Friday, April 22, 2011

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Yesterday we dyed Easter eggs using only natural, whole foods: beets, blueberries, coffee, spinach, and turmeric.

The final product was actually quite beautiful!  More pastel than we’re used to, but very lovely in their own natural way:

naturally dyed easter eggs

Beets were the most successful dye, which isn’t too shocking considering they stain countertops, dishes, and clothing pretty much instantly.  They created a lovely pink shade within seconds.

natural easter eggs 005

An egg emerges from its beet bath:

easter egg dyed with beet juice

Turmeric was also very successful; it made yellow eggs.  The dark brown dye is coffee, which made tan eggs.  By the way,I felt the need to tease that you could just go buy tan eggs…  Right?

Please observe the glass lurking in the background with the sickly green dye.  That was spinach, and that was a resounding failure.  It turned the eggs a kind of dingy color - I wouldn’t even call it a green.  Or any color at all, other than maybe dirty white. 

natural easter egg dye

Here is the final product, a lovely bowl of pastel eggs & their color source.  Note that these eggs were soaked in the dye solution for just a few minutes.  Others have let the eggs soak overnight in the dye to obtain deeper colors.

eggs dyed naturally with beet, turmeric, blueberry, coffee

One note about the process: it was messy.  Consider the following steps:

  • Shredding, food processing, or blending the whole food ingredients to fully release their color.
  • Simmering the ingredient with water & a little vinegar on your stovetop for 10 minutes.
  • Straining the final dye product (to remove the pulp).
  • Then, upon an egg’s remove from its color bath it needed to be wiped off with a paper towel to remove the stray bits of vegetable pulp left on it.  If you used cheesecloth or a finer mesh sieve during the straining process, you could avoid this problem.

This would be a really fun project to do with children. Our 18 month olds were admittedly a little young to handle the process of dyeing, but they did enjoy carrying around the final product!

Henry & his spinach dyed egg

More info on how to make natural Easter egg dyes can be found here and here, however here is the general recipe.  We used beets, blueberries, spinach, turmeric, and coffee as our dye materials.

Natural Easter Egg Dye

  • 1 cup of shredded fruit or vegetable matter (beets, blueberries, etc)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • hard boiled white eggs

Shred, blend, process, or in someway pulverize the fruit or vegetable to be used as the dye source.  Put this material into a small saucepan and add 2 c of water.  Add the 1/4 c. of white vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a glass jar.  We found that bigger jars with a lot of extra room to accommodate overflow (the water lever rises a lot when you add the egg) were best. 

Let eggs sit in the dye for a few minutes or longer.  I read that you can get more intense colors by letting the eggs sit in the dye over night – if anyone has tried this, let us know.  Especially if you have comparison pictures!

Note: For turmeric, we used about 5 Tbsp in 2 cups of water.  For coffee we used straight coffee with no additional water added. Vinegar was added to both.

natural easter eggs 057


  1. I think they look prettier than the fake dye eggs. And, you don't have to worry about the dye seeping through.

  2. I love natural painted eggs!! Good job:) and Happy Easter!

  3. how beautiful!! things like this make me very happy...

  4. Beautiful eggs! My great grandma had chickens that laid eggs these colors, and some eggs were blue or blue-green as well! I don't remember any purple ones like your blueberry ones though. Tan, pink, blue, green, blue-green, orange, and yellowish. It reminds me of when I was little!

  5. These are stunning. I think blueberry is my favorite, but it's hard to choose. They'd be perfect on our Easter tablescape too - maybe the blueberry and red wine eggs all mixed together?

  6. These look lovely! We use red onion peel for the most gorgeous tan/red color. You boil the peel in water, and then dye your eggs.

  7. I didn't have any beets, but the juice from a previously canned jar of red cabbage worked wonderfully!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...