It certainly feels different this Easter season while we all bunker down at home in quarantine. Many of us feel uncomfortable going to the store to buy the traditional goodies and supplies that we are all so accustomed to for Easter weekend celebration. So, rather let’s look at an interesting and natural way to color eggs with the kids this year!
Look no further!
These items are in your home right now. There are lots of natural food dyes in your refrigerator and pantry. We will show you the best ways to get pink, orange, yellow, blue and green eggs using vegetables and spices that you likely already have on hand.
To dye your Easter eggs, you’ll need to choose your food-based dyes from the color options below. You’ll also need a bowl & spoon for each color of egg, water & a pot for boiling, vinegar, patience, and a sense of adventure.
Natural egg dyes take a lot longer than ones made from food coloring!! The fastest dyes needed a minimum of 10 minutes, but the color really comes out after 30 minutes.
Average dyes needed 2-6 hours, and less efficient ones needed to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
CAN YOU COLOR EGGS WHILE BOILING THEM?
After some trial and error, the most efficient to boil the eggs and the food to make the dye in the same pot, especially if you’re making a huge batch. It gives a bit of a head start on the color. Yes, you’ll be boiling three to seven eggs at a time, but you’ll also be saving yourself the step of boiling the dye then boiling the eggs.
If you’re only dying a small amount of eggs, put as little water as possible into the pot so that your dye will be as strong as possible.
SOME PROBLEMS WITH NATURALLY DYING EASTER EGGS
Be very careful when you remove your eggs from the jar. Some of the dyes leave a film over the egg for their color, and it is very easily scratched off.
HOW TO MAKE PINK NATURAL EGG DYE
Juice from Canned Beets: Juice from canned beets gives a beautiful bright pink color and is one of the quicker dyes. An egg dipped in canned beet juice and 3 tbsp vinegar needs only 10-20 minutes to reach a lovely shade of pink. You can also color the egg by making your dye from fresh boiled beets, but this method takes a lot longer.
Cherries: Maraschino cherries work best for a rich pink color!
Raspberries: Another beautiful option. This produced more of a purply-pink and took 4 hours.
HOW TO MAKE YELLOW NATURAL DYE
Turmeric: All the other yellow dyes can just pack up and go home. Turmeric is the clear winner, needing only 8 minutes to dye an egg. The color is bright and sunny. Use two heaping tbsps for a pot of water to boil your eggs in.
Celery seed: It produces a lovely yellow-green color after 6 hours.
Saffron: This ingredient is expensive, but it makes the most beautiful yellow-orange shade very quickly.
Green Tea: Makes a lovely light chartreuse color.
HOW TO MAKE BLUE & PURPLE NATURAL DYE
Purple Grape Juice: You must use a brand that has only purple grape juice and no other juices.
Red Cabbage Leaves: This gives the most beautiful blue color ever and is one of the quicker dyes.
Blueberries/Blueberry Tea: Use two cups of berries for best results.
Blackberries: Lovely blue/purple color and only 2-4 hours to dye. 1 cup of berries is sufficient.
Chokecherry Juice/Syrup: This was one of the faster dyes and left a really lovely blue/purple color.
Hibiscus Tea: A truly gorgeous option for blue.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE NATURAL DYE
Yellow Onion Skin: Beautiful color and quick results. If you’re boiling your eggs with the onion skins, use two onions.
Chili powder: This works well. It took about 4 hours for my desired color.
Paprika: Same as chili powder. It works well and took around 4 hours.
HOW TO MAKE GREEN NATURAL DYE
Spinach: Spinach works really well, needing only 2 hours to desired color. However, I was looking for a much brighter green, so I’m not a huge fan.
Kale: Kale gives off more of a yellow green, but it takes overnight to get to a desired color.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN NATURAL DYE
Coffee: Just use coffee. You likely already have it on hand and it makes a lovely brown within an hour or two. If you make your coffee twice the normal strength you could make that time faster.
With traditional dye, it’s easy to dye eggs one by one and be done the whole project in under an hour. Not so with natural dyes. We suggest boiling the amount of eggs you want a certain color in the same pot as those ingredients (if you have a lot of eggs you want to dye) or using the least amount of water possible (if you only want to dye a few).
For example, if we wanted 3 blue eggs, we would boil the three eggs in a pot with at least 2 cups of shredded cabbage and just enough water to cover the eggs. Once the water comes to a boil, let them cook for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and place them in a bowl. Pour some of the liquid from the pot into the bowl. (Enough to cover the eggs). Add 2-3 tbsp of vinegar and let sit for 10-30 minutes, or until your desired color is achieved. For really dark or vibrant colors, put the bowl of eggs in the fridge and check every couple of hours, or leave overnight.
AS A GENERAL RULE, IF YOU’RE USING A FOOD AS A NATURAL DYE, USE TWO CUPS OR MORE OF THAT FOOD. IF YOU’RE USING A SPICE, USE 2 TABLESPOONS. IF YOU’RE USING JUICE, USE STRAIGHT JUICE, AND ONLY ADD WATER IF THERE IS NO WATER ALREADY ADDED IN THE INGREDIENTS.
You can make your eggs shiny by rubbing a small amount of oil over them.
Nevertheless — Happy Easter from your friends at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Woodmont Realty.