Our chicken eggs are natural colorful but Easter is a great excuse to give them even more. I’ve become increasingly disappointed with tablet dyes for eggs. It seems like the colors are more neon every year. So I decided to give natural dyes a chance.
I did a little research and found a bunch of info online. I went through the cupboard and for the most part, used what I already had. This is what we did:
Turmeric for yellow.
Paprika for orange.
Blueberries for blue (found in the freezer and not worth eating but perfect for this!)
Spinach and later parsley for green. This color wasn’t very good. I ended up adding a few drops of food color in the end.)
Beets for red/purple. Not very long lasting.
Coffee for brown. These looked almost like chocolate when they were done.
The actually dying process is time consuming. As it happened, both monkeys were home sick so we were confined indoors any way. These dyes work best with a long exposure, so we did a bunch of drive byes where we would fill up the cups with eggs and then go about our business for an hour or more. Then we would take them out and add another round of eggs. This went on all day until the eggs were all colored.
A few other tips to note:
I added a tablespoon of vinegar to each cup of dye. This breaks down the natural coating on the eggs allowing for the dye to get in to the shells.
I heated a cup of water and added the spices, much like making a cup of tea. I did not strain the particles out because I like the blotchy look.
I did strain the blueberries, beets, and spinach.
Cleanup was very easy and we had no stains on hands, clothing or counter tops.
(Incidentally, this was the only way beets and canned spinach would make it in to our house.)2