How to Make Natural Easter Egg Dye

We bet you've got everything you need to dye your Easter eggs naturally—as in, no artificial coloring—right in your kitchen, right this very minute.

Decorating Easter eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, long before the invention of the brand-name easter egg dye you’d buy at the store. So, really, there’s nothing “new” about natural Easter egg dye. Considering the broad range of colors you can make using dyes made from natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and spices, and how messy those commercial egg-dye kits can be, it’s a wonder there was ever a need for artificial dye at all!

In fact, we’d go so far as to suggest that you modify this already-amazing Easter Egg Bread recipe to include naturally dyed Easter eggs, rather than eggs dyed with artificial coloring. Here’s what to do.

How to Make Homemade Natural Easter Egg Dye

Ingredients

  • Eggs (Psst! Double check that you don’t grab brown eggs, as they do not dye as well.)
  • Distilled water
  • Distilled white vinegar

Tools

  • Stainless saucepans and bowls.

Now, decide what colors you’d like and follow along:

Red

Boil 4 cups of Spanish onion skins (just the dry parts, about 12-15 onions) in 1 quart of water with 2 tablespoons vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, then strain into a (stainless!) bowl. After it’s cooled to room temperature, pour into a stainless saucepan and add the eggs in one layer.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on how intense you want the red to be. (If 20 minutes doesn’t do the trick, keep the eggs in the pot and move the pot to the refrigerator until they’re as red as you like.)

Yellow

Boil 3 tablespoons turmeric in 1 quart of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes, strain and cool. Soak eggs for 30 minutes.

Green

Boil the skins from 6 red onions in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Cool, strain, add the eggs and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and allow to soak overnight.

Blue

Boil 4 cups of chopped red cabbage in 1 quart of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, strain, and cool to room temperature. Add the eggs in a single layer and soak for 30 minutes for light blue. For dark blue, soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Purple

Mix 1 cup grape juice with 1 tablespoon vinegar, add eggs in a single layer and allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Pink

Soak eggs in 2 cups pickled beet juice plus 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

Brown

Soak eggs in 1 quart of room-temperature strong, black coffee plus 2 tablespoons of vinegar, for 30 minutes. (Or, you know, buy some brown eggs!)

If handling all these beautiful eggs works up your appetite for them, make any of these recipes that will use up all those leftover hardboiled eggs. And for your family get-togethers, we’ve got a treasure trove of Easter recipes for you to try out this year.

Add these desserts to your Easter lineup.
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Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.