Health Hack: Natural, DIY Easter Egg Dyes

50fad90bbc661094ca3402ebe1b1032eEaster Sunday is a little over a week away, so for today’s Health Hack we’re going to look at natural, non-toxic egg dye options. Decorating easter eggs can actually be a really fun, creative and de-stressing activity no matter how old you are or how you’ll be celebrating the holiday.

Whether your Easter weekend will be filled with children, family and traditional Easter activities or drinking wine, donning bonnets and making vegan chocolate rabbits in a friend’s apartment kitchen, make the brightest, most intricate, silliest, raddest Easter eggs you can dream up—without using artificial colors and potentially toxic dyes. These eggs are for eventually eating, after all. You can keep things safe (and thrifty) by making your own natural dyes from things you probably already have in your kitchen.

For Orange, use yellow onions. mix 1 cup yellow onion skin (about 2 onions’ worth), 1 teaspoon vinegar and 3 cups water in a pot. Boil for one half hour, cool to room temperature, strain out the onion skins, then soak hard-boiled eggs in the dye for one half hour. {Via:}

For Red, use beets. Combine 2 cups of grated raw beets with one tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes. Let water cool, then add eggs; the longer you soak, the deeper the red color will be. {Via Rosalind Creasy}

For Yellow, use cumin or turmeric. Boil three tablespoons turmeric or cumin. “This isn’t an exact science, so add more ingredients or more water as you see fit,” write the folks at PCC Natural Markets. “Strain the ingredient (if necessary) and add one tablespoon vinegar to the dye. Allow the dye to cool a bit before (adding) the eggs.”

For Lavender, use Hibiscus tea bags.

For Blue, use purple or red cabbage.  Dice ¼ head of cabbage and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain before adding eggs. {Via Cuesa}

For Green, use parsley and/or spinach. 

The Good Food Blog offers some good tips for creating different effects and shades when using natural, food-based egg dyes; check them out here. And see Big Sis, Lil Sis for instructions on how to use flowers and foliage to create prints on naturally-dyed eggs, like this:

Egg-BasketFor those who don’t want to go the DIY route but still want to keep things natural, check out these natural dye kits from Terrain and Eco Eggs.

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    • earl hickey

      i still like to use lead based paint to color Easter eggs

      • Joy Turner

        That explains why the kid’s mustache is starting to come in already.

      • Sally L. Sennett

        OK…that was funny:)

    • Alexis Semanchuk
      • Sally L. Sennett

        Awesome! Thanks for sharing…

    • sugnim

      This all sounds like an incredible waste of food. Eat your veggies, and just use some food coloring. You can even get food coloring at most natural food stores.

      • Sally L. Sennett

        “Food Coloring” Boring…think of it as a science lesson and what the heck I’m sure there will be some extra ingredients you eat while you’re coloring :)

    • j1shalack

      You mean the food dyes sold are poisonous…?

    • jerrybrown11743

      Who eats egg shells?

      • Sally L. Sennett

        Egg shells break crack and they are Porous …

    • Jim Clore

      I think it is important to say that there are poisonous flowers in this organic conversation. Stick to familiar foods and spices. Rhododendrons have been known to poison honey gathered by bees. Children must come first. Make safe eggs and enjoy.

    • parsnipgal

      Since eggshells are porous, is anyone else concerned about the person who collected random green plants from their yard to dye the eggs green? Some plants are poisonous and shouldn’t be used to dye or decorate items that are to be eaten. Jeez.