How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs Using Food
There are so many options out there for natural Easter egg dye using ingredients you have already in your kitchen and we’re showing you some of the options we loved with tips, tricks, and more!
Natural Easter Egg Dye
Did you know that it is so easy to naturally dye Easter eggs with food ingredients you likely already have in your pantry? It will be no surprise if you’ve been on this website for a while that we love to switch out artificial colors and unnecessary chemical additions to foods as much as we can, like these Naturally Colored Buttercream and these plant based decorated Sugar Cookies. If we wouldn’t eat a product with a long list of ingredients we can’t recognize why would we add chemicals in the form of artificial dyes to the food we make at home?
Some might say that you are just dyeing the outside of the egg: but anybody who has ever colored eggs know more often than not that color seeps in through the shell and colors the egg. So making festive colored eggs with actual FOOD coloring is a no-brainer. And honestly, it’s so simple and so FUN to experiment. You can create unique looking eggs that even will change color over time, the longer they sit. Kids and adults alike will find this holiday craft turned science experiment so fun!
How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
Take a look in your pantry! We used white eggs, but you can experiment with brown eggs as they will have a different effect. All the eggs you see in these photos were dyed with these four foods:
- Beets (red/pink/brown): 1 large beet, diced + 2 cups water
- Red Cabbage (blue): 1/2 red cabbage, sliced + 2 cups water
- Red Onion Skins (deep orange/brown): Skins from 4 large onions + 2 cups water
- Fresh or Dried Turmeric (yellow): 1/4 cup sliced fresh turmeric or 2 tablespoons dried + 2 cups water
Other natural color suggestions:
- Blueberries (grey/blue): 2 cups frozen blueberries + 2 cups water (don’t boil this, just let it steep)
- Carrots (orange/yellow): 3 large carrots, sliced + 2 cups water
- Spinach or Parsley (green): 2 cups spinach or 1 bunch parsley + 2 cups water
- Yellow Onion Skins (orange): Skins from 4 large onions + 2 cups water
- Coffee (brown): 2 cups strong brewed coffee
Here is what you need to know to naturally dye eggs:
- Make the boiled eggs. We recommend using the water boiling or steaming method. Check out this post here. We normally love the Instant Pot for steaming eggs, but not here. We don’t recommend using the Instant Pot for colored eggs because they are more likely to crack in the food coloring. Let the eggs cool completely before coloring.
- Bring the food item in 2 cups of water up to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and let cool. Once cool add 2 teaspoons of vinegar.
- Gently drop the white eggs in the color. They must be completely submerged.
- The longer the eggs sit in the color, the more brilliant the color will be. Letting the eggs soak overnight yielded the best color for us.
- When you are ready to take the eggs out of the color, place a clean kitchen towel down and gently pull out the eggs and place on the towel, or you could place them on a wire rack to prevent and the towel from wiping off any of the color. Let it air dry, do not rub it. If you’d like to dip the egg again to get a darker hue do that once it has dried. In addition, if you want to combine colors to make different hues (think coloring an egg first yellow, then blue=green) now is the time to do it.
- Once completely dry you can gently rub it with oil to help prevent the color from changing. We found that some of the eggs changed colors over a few days time (especially the beet one). Do them the day before Easter if you’d like them to be as close to the color as you want as possible.
How to Make Green Naturally Dyed Eggs:
To make green we first dyed the egg with turmeric (yellow) and then dyed it with red cabbage (blue) to make the egg green!
Do you have to use vinegar to dye eggs?
Yes! Without going into all the science behind it, the short answer is that the added acid from the white vinegar brings it to the correct pH level needed for the dye to adhere to the egg shell. The approximate amount of vinegar needed is about 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of dye. We experimented by adding more vinegar to some of our dyes and we got a cool spotted effect.
How to Make Different Effects on Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
- Add more vinegar: When we added more vinegar to the dye it created a bubbly effect which created the dots you see on our eggs.
- Dip for different lengths of time: You can try dipping the eggs for shorter periods of time. For our pink spotted eggs seen above we just briefly dipped the eggs in the beets for like 10 seconds and then let it dry.
- Double dipping eggs, depending on the different colors can create different effects. Honestly we had different results each time, so have fun experimenting.
- To create an ombre effect you can start dying a batch of eggs, and then every few hours take one of the eggs out of the dye.
Should eggs be cold or at room temperature for coloring?
You want both the boiled eggs and the natural dye to be cool during the dye process, so that not only do the eggs not overcook in the natural dye, but also for safety. Leave the eggs in the dye in the refrigerator overnight.
Don’t want to make your own dye but want to try naturally coloring eggs?
There are also a few different products on the market. Try these good brands:
Tools we used in this recipe:
Lastly, check out these other healthier Easter recipes:
- Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
- Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cookies
- Maple Glazed Ham
- Classic Mashed Potato
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole