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Natural Easter Egg Colors to Dye For

This is a fun, family-friendly project that requires you to be equal parts cook and chemist. I tested a total of 14 ingredients, and the selections below are my picks for generating the most vibrant colors. The process can be lengthy (I let my eggs soak overnight), so be sure to allocate at least a few hours to create your masterpieces before you plan on using them. Each batch makes about 2 cups of dye. If you need more, you can increase the amount by following the ratios given below.

Natural Egg Dye Materials

Materials:

- White eggs and carton
- Reusable coffee filter
- Wide-mouth mason jars (one for each dye)
- White vinegar
- Slotted spoon
- Vegatable oil (optional)

Natural Egg Dye Ingredients

Dye Ingredients:

- Blue: 1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
- Dark brown/maroon: 1 1/2 cups red onion skins (inquire about purchasing from the bottom of your grocer's bin)
- Light green: 1 1/2 cups chopped artichoke
- Orange: 1 1/2 cups yellow onion skins (inquire about purchasing from the bottom of your grocer's bin)
- Pink: 1 cup chopped beets
- Purple: 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries 
- Yellow: 1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric 

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Directions:

1. Start with boiled eggs. To learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs, click here. Set eggs aside and let cool while you make the dyes.
2. To make each batch, pour the dye matter into a medium sauce pot and add 1 1/2 cups of water or enough to cover your ingredients by about an inch.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and then let simmer on low for 30 minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through the coffee filter into the mason jar. Fill the jar only up to an inch below the brim. 
5. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the mixture, stir and let cool.
6. Once the dye reaches room temperature, lower up to two eggs into the mixture, making sure that they are fully submerged. Add more dye if needed.
7. Refrigerate eggs in the covered mason jar until the desired color is reached. Plan for at least two hours, although overnight is recommended.
8. Carefully remove the eggs with the slotted spoon and let dry, preferrably in an egg carton.
9. Optional: to give the dried eggs a nice sheen, use a paper towel to gently polish them with a small amount of vegatable oil.
10. Refrigerate dyed eggs until ready to use.

 

Photography by Riche Holmes Grant.

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