Dyeing eggs for Easter is such a fun tradition, but did you know you can create beautiful, naturally dyed Easter eggs without using those artificial dyes we all grew up on? It’s so easy and fun!
Why Use Natural Dyes?
I know, artificial dye packets are convenient, but they often contain chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Many of these dyes contain synthetic colors that are made from petroleum, which can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, among other things. Natural dyes, on the other hand, are made from plant-based ingredients that are just that — natural. They’re also biodegradable, making it an environmentally friendly plus it’s a cost effective way to use up some of the food or spices that have been in your kitchen for a while!
Ingredients for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
The best part about naturally dyed Easter eggs is that most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen! Here are some common kitchen ingredients you can use to naturally dye your Easter eggs:
- Beets, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranate juice, and red onion skins for red and pink shades.
- Paprika, carrots, and yellow onion skins for orange hues.
- Turmeric, chamomile tea, and lemon peels for yellow tones.
- Red cabbage, blueberries, and blackberries for blue hues.
- Red wine, grape juice, and purple onion skins for purple tones.
Keep in mind that the intensity of the color may vary based on how long you leave the eggs in the dye and the dye’s concentration. Gather your little scientists, put on your lab coats and experiment with different ingredients and cooking times to achieve your desired color! It’s so much fun!
How To Naturally Dye Easter Eggs
- Place eggs in a pot and cover with 1 inch of water (about two cups). Stir in 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and the food ingredient for desired color. For example, to make yellow eggs, add 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric. The more of the ingredients the deeper the hue.
- Bring water to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, reduce, simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook the eggs, the tougher they will be.
- Check the eggs to see if the desired color is achieved. The longer they sit, the deeper the color will be! You can even allow the water cool to room temperature and let the eggs sit in the dye in the refrigerator overnight.
A Kid Friendly Easter Activity
Dyeing eggs naturally for Easter is a perfect activity for kids! Here’s why:
- It’s Fun and Creative: By using natural dyes, kids can experiment with different colors and get creative with unique patterns and designs. It’s an excellent way to encourage their imagination and self-expression. How could they not feel so incredibly proud and accomplished after making something from scratch like this? Once we dye the eggs, I let my kids decorate them with stickers and markers, and they have a blast!
- It’s Educational: Dyeing eggs naturally can be an excellent educational opportunity for kids. They can learn about different plant-based ingredients and their properties, how to create different shades by combining ingredients, and the science behind how the dyes work. So not only are they having fun, but they’re learning along the way.
- It’s Eco-Friendly: Dyeing eggs naturally is an eco-friendly activity that can help teach kids about the importance of sustainability. By using natural ingredients instead of artificial dye packets, you can reduce waste and be more sustainable by using ingredients you already have on hand.
Tips For Creating The Best Naturally Dyed Eggs
- To make your eggs extra shiny, take a small amount of oil in your palm and rub them on the eggs after they’re throughly dry.
- To make green eggs allow eggs to color in blue for several hours, dry and then transfer to yellow coloring.
- Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar for every cup of naturally colored liquid.
- For a dozen eggs you will need about 4 cups of naturally dyed liquid.
- To make eggs even darker in color, allow them to sit for several hours in the natural food coloring, remove and allow to dry thoroughly. Repeat this process several times over the course of the day for vibrant colored eggs.
- If you want the eggs a deeper color you can remove them from the pot, let the color mixture cool and pour it back over the eggs and refrigerate overnight or longer. We also found that the color of the eggs deepened after they dried.
Dyeing eggs naturally is a healthier alternative to using artificial dye packets. With a little creativity and some common kitchen ingredients, you can create beautiful, vibrant eggs that are perfect for Easter. So gather your supplies, get your apron on, and start dyeing! Let me know in the comments what colors you’re dyeing your eggs this year!
More Fun Recipes for Easter
Images by Ivan Solis
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
- 1 dozen white eggs (preferably organic)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons turmeric powder (yellow eggs)
- 12 ounce bag frozen blueberries (lavender eggs)
- 2 beets (rust/brown eggs)
- 12 ounces pomegranate or grape juice (grey, blueish, red eggs)
- 8 bags red zinger tea (red-ish eggs)
- 1 small head purple caggabe (blue-ish purple eggs)
- Place eggs in a pot and cover with 1 inch of water (about 2 cups). Stir in 2 tbsp of white vinegar and the food ingredient for desired color.
- Bring water to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, reduce, simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes (the longer you cook the eggs, the tougher they will be).
- Check the eggs to see if the desired color is achieved.
- If you want to eat the eggs make sure to refrigerate them.
- If you want the eggs a deeper color you can remove them from the pot, let the color mixture cool and pour it back over the eggs and refrigerate overnight or longer. The longer the eggs are covered with the color, the deeper the shade will be. We also found that the color of the eggs deepened after they dried.
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so is it 2 tablespoons of the food ingredient as well as 2 tablespoons of the vinegar?
Thanks for the great ideas!
Making Red eggs (traditional at many churches) can be done with red cabbage and purple onion skins!