Just like Spring, the egg has long been associated with rebirth or renewal. There are theories of how the egg became a symbol of Easter and why we color them, but it’s not because of the boxed kit of neon-colors. For those who celebrate Easter or Spring Solstice, natural egg dying is a great earth friendly activity to do with family and friends. It also makes a great science experiment to do with the kiddos.
As a foodie, I love the relationship between food and science. I wanted to try something new and experiment with natural dyes. If you look around your kitchen, you have the majority of the products in your pantry and fridge. There are so many foods and spices that can do the job just as well, if not better than any artificial dye. There are two different methods, hot and cold dying. I choose the cold method. You’ll need to hard boil your eggs first.
I had to soak the eggs over night for the best results. It all depends on how pigmented the fruit, vegetable, or spices you use. If you plan on dying your eggs beyond 2 hours, you need to refrigerate the eggs once the fluid cools down. Periodically check on them to see how your experiment is going. Just a side note, I noticed the color of the egg started to change after a day in the fridge. If you are planning on having them on display, I would recommend doing this the day before for best results.
The materials I used were avocado peel and pit, beets, blueberries, chamomile & black tea, hibiscus, Red onion peels and turmeric. Below are other materials you can use as well. Creating your own natural colored eggs is a little more work but some of the colors come out more beautiful than the store bought dyes. Note, with natural dyes you have to use a little more pigment, I recommend wearing an apron.
Natural Egg Dyeing
- Dye materials
- Tea [black]
- Chamomile tea
- Yellow & red onion
- Blueberries (can be frozen) [any pigmented berry …. raspberry, cranberry]
- Hibiscus [dried]
- Avocado peel and nut
- Red cabbage
- Instant coffee
- Lemon peel
- Other materials you’ll need
- Hard boiled eggs
- 1 TBSP White or apple cider vinegar per cup of water
- Medium - large pot
- 32 oz Containers [glass]
- Tongs or spoon
- Take your hard boiled eggs [takes about 10-12 minutes] out of the fridge so they are at room temperature
- Remove food scrap from the freeze or frozen fruits and veggies that were collected over the summer. Or visit your local market and pick up from the suggested list.
- Fill our pot with 2 cups of water
- While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil. Cut fruits or veggies into large pieces.
- Add natural dye materials to boiling water
- Leave materials in the water for 20-30 minute and remove from heat
- Add the liquid to your containers
- Then add the hard boiled eggs and vinegar to the liquid
- Depending on how pigmented you wanted the eggs to bee or the color of the eggs, will determine the outcome of the egg color.
- With Natural dyes you’ll want to go at least 30-60 minutes to see any change.