It’s almost Easter weekend, which means it’s time for Easter egg hunting! One of my favorite Easter activities as a child and as an adult is dyeing Easter eggs, a fun holiday craft project the whole family can easily do together. But rather than buying those store-bought kits with chemical dyes and packaging to dispose of, consider dyeing your eggs with herbs and foods this year. It’s surprisingly easy, fun and interesting, will help connect kids with the wonders of nature, and doesn’t rely on chemicals. Read more about naturally dyeing eggs.
Here are the best foods to use for dyeing various colors. Please share other foods and herbs you’ve tried with success!
Gold: Handful of yellow onion skins
Yellow: 2 tablespoons turmeric or a handful of carrot tops
Green: Handful of coltsfoot
Blue: 2 cups chopped red cabbage (for best results, add cabbage to water while hard-boiling eggs)
Pink: 2 cups chopped beets
Purple: 1 cup frozen blueberries
Brown: 2 tablespoons coffee grounds or 4 black tea bags
Instructions for dyeing the eggs:
1. Hard-boil eggs. My favorite method: Place eggs in enough cold water to cover them and place over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pot and turn off heat. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and soak in ice water to stop cooking.
2. Bring each dye ingredient to a boil with 2 cups of water; strain the dyes into cups and allow to cool. If you’re using cabbage to dye eggs blue, hard-boil those eggs separately and place cabbage in water before boiling.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to each cup of dye.
4. Dip eggs into cups of dye, submerging completely and leaving until they reach the desired color.
Note: Don’t waste your dyed eggs! Make sure to eat up those hard-boiled eggs sliced in salad, converted into deviled eggs or egg salad, or plain with salt and pepper. To that end, I highly recommend choosing locally raised farm eggs. They deliver much better flavor and nutrition than their factory-farmed counterparts. To find locally raised eggs in your area, visit Local Harvest.