the colors so intense. I didn’t use vinegar the first year and the colors were all rather light.

Materials:

  • Jars, I love using mason jars for this.
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Pigmented Veggies (keep reading)
  • Oil, any kind will do, this brings out the color

Red -Shredded or diced beets or red onion skins

Add veggies to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer until it has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Drain vegetable matter and pour liquid into a mason jar with 1-2 Tablespoons vinegar.

Yellow -turmeric

Place one tablespoon in a pint jar with 1 1/4 cups water, with 1-2 Tablespoons vinegar

Orange-brown onion skins

Add veggies to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer until it has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Drain vegetable matter and pour liquid into a mason jar with 1-2 Tablespoons vinegar.

Another option is to remember your primary and secondary colors. Start in the yellow dye, then put it in the red dye. The color will vary depending on how long you leave it in each color!

Green-Spinach

Add one cup loosely packed spinach to 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then turn down to let it simmer and reduce. Transfer to a blender to emulsify the spinach. If you do this hot, you will want to vent it through the top. If you do not have a lid with a vent, wait until it has cooled down.  Pour into a mason jar and add 1-2 Tablespoons vinegar.

However, despite letting this reduce down quite a bit, the color was rather light. This was my first year actually doing a green dye. Your other option is like the orange. First put it in the turmeric, then into the blue dye. The color that comes out is beautiful!

 

Blue-Purple Cabbage

Add veggies to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer until it has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Drain vegetable matter and pour liquid into a mason jar, do not add vinegar!

So this one is a little bit strange, but really fascinating too. When you are done with using this color to dye eggs, get out your vinegar and gather your kids around for a great science trick. Pour 1 Tablespoon of vinegar into an empty jar, then slowly pour the blue cabbage water into the vinegar. The liquid will turn bright pink!!! Sadly, this pink will not dye an egg. I have tried a few different times, but it is so fun to watch the color change!

Purple-Grape Juice

I got the frozen grape juice for this and let it thaw out. Pour about a quarter cup of concentrate into a mason jar and add 1- 1/4 cups of water and 1-2 Tablespoons of vinegar. This was actually my first year using grape juice and I was not disappointed. Though I will admit the color was a little more deep blue than purple. We actually left an egg in here for about 36 hours to see how dark it would get and we were absolutely in awe of the intensity.

As I said, these dyes to take time to work. It is best to let them sit in the fridge overnight. I promise your kids will not let you forget about them. They will remind you to check on the colors in the morning and it will be a great time of discovery together.

When the eggs are all dry they may lose a little of their intensity and look a little dull. Just rub just a little bit of any kind of oil on the outside. I used olive oil. And was impressed once again at the gorgeous colors. The colors do seep through the shell a little like any dye, but you can feel safe in knowing it is all derived from food!

Happy Easter!! Happy Egg Dying. Please share your colors! I can’t wait to see all of the different shades!

4 thoughts on “Natural Easter Egg Dye”

  1. Very convenient reference, sis. 🙂 I once read that liquid chlorophyll makes a good green dye, and I happened to have some left over, so I tried it, and it did work very well. However…it is also really expensive. I’m excited to try the oil idea – before I’ve been disappointed when the color brilliance fades as the water evaporates away. I actually dry my red and brown onion skins during the year, stuffing them in a mason jar once dried, so that I have plenty on hand come Easter season for egg dyeing.

  2. I love the colors that come from this and have too been disappointed when the color fades so I was excited to learn about the idea of using the oil. It really brings the color out brilliantly. That is a great idea to hold on to the skins in a jar!

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