So true, Mr. Lincoln! And I would say the same is true for advice on dyeing Easter eggs with natural ingredients. Take, for example, hibiscus. When I compiled a list of natural dyes a few years ago, it was said to make a beautiful pink. However, when I actually tested it the egg turned dark green. Oops.
After experimenting with everything from lemon peels and carrots to raspberries and grape juice, I’ve narrowed down my list to a few ingredients that consistently yield beautiful, vibrant colors. You’ll find them below along with the specific recipes I used.
Also, when the hunt is over, you can use the eggs to make my friend Jenny’s pesto egg salad!
Two cups water + two cups peeled, grated beets + vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of liquid that remains after you simmer the grated beets and water)
2 cups yellow onion peels + enough water to cover skins by 1 inch + vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of liquid that remains after you simmer the onion peels and water)
Two cups water + 1 tablespoon turmeric + 2 tablespoons vinegar creates this vibrant yellow on white eggs and a deep gold on brown ones. The egg to the left of the one marked “turmeric” above is an example of what a brown egg looks like.
Other options: Strongly brewed chamomile tea creates a soft yellow.
Green / Blue
2 cups shredded purple cabbage + enough water to cover cabbage by 1 inch + vinegar (1 tablespoon per remaining cup after the dye is boiled)
Brown eggs will turn green and white eggs will turn blue.
Other options: Strongly brewed hibiscus tea (with one tablespoon vinegar per cup) will create the dark green pictured in the photo at the top. Blueberries will create a slightly marbled blue color.)
1-2 cups beet kvass – as much as is needed to cover the eggs. Here’s how to make it.
How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
- Natural dye materials (shredded beets, turmeric, etc)
- Filtered water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar per dye color
- pots for simmering ingredients and boiling eggs
- mesh strainer
- small bowls or mason jars (order mason jars here)
- coconut or olive oil (optional – for adding luster to eggs)
Directions For Making Easter Egg Dye:
- Bring dye matter and water to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15-60 minutes until desired color is reached. Keep in mind that the eggs will be several shades lighter so it’s best to go for deep, rich hues.
- Remove liquid from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Pour dye through a mesh strainer into bowls/mason jars and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of dye liquid.
- Add hardboiled eggs to dye and place in fridge until desired color is reached. I started mine in the early afternoon and let them set overnight.
Directions For Eggs:
- Add eggs to a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring pot to a boil. Once it’s rolling turn off the heat and cover the pot. After 10 minutes, place eggs in a bowl of cold water and let sit until they’re cool to the touch.
- Drain bowl and replace with warm, soapy water – I use castille soap. Gently rub eggs with a washcloth or your thumb to remove oils that prohibit natural dyes from adhering as effectively to the egg shell.
- Lower egg into the dye and place them in the fridge. Soak until your desired color is reached.
- When the eggs are ready scoop them out with a spoon and place on a drying rack or an upside down egg carton.
- Naturally-dyed eggs have a matte finish. If you’d like to add a little luster, rub with a drop or two of coconut or olive oil.
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