You can make your own Easter egg dye easily using ingredients you probably already have in your fridge!
Tip #1 - Wash Farm Fresh Eggs
Farm fresh eggs are delicious and nutritious! Eggs fresh from the farm often have a bit of dirt and debris stuck to the outside that can interfere with the dye. Give your eggs a good wash under running water when you bring them home.
Tip #2 - Hard boil old eggs
Older eggs peel more easily than fresh ones. As an egg ages some of the moisture inside evaporates, leaving a little more space between the hard boiled egg white and the shell lining. You want eggs about 2 weeks old. Of course, you can use newer eggs, just know that some of the egg white might stick to the shell and have difficulty peeling. Check out this post for my favorite way to peel an egg!
Tip #3 - Don't worry about staining
Vegetable dye washes out pretty easily. A few washes and all of the dye came out of my wood cutting board no problem. Yes, even beets. The only exception is fresh turmeric. Not powdered, but fresh from the root, turmeric. That stuff takes weeks to wash out.
Tip #4 - Natural veggie dye is a little unpredictable
Just a heads up. One year you might get an incredible pink color from your beets, and the next year your beet dye turns purple overnight. Beets aren't just beets. Their chemical make up changes a little bit year to year depending on nutrient availability in the soil, how much water they received, whether they were treated with pesticides or not, etc. Keep playing around with colors and have fun! Most of the veggie dyes you'll find online will make some kind of dye, just know that your results might be different from the blogger.
Tip #5 - Coat the dyed eggs in oil to preserve color
I used coconut oil this year which helped preserve the color but also gave the eggs a matte finish. Try olive oil for shinier eggs.
These are the dyes that I used this year. Using natural veggie dyes can be a little more time consuming than plopping a chemical dye tablet into water, so I picked out three colors I wanted to try and used those three to make five different colors.
Beets - Red/Pink
Simmer shredded beets with enough water to cover for 20-30 minutes. Strain and add 1 teaspoon white vinegar for every 1 cup of liquid.
Turmeric - Yellow
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered turmeric and 1 teaspoon white vinegar for every 1 cup water.
Red Cabbage - Blue on white eggs, Green on brown eggs
Simmer chopped cabbage with enough water to cover for 20-30 minutes. Strain and add 1 teaspoon white vinegar for every 1 cup of liquid. If your cabbage comes out looking more magenta, add a little baking soda to raise the pH.
Beets (Red) and Red Cabbage (blue) - Purple
Make separate colors as shown above and combine to make a new hue. NOTE - mine turned out gray because I used the beet stems instead of the beet bulbs. It wasn't what I intended, but it still turned out pretty!
Turmeric (yellow) and Red Cabbage (blue) - Green
Make separate colors as shown above and combine to make a new hue.
Scroll down for 27 more dye options you can try!
Here are some more options I skipped this year but have worked well for other people. Have fun!
The following are ideas from Vegetable Gardener:
- Yellow onion skins = Rusty yellow (beautiful dark gold on brown eggs)
- Beet tops = Gray
- Spinach = Green (this one didn't work at all for me)
- Carrots = Yellowish
- Carrot tops = Yellow brown
- Blue Potato = Teal
- Grape juice = Light purple
- Blueberries = Blue
- Raspberries = Red/purple
- Blackberries = Purple
- Coffee = Brown
- Black tea = Redish brown
- Cinnamon = Brown
- Paprika = Orange
The following are ideas from The Kitchn:
- Red onion skins = purple
- Red zinger tea = purple
The following are ideas from About.com's Chemistry page:
- Red wine = Purple/blue
- Hibiscus tea = Purple/blue
- Liquid Chlorophyll = Green
- Yellow delicious apple peels = Green/yellow
- Citrus peels = Yellow
- Celery Seed = Yellow
- Chamomile tea = Yellow
- Green Tea = Yellow
- Dill Seeds = Yellow/brown
- Black walnut shells = Brown
- Pomegranate juice = Red