Naturally dyed Easter eggs take a little more work, but are a fun project for the whole family! Check out my tips and tricks below.
Happy Spring! Okay, technically Sunday was the first day of Spring, but with snow in the forecast it felt more like winter part 2. While Fall will always be my favorite season (if you’ve ever lived in New England you’ll understand why), but Spring is a close second. And with Spring comes Easter. Growing up, Easter was always a big deal in my family: picking out the perfect Easter-Sunday dress, having the extended family over for dinner, and trying to beat my older brother in the egg hunt. But what I remember most about Easter is dying eggs. There was always an egg dying kit that came with stickers, paper egg stands (which never seemed to hold up), and dye tablets. While these kits still have the nostalgia-factor going for them, I wasn’t super excited about the idea of dunking my eggs into artificial food dyes. Instead, I tapped into my inner mad-scientist and created natural dyes using real foods.
Before starting, I did a bunch of research online to see what foods and methods other people have had success with. I combined a bunch of recommendations, came up with some experiments of my own, and pieced together a game plan. The result: it worked! But, I do have a few things I would recommend doing differently next time, which I’ll touch on along the way.
So on to the dyes!
Overall, the general consensus online was 4 total cups of dyed water for 12 eggs; however, I ended up needing double that to fully submerge each egg. This is likely a combination of the size of my mason jars, the size of my eggs (I used Large), and the amount of water that boiled off. But just to be safe, I recommend having 8 cups of dyed water per 1 dozen eggs.
For the Dyes:
1 Purple Egg = 1 cup peeled, shredded beats + 1 cup water
1 Blue Egg = 1 cup shredded purple cabbage + 1 cup water
1 Light Orange Egg = 1 bag of red tea + 1 cup water
(however, next time I would do at least 2 tea bags per cup of water for a deeper color)
1 Light Yellow Egg = 1 tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder + 1 cup water
1 Yellow Egg = 2 Tbs Turmeric Powder + 1 cup water
*I tried to use red onion skins as many people online have had great success with them, but after 45 minutes I still didn’t have a deep enough color so I threw it out. If you have used onion skins to dye eggs please let me know how you did it!
What You’ll Need:
12 white hardboiled eggs, cooled to room temperature
Mason Jars or other glass containers
At least 1 saucepan (but this goes much faster if you have the same number of pans as the number of dyes you want to make)
White or Apple Cider Vinegar (about 1 tablespoon per cup of water)
Making the Dyes:
Step 1: Place water and dying ingredient in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15-60 minutes until desired color is achieved. I tested my colors by placing a drop of the dye liquid on a white piece of paper. Remember, the dye will appear a few shades lighter on the egg.
Step 3: Remove from heat and strain liquid using a cheesecloth. Place dye liquid in a mason jar and allow to cool to room temperature. I got impatient and placed my liquids in the fridge to cool them faster. Once cooled, add your egg(s), 1 tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar, and cover. Let sit in the fridge overnight. I ended up letting mine sit for exactly 24 hours.
Step 4: When your eggs are the desired color, remove from liquid and carefully dry. You can also massage in a bit of oil to enhance the color.
Step 5: Store in fridge for up to 1 week.
While definitely more time-consuming than just opening up a kit, the excitement from seeing how pretty the eggs turn out combined with the peace of mind from avoiding artificial food coloring make it worth it. This would also be a great activity to do with the whole family!
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