The 6 Best Veggies to Use for Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Dyeing eggs at Easter is a time-honored tradition in many cultures. You can make it even more natural and creative when you use foods and spices from your kitchen and pantry to color the eggs. 

There's no need to use commercial dyes or food coloring. It's healthier for your kids and chickens, and more economical to use vegetable peels and skins, especially if you grow your own veggies. 

And if you think you can't get gorgeous, vibrant hues from natural ingredients - think again! 

Although you can use light-brown eggs for this project, you will get brighter colors using white eggs. I love using our white duck eggs to make extra-large Easter eggs! 

Over the years I've tried lots of different vegetables and spices to dye eggs. 

Some definitely work better than others - for example spinach, cranberry juice, red wine, coffee and paprika yield less than stellar results - so I've pretty much narrowed it down to my six absolute favorite dyes for a basket full of truly beautiful eggs.

But it really is fun to experiment with all different kinds of vegetable trimmings and scraps.

What you Need for Each Color Batch 

Small saucepan
3 hard cooked eggs
4 cups water
2 cups of dye ingredients 
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Fine mesh strainer (something like this)
Wide mouth Mason jar (I love these taller versions!)
Coconut oil or Olive Oil
You'll also need an egg carton in which to set the eggs while they dry.

photo credit: Coopdujour Photography

What you'll Do

Pour the water in the saucepan, then add your dye ingredients (see chart below). Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes until your water changes color. Remove the pot from the heat, add the vinegar and let sit until cool. 

The vinegar will allow the color to adhere better to the eggshell, so don't skip this step.

Meanwhile, gently put three eggs into the mason jar. Strain the solids out of the dye, pouring the liquid over the eggs. Refrigerate overnight, then use a spoon to carefully remove each egg from the dye one at a time.

Set each egg into a separate section of an egg carton and allow to dry completely. Then gently wipe the surface of the eggs with a bit of oil for a subtle shine.

You can reuse each jar of dye for another batch of eggs. Just put three more eggs into the jar and pop them back into the refrigerator. It's fun to experiment taking the eggs out at various intervals for varying shades of color.

And that's all there is to it! 

So, here are my top 6 picks for the best vegetable (+1 spice!) dyes:

Chopped beets - bright pink
Yellow onion skins - bright orange
Turmeric - bright yellow
Purple cabbage + turmeric - bright green
Purple cabbage - bright blue
Blueberries - purple

Use two cups of which ever veggie you're using
and 2 Tablespoons of turmeric in the shades that call for the spice.

Your eggs can be stored in the fridge for up to a week before being eaten. 

Please feel free to share the eggshells with your chickens - and they'll love the strained solids as well (except for the onion skins of course!) and I give my girls the vinegar water dyes when I'm finished too.

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