I don’t ever recall dyeing Easter eggs in my life, even as a kid! So I thought this year I’d give it a try. Of course, I wanted to use natural dyes made from food. I looked up different natural dyes to make and thought I’d try:
- Red cabbage
Step 1- Cook the Eggs
The first step was to hard boil the eggs. With fresh eggs, I steam them to hard boil them instead of boiling them in water. This makes the eggs a lot easier to peel.
Step 2- Prepare the Dye
- I used a food processor to grate the beet and cabbage and chop up the parsley.
- I added 2 cups of the grated/chopped vegetable to a saucepan and added 2 cups water.
- For the turmeric I used 1T of powder for 2 cups water
- For the coffee, I just made regular coffee and that was it.
*I dyed 2 eggs per batch of dye. Some vegetables absorbed more of the water. You may want to add more water depending on how fast the water is simmering or the material used. You may want to use more material and water if you want to dye more eggs.
Step 3- Create the Dye
- Bring contents of the saucepan to a high boil then reduce to a low simmer.
- Simmer on low each vegetable/herb/spice in the saucepan for 15-60 minutes. I simmered them for 45 minutes, but I had to add a little more water at the end because of evaporation.
- Strain the juice from the material and put the liquid in a pint jar.
- Compost the cooled scraps!
- Add 1T of white vinegar per cup of liquid.
Step 4- Dye the Eggs
- Add the eggs to the liquid and put in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 5-Clean the Eggs
- Remove the eggs from the dye, rinse, and dry!
What worked and what didn’t
- Beet- Dark redish brown
- Red Cabbage- Blue
- Parsley- Can’t tell
- Turmeric- Yellow
- Coffee- Darker brown
The eggs I used were all different colors- nearly white to dark brown, and green. So the natural dye showed up different on each of them.
I really like the turmeric and the red cabbage (it’s so pretty). The beet and coffee wasn’t as vibrant as I had hoped. They all look like planets!
The biggest disappointment was the parsley, which didn’t do much. I wondered if juicing the parsley would make it stronger. The parsley actually turned into a gel in the jar (I’d like to know the science behind this).
One thing that happened with the fresh eggs- The dye stuck to the ‘bloom’ of the eggs. The bloom, with all the dye, wanted to peel right off after sitting in the liquid. I didn’t realize I should have washed the eggs better beforehand. You don’t have to worry about this if you buy regular eggs at the supermarket since they arrive washed. Now I’ll be making some egg salad!