Have you ever tried to dye eggs naturally without using synthetic dyes? Most people don’t have any bad reactions to chemical food colouring, but some kids and adults, especially those with allergies are highly sensitive and might experience bad reactions. So if you are looking for a more natural alternative, why not try to use colours from mother nature? Yes, there are quite a few vegetables, fruits and spices that will create wonderful natural egg dye for your Easter eggs, without using any artificial colouring.
I decided to experiment this Easter and create my own homemade natural egg day. It was quite fun, but I have to say that it does take a bit more time. With synthetic egg dye it would take normally a few minutes for the eggs to get coloured, but with natural egg dye, it can take from 15 mins to a few hours to get vibrant colours. However it felt like quite an amazing achievement and I love how the colours turned out. With natural dye you don’t know what colour you are going to get exactly so it’s a bit of a mystery and it’s quite exciting while you wait. I read quite a few suggestions online and tried the most popular ones.
Always try to use white eggs, the colours are just not that pretty if you use brown eggs and especially if you are using natural egg dye. The ones you see on the pictures are duck eggs, they are bigger than chicken eggs, less likely to break during the boiling and very white.
Believe it or not, red cabbage will create the most vibrant blue colour. Depending on how long you leave the eggs in the cabbage water, you are going to get a different intensity of blue. As you can see mine turned out quite vibrant, because I left mine in the cabbage water overnight. If you leave them for just a few hours you are probably going to get a light blue colour like these ones here. Initially the eggs look purple, but as they dry, they turn blue.
- Get a small head of red cabbage (or use half, if it’s a large one) and roughly chop it into pieces. Put the cabbage pieces in a medium-large pot and pour hot water over it so that it just about covers the cabbage.
- Bring water to the boil and simmer for 30 mins. Strain and remove the cabbage, but don’t throw it away! Pour the water in some sort of a tall glass jar.
- Allow the deep purple water to cool and once it’s just warm, add 2 tbsp of vinegar, a bit of salt and the hard-boiled eggs. The colour is likely to stick better if the eggs are warm as well. Leave in the water until the colour reaches the desired intensity.
Turmeric is the easiest to use natural dye as it doesn’t require any cooking. It will create super beautiful lemon-yellow eggs. As you can see I have a second type of mustard yellow colour, which I got after placing eggs that were pale red (from beet juice) into the turmeric water. I got the white spots by gently rubbing the eggs with a plastic bag.
- In a tall glass jar add 4 tbsp of ground turmeric and pour about 2 cups of boiling water. Allow it to dissolve for some time and once the water has cooled down, add the hard-boiled eggs.
- Leave them in the water until they reach the desired colour. Once they are done, gently rinse them under some cold water to get rid of any turmeric that’s left on them.
The green colour was a more challenging one to achieve. First I used spinach to give the eggs a very light green colour, but it wasn’t intense enough. If you still want to try it, simply boil about 100g of spinach with a bit of water and follow the same instructions as for the red cabbage above.
However the colour wasn’t intense enough, so I thought of trying to mix the red cabbage water with the tumeric one. In theory yellow + blue = green. So in a small jar I mixed half from one colour and half from the other. This time I got a better green colour as the one you see on the picture above. I rubbed them gently with a plastic bag again to get the white spots, which I quite like.
To get a natural red colour dye, everyone online seems to be recommending beets. I am sure that it works, but somehow it didn’t work for me, my beautiful white eggs turned light brown. I am not sure, but I think I might have forgotten to add vinegar to the water, oops! Definitely try it though as I see some great results online. Simply boil 2 cups of beets and follow the same instructions as with the other ones above. You can use the leftover beets to make beet hummus, but instead of roasting them you use the boiled beets.
Other natural egg dye colours
There are a few other colours you can also try. For example blueberries will create purple dye (make jam with the cooked blueberries), grape juice or wine – pink, carrots – orange. Here is a list with some other natural egg dye ideas that you might like.
Happy Easter and don’t forget to tag me on instagram @myfoodandhappiness to show me your beautiful naturally dyed Easter eggs!