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Back To Nature With Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Eggs Colored with Natural Dyes

Eggs Colored with Natural Dyes

Colored eggs are one of the most fun things at Easter and coloring them naturally is fun. This is an heirloom recipe which I share every Easter.  We use onion skins which turns the eggs light amber to dark orange to brick red, beet juice for pink eggs, the spice turmeric for brilliant yellow and red cabbage which turns the eggs a beautiful teal blue!  I love to do this with the little ones since they learn lessons in food chemistry and also learn to be good stewards of their environment by recycling items which might be pitched into the garbage into making things of beauty.

First, though, you have to boil eggs:

Perfect Boiled Eggs (Really!)
Cover with cold water, bring them to a nice boil, put the lid on, turn the fire off and let them sit about 12-15 minutes.  For small eggs, 12 minutes is enough. For larger eggs or eggs straight from the frig, go for 15 minutes.  They turn out perfectly cooked. To remove the shell, pour the whole pan of eggs into the sink, drain and add cold water. I peel them under the water and that works well

Now let’s make the dyes:

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Master Recipe:

Basically, you put the onion skins, cabbage, etc. into a pan and cover with water (for the red cabbage, use a large head and barely cover with water as you need a lot of red cabbage to make a good dye). Put lid on and simmer until desired color is reached. With red cabbage, the cabbage will turn very light purple.


Adding Vinegar to set dye:

Strain (except for turmeric dye, below) and for every cup of dye, add 2 teaspoons clear vinegar.

Now for turmeric, you want to just cook the turmeric powder in water until heated through. I use about 3 tablespoons turmeric to 2 cups water. I don’t strain it out but do add the clear vinegar. When you remove the egg, it will have some of the turmeric clinging to it. You can run it under cool water just for a second or two and that will remove the turmeric.



Marbled Eggs

Marbled Eggs

Aren’t these beautiful? Friend and very talented colleague, Pam Freeman, made these on my cable show.

Fill cup with 1 tablespoon each of clear vinegar, canola oil and dye of choice

Fill cup with warm water (just enough to cover boiled egg)

Stir and quickly drop egg into water, then quickly remove

Dry egg with paper towel


Some of these are new to me! I found these on the Better Homes & Gardens site.

Jade Green
Wow, this is a new one to me, as the dye I get from red onion skins usually makes the eggs brick red.  But heck, I’m up to anything new. Maybe mine turns red because I use so many skins. I’ll try this new way and let you know: Peel the skin from 6 red onions and simmer in 2 cups water for 15 minutes; strain. Add 3 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Green-Yellow
Peel the skin from 6 yellow apples. Simmer in 1-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Simmer 4 oz. chopped fennel tops in 1-1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Faint Red-Orange
Stir 2 Tbsp. paprika into 1 cup boiling water; add 2 tsp. white vinegar.

Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup strong coffee.

Faint pink: Chop 4 oz. amaranth flowers and simmer in 2 cups water; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Simmer the skins from 6 avocados in 1-1/2 cup water for 20 minutes; strain. Add 2 tsp. white vinegar. Mix 1 cup pickled beet juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.

Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.


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