We work really hard to avoid artificial ingredients in our home, including artificial coloring. So when it comes to Easter, I feel awful taking our beautiful eggs and smothering them in red 40. We decided to try a natural approach. Not only did it work but it was way more fun than dropping pellets in a cup.
The kids had so much fun mixing things together. It was like a giant science experiment. They even each designed their own dye.
We loved that the eggs weren’t all uniformly colored, but some were splotchy. It really added to the character.
Our favorite, by far, were the purple eggs. All we had to use was grape juice and vinegar. The sugar crystallized on the eggs so it looked like glitter.
The only downside (and it’s a small downside) was how long it took to dye the eggs. The eggs probably spent about 2-3 hours in their dye.
Other than that, the process was basically the same. We started by hard-boiling all our eggs. We filled cups with the dye and dropped the eggs in. Here’s how we did each color.
This sounds like more work than it was. Here is the secret. If something has to be steeped, fill the cup with the fruit, veggies or tea bags to be steeped. Then just add the boiling water over the top doing all dyes at once. This made it so much easier than doing each dye individually.
- Combine 1/2 C 100% grape juice and 1 T white distilled vinegar.
- Add 1/2 C frozen blueberries to 3/4 C boiling water. Let the blueberries steep for about 30 minutes and then remove blueberries. The liquid left is your dye.
- Add 1 Tbsp powdered paprika to a tea bag. Steep in 1/2 C boiling water for 30 minutes and remove bag. The liquid leftover is your dye.
- Add 1 Tbsp powdered turmeric to a tea bag. Steep in 1/2 C boiling water for 30 minutes and remove bag. The liquid leftover is your dye.
- Chop one beet into small chunks. Pour 3/4 C boiling water over beet and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove the beet pieces and stir in 1 T white distilled vinegar.
- This one is the most like a science experiment. Boil 1/2 C sliced red cabbage in 1 C water. Turn to simmer and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the cabbage pieces. The leftover liquid is your dye.
- Pour 3/4 C boiling water over 1/2 C packed spinach. Let this steep for 30 minutes and remove the spinach. The leftover liquid is your dye.
- This was my daughter’s experiment. We put 2 Tbsp cocoa powder in a tea bag and let it steep for 30 minutes. We removed the tea bag and used the liquid for our dye.