Easter, as well as any holiday, is easily subject to a lot of wasteful activities. This eco-friendly method of dying Easter eggs is a great way to make use of things you find around the kitchen. Young kids will find it fun to experiment with different foods and spices and you’ll end up with some festive zero waste Easter decor!
What You Need:
- Hard-boiled, white or light coloured eggs (shells on!)
- 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar per cup of dying liquid
- Liquid neutral oil such as vegetable or grape-seed
- Fruit, vegetables, or spices for dying
Keep in mind the effect of the dyes varies depending on how concentrated the dye is, what colour egg you use, and how long the eggs are immersed in the dye. It could take half a purple cabbage, shredded, to dye four eggs. More material rather than less is better when creating your dye. Here’s a handy guide to follow.
The Formulas for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
Per 1 cup of water use the following:
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage = blue (green on brown eggs)
- 1 cup red onion skins = lavender/red eggs
- 1 cup yellow onion skins = orange (rusty red on brown eggs)
- 1 cup shredded beets = pink (maroon on brown eggs)
- 2 tablespoons ground turmeric = yellow eggs
- 1 bag Red Zinger tea = lavender eggs
- Gather your ingredients: You can make separate batches of different colours or one large batch of a single colour. Follow the ratios given above for each ingredient to make more or less dye.
- Add water to a pot: Pour the amount of water you need for the dye you’re making into a pot.
- Start making the dye: Add the dye matter (veggies, berries, etc.) and bring the water to a boil.
- Adjust the heat: Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Check the colour: The dye is ready when it reaches a hue a few shades darker than you want for your egg. Drip a little dye onto a white dish to check the colour. When the dye is as dark as you like, remove the pan from the heat and let the dye cool to room temperature.
- Strain the dye: Pour the cooled dye through a strainer into another saucepan to get the food scraps out.
- Add vinegar: Stir the vinegar into the dye — 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of strained liquid.
- Pour the dye over the eggs: Arrange the room-temperature eggs in single layer in a baking dish or other container and carefully pour the cooled dye over them. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged.
- Put the eggs in the fridge: Transfer the eggs in the dye to the refrigerator and chill until the desired colour is reached.
- Dry and oil the eggs: Carefully dry the eggs, and then massage in a little oil to each one. Polish with a paper towel. Store the eggs in the refrigerator until it is time to eat (or hide) them.
For every dozen eggs, plan on using at least four cups of dye liquid.
If you want your eggs to be more vibrant and less pastel, give the eggs multiple soaks in the dye, being sure to dry them between stints in the dye.