Natural Food Dyes For Easter Eggs

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Natural Food Dyes For Easter Eggs by FamilySpice.com

Spring is here and Easter is around the corner. Time for chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps and eggs to dye. Tired of the usual store bought dyes? Go green this Spring and use natural food dyes that you are easy to find. This is a great project to do with your kids. Many fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices provide a rainbow of colors to choose from. Ask your kids, “What color do you think beets will give an egg? What about blueberries?” This is not a quick project done in ten minutes, so if you have an afternoon for a great family experiment, go through your pantry and refrigerator and see what you can use.

The dye-process is similar to using store-bought eggs. Boiling the eggs with the vinegar breaks down the outer coating of the egg, allowing the dye to adhere to the egg shell.

Prepare the eggs

1. Place your eggs in a small pot and cover with water.

2. For each quart of water, add 2 TBS of white vinegar.

3. With the lid on, bring the water to boil.

4. Turn the heat off and let the eggs sit in the covered pot for 20 minutes. This will keep your eggs from rumbling in boiled waters and possibly cracking.

5. Place eggs in a bowl with ice water to cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to dye. Hard-boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Prepare your natural food dye

1. In a small pot, add organic materials chosen to make dye (a.k.a. dyestuff) and cover with water. Again, add two TBS of vinegar for each quart of water.

3. With the lid on, bring the water to boil.

4. After boiling 20 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
5. When dye bath reaches desired color, strain out the dyestuff using a cheesecloth for smaller particles or a small strainer. Remember that the eggs will not get as dark as the color in the pot.

Dye your eggs

1. Place the hard-boiled eggs in the dye bath for at least 10 minutes. The longer the eggs sit in the dye bath, the more intense the colors become.
2. Remove the eggs from the bath, place on a dish and allow to air dry. Try not to handle the eggs until they are completely dried. The outer layer of the egg shell with the dye on it will get scratched off because the vinegar has softened it.

Family Spice Article: Natural Dyes For Easter Eggs

Dye Suggestions

Pinks: fresh beets, cranberries, radishes or frozen raspberries
Orange: yellow onion skins, dark tea (pictured)
Pale Yellow: orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin
Bright Yellow: turmeric (pictured)
Green-Gold: Yellow Delicious apple peels
Blue: frozen blueberries (pictured) or red cabbage leaves
Beige to brown: strong brewed coffee
Brown-orange: Chili powder
Grey: purple or red grape juice or beet juice

Some dyes don’t turn out as expected as others. My kids and I came up with two pinks, from raspberries and beets, and neither adhered well to our eggs. This might mean that we needed more of the fruits during the boiling process, although you couldn’t tell by the intensity of the color of the dye bath. Have fun with it. Even small set backs are great learning experiences for the kids. We watched blueberries turn the water purple and were surprised to see our eggs come out in a Robin’s Egg Blue. We then added the blue egg to our turmeric dye to make a beautiful green.

natural food dyes for Easter eggs