This year for Easter we decided to try something a bit more eco-friendly and non-toxic by switching out your typical artificial dyes for natural ingredients. Artificial dyes, even some shown as “food grade” are not as safe as you’d think. According to a study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks, “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens.” I’d much rather use ingredients to dye our eggs with that I wouldn’t mind putting in my mouth, and carcinogens isn’t on that list. Whose with me?
Plus it was so fun to find what colors we would get from different things we already had in our house! There are so many different options for natural egg dying.
Purple: grape juice, red zinger tea, or violet blossoms and lemon juice.
Yellow: boiled orange peels, boiled lemon peels, or chamomile tea.
Blue: blueberries, grape juice, boiled red cabbage leaves.
Green: boiled spinach leaves.
Orange: boiled yellow onion skins, paprika, or chili powder.
Pink: cranberries, raspberries, or beets.
Brown: coffee or black tea Red: pomegranate juice or boiled red onion skins.
Our best results came from blueberries, coffee, and green tea! We also tested additional options not mentioned above, that we did not get the best results with. So, as you can see all of our eggs are either blue tones or yellow/brown tones. We attempted to do a pink tone with strawberries, and then with black berries which were unsuccessful. I decided to not purchase anything extra (besides white eggs, since we only had brown).
I didn’t really research much, just looked what I thought might work, and tried it out. My three year old had a blast experimenting! After we finished I looked up different ideas on how to get different coloring, so I may try some different ways next time, but I’ll share with you what we did step by step below.
What you’ll need:
- White eggs, brown eggs or both
- White vineger
- 8 oz. Mason Jars (optional)
- Ingredients of your choice (see options above)
Step 1: Boiled eggs (we used white) .
Step 2: Individually boil all ingredients (I honestly didn’t measure) I did about 1 cup of water and a handful of whatever ingredient whether it was blueberries or spinach. Besides the coffee and tea, we just made. I would follow more strict measurement for the ingredients next time, which I’ll include below.
Step 3: Strain ingredient and add the colored water into a mason jar.
Step 4: Add a tbsp of white vinegar in colored water.
Step 5: Let the eggs soak, until getting the color you want. Ours are pretty light since my three year old isn’t very patient to let them soak, but you can let them soak overnight in the fridge to get better results! Or, just longer then we did.. ours only lasted about 20 min (if that).
Somethings I would try next time that you could try:
- Try using our brown eggs for the red, orange, and brown tones
- Let them soak longer, or over night.
- Use beeswax to color on them before dyeing (similar idea to using a white crayon).
- Use more exact measurements: Using 2 cups of water and a tap of salt for each. Blueberries 2-3 cups Spinach- 3 cups chopped (I didn’t use nearly enough spinach, I just did a small handful) Coffee- 2-3 tbsp (we did the lowest setting on Keurig for dark coffee and I liked how that turned out too instead of boiling method) Turmeric- 1-2 tbsp Beets- 1 beet chopped Purple cabbage- 2 cups Paprika- 1-2 tbsp
- Boil the eggs in the color, then allow them to do an additional soak for more vibrant coloring. Overall my daughter is happy with how the eggs turned out, and we had such a blast doing them! We did choose to use white eggs, but you can use brown for more red,orange and brown tones.
Also keep in mind, you will receive different shades in hot or cold water. For example,the blueberry water cooled down vs. hot gave different colors, which was cool!
Lastly, some colors may have a darker “film” which can be wiped off. It will lighten the coloring or it can be left on, but don’t be surprised if some of it comes of on its own. Have fun with it, experiment and if you don’t have any options on hand when you go to the grocery store plan some snacks or meals around what you choose to use, so you can just eat what’s left over. Win-win!
HAPPY EASTER FRIENDS!
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You did a great job collecting all this info & creating such an informative article!