This year, when coloring eggs, I experimented with some natural Easter egg dye from vegetables and spices. The top row are various shades of blue from red cabbage on brown eggs (the left two) and white eggs (the right two). The second row are reds, pink and browns from onion skins and beets. From left to right: red from yellow onion on a brown egg, pink from beet juice on a white egg, brown from onion skin on a white egg and brown from onion skin on a brown egg. The bottom row are shades of yellow from turmeric.
This method is more time-consuming and laborious than just buying a PAAS kit. The results are not instantaneous either. And the colors are not as exciting…but it is SAFER and HEALTHIER.
I used onion skins, turmeric, beet juice, and red cabbage to get brown, yellow, pink, and blue eggs. The red cabbage worked out the best. Turmeric would be the winner because it made a nice yellow and it was the easiest to do. For all the eggs, be sure to refrigerate them as they are soaking in the dye, especially overnight.
2 heads red cabbage
6 cups water
6 tablespoons white vinegar
a dozen hard-boiled white and brown eggs
Roughly chop the cabbage. In a large pot, add water and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the cabbage and reserve the “dye.” Let it cool. Put it in a smaller pot or bowl so that it will cover the eggs. This should be enough for a dozen eggs, give or take one or two. These will take on good color in no time. I left some in overnight. The brown eggs are a deep bluish-green and the white eggs are a nice blue. If you soak them for only a few minutes, they will be a lighter blue.
12 yellow onions
4 cups water
4 teaspoons white vinegar
6 eggs, not pre-boiled
Skin the onions. Put onion skin, water and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the skins and reserve the “dye.” Let it cool. Put it in a smaller pot or bowl so that it will cover the eggs (add a little water if you need to). Boil the eggs as you would for hard-boiled eggs. I brought them to a boil, then shut off the heat and let them sit, covered for 10 minutes. The color on brown eggs is very deep red. Leave in overnight for best color. I did not try these on white eggs because I ran out, so I want to do it again on white eggs.
Now, if you don’t boil the eggs in the dye and just soak them in the onion dye, they will be brown, not red.
1 bag red onions
4 cups water
4 tablespoons vinegar
6 hard-boiled white and brown eggs
Skin the onions. Put onion skin, water and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the skins and reserve the “dye.” Let it cool. Put it in a smaller pot or bowl so that it will cover the eggs. Leave in overnight for best color. You can see the brown eggs are darker and more reddish-brown than the white eggs.
3 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 tablespoons white vinegar
6 white eggs, not pre-boiled
water to cover eggs
Put all in a pot. Boil as you would hard-boiled eggs. I brought it to a boil, turned off the heat, covered it and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, I rinsed them and let them dry.
Juice from two cans or two packages of beets
6 white hard-boiled eggs
Add some water so that the juice will cover eggs. Soak overnight.
OK, these don’t really get very pink. I want to try these again using fresh beets because the color is supposed to be hot pink. Stay tuned.