Adapted from Rodale Organic Life
Chemical dye is not the only option for creating beautiful Easter eggs. This year, skip the store-bought kit and opt for ingredients that may be hiding in your kitchen or compost bin! Many common foods and spices can create beautiful colours and be less harmful than synthetic dyes for the whole family.
Here are a few common foods and spices and their resulting colour:
- Yellow onion skins = Yellow to dark orange
- Turmeric or cumin = Bright yellow
- Red beets = Pink to red
- Red onion skins = Pale purple to red
- Red cabbage = Blue
- Spinach = Green
- Purple grape juice (use as is) = Lavender
- Coffee (use as is) = Tan to brown
- Chili powder = Orange
- Raspberries or blackberries = Pink to purple
- Yellow or green apple peels = Yellow-green
To make the dye, add 4 cups of chopped/mashed fruit or veggie OR 4 Tbsp. of spice to 4 cups of water and 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes and then strain into a mason jar or bowl – this is your dye.
Soak hardboiled eggs in dye overnight. If the colour is not desired intensity, add dye liquid and egg to a saucepan and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Note: Natural dyes will take longer to work than synthetic dyes—sometimes overnight—so be sure to allow sufficient time to prepare the dye and color the eggs.