By Talie Leeb
Easter is right around the corner, and as the first flowers start to bloom you may find your thoughts turning to themes of rebirth and renewal, but how about recycling and Going Green? Whether you want to avoid the chemicals and mess of artificial dyes, or if your kids would get a kick out of “brewing” their own all-natural colors we’ve got you covered with recipes and tips for dyeing Easter eggs with ingredients right from your own kitchen, or even your compost bin!
The Raw Materials
Reds/Purples- Shredded beets and red onion skins will both give your eggs a ruddy hue, lighter colored eggs will turn out a fainter pink while brown eggs will come out a darker red. The beets will give a truer red while the onion skins may turn out more lavender.
Yellows/ Oranges- Yellow onion skins will dye white eggs a pale yellow, and brown eggs a rusty orange. To bump up the color, whisk a tablespoon of ground turmeric into the onion skin water as it steeps.
Blues/ Greens- Shredded purple cabbage will turn your white eggs blue and your brown eggs a beautiful jade green.
The Dying Process
For all of the colors use a cup of your dye material (shredded beets, red cabbage, onion skin) and bring it to a boil in 2 cups of water. Once it reaches a boil allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, before letting it cool to room temperature. The dye may look darker than you want to color your eggs, but don’t worry! It will dye paler than it appears.
Once your dye has cooled strain it and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of strained liquid. The vinegar helps the color adhere to the eggs, so if you choose not to use it, expect your eggs to come out paler.
After your dye is strained it’s time to add your hardboiled eggs and wait. Natural dyes sometimes take more time to set than their store-bought counter parts, so plan on leaving them to soak in their dye baths for a little longer than usual. Leave them submerged in their colors in the fridge overnight and then pull them out in the morning for extra vibrance.
After your eggs have soaked to your hearts content carefully dry them, and then store in the fridge until it’s time for the Easter Bunny to hide them!