Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes
Inspired by Katie’s experiment of using natural dyes to color Easter eggs, we’re spending the day trying various household ingredients to make additional colors of natural-dyed eggs. Katie’s batch last year using blueberries, beets, and turmeric yielded these shades of blue, red and yellow.
I set a dozen white eggs to boil on the stove and then, based on what we had on hand, decided to try:
- Purple cabbage for blue
- Coffee for dark brown
- Turmeric for yellow
- Beets for pink
- Paprika for orange
- Rooibus (red bush) tea for golden orange
I started the dyes the night before. For each color, I put the hard boiled eggs into each mixture to soak. For each concoction, besides the natural dyes, you just need vinegar, salt, and boiling water. The ratio I followed was 2 cups of dyed liquid to 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 tablespoons of salt.
For the dark brown color, I used some coffee brewed extra strong and then added in the vinegar and salt.
For the orange color, I steeped two bags of the Rooibus tea for a long while before adding the eggs to the jar.
For the dyes using powdered spices, I mixed 2 cups of hot water with 2 heaping tablespoons of the spice. The paprika turned the water into a beautiful rich red that I was certain would transfer to the eggs.
And the saffron-colored turmeric looked just as gorgeous.
I chopped the cabbage and beets and let them boil in separate pots of water, vinegar, and salt before straining the liquid into the jars. No cleaning or peeling required.
With the eggs distributed among the jars, I let them sit overnight, about 12-15 hours in all.
…occasionally moving the eggs around with the end of a wooden spoon.
And here’s how they turned out. From left to right starting at the top, the paprika (a very faint orange), the turmeric (pale yellow), coffee (brown), purple cabbage (blue), speckled reddish brown (rooibus tea), and at the far left, the beets (hardly any color, as a matter of fact).
They standout colors are definitely the yellow and blue. I’d love to have both dark blue from a blueberry dye and the lighter blue eggs in a bowl together.
So the experiment continues. We currently have more eggs in red wine (we’re determined for some pink!) and I’ll report back if any other colors we try are as vivid as the yellow and blue. If you try anything new or different and like the results, we’d love to know!