With Easter coming up and lots of egg sales at the supermarkets, now is the perfect time to color some eggs! But before you go and purchase an egg coloring kit filled with artificial colors and who knows what, try using some items from your refrigerator or spice rack. You will be amazed at the unique colors you can create from simple and natural ingredients you already have.
Pink: use fresh red beets, canned red beets, or red beet powder*
Yellow: use turmeric powder
Green: use spinach or combine red cabbage and turmeric*
Blue: use fresh red cabbage
Indigo: combine red cabbage and beets
Here’s a step by step guide to dying eggs the natural way…
First, boil some eggs for about 15 minutes.
Let’s start with blue… coarsely chop up the red cabbage.
Add it to a large pot with 1 quart of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar.
Simmer for about 30 minutes.
The water will turn a purple/pink and become more intense the longer you simmer the red cabbage.
Once the water is a deep purple/pink color (about 30 minutes of simmering), strain the water into a bowl to remove all of the red cabbage pieces.
Next, we’ll make yellow…
Add 2 heaping teaspoons of turmeric powder to 3 cups of boiling water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar.
Let the mixture steep about 10 minutes before using it.
Last, we’ll make pink…
We used 2 heaping teaspoons of red beet powder for this tutorial. You can also used 2 medium sized coarsely grated beets, or a can of red beets with the liquid.
Add one of these ingredients to 3 cups of boiling water and 1/4 cup of vinegar.
Simmer about 30 minutes until the water is a nice red color.
Once you have these 3 basic colors made, you can use some of it to create the other colors:
To make green, use 2 cups of red cabbage water and 1/4 cup of turmeric water or an 8:1 ratio. You can also boil 1 cup of fresh or frozen spinach in 3 cups of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar to achieve a deep green color.
To make indigo, mix half red cabbage water and half red beet water.
You can play around with the ratios and create your own special colors. The possibilities are endless. You can use coffee and vinegar to make brown, or boil the skins of 3 to 4 yellow onions and vinegar to get orange.
And now comes the fun part…
Use rubber bands or white crayons to resist the dye and create a design on the eggs.
Ladle the homemade dyes into short glasses or mugs.
Add one egg to each cup or mug.
Use a spoon to stir the dyes and scoop out the egg.
Dry off dyed eggs on paper towels.
The lighter colored eggs (see pic above) sat in the dye for 2 to 5 minutes. To get darker colors (see pic below), let the eggs sit in the dye for at least 1 hour or more.
Get messy and have fun… naturally!