You are never too old for a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt.
Or at least that is what my parents tell us when they have me and my full-grown sisters line up from youngest to oldest for “the hunt” to begin each year.
While we groan and moan about it, I am pretty sure we are all secretly pleased that the tradition is still alive… especially since the $20 prize that goes to the finder of the special yellow egg is still in play.
(I think my parents view this as a worthwhile ticket-price to the front-row seats it earns them to watching their adult children act quite like children once again.)
Anyway, my family has always used the real-deal hardboiled egg variety of Easter eggs for our hunts – meaning hardboiled eggs and egg salad every day for the next week or two.
Up until this year, we have typically used the run-of-the-mill grocery store egg dye for our eggs.
But this year, with questions being raised about the possible health risks posed by the artificial colors and dyes that is in so many of our processed foods, I was determined to forgo the box variety to take advantage of all the beautiful colors that nature provides to dye our eggs naturally this year.
The mission was successful – and the eggs came out beautifully!
Read on for instructions on how you can make your own naturally dyed Easter eggs and get the whole family involved in the project.
DIY: Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs
[Disclaimer: These eggs do take a bit of time to make, so be sure you make these for the joy and adventure of the project!]
Before You Start
Choose 4 colors of eggs you would like to make – While there are many color dyes you can choose to make (see this great blog post from ‘The Kitchn’ for more ideas), I would recommend choosing only 4 different colors. (My favorite 4 are listed below) For each dye ingredient, you will need to boil the dye down in an individual pot which will get tricky to do if you only have four stovetop burners and extra pots and pans worth of dye.
Buy a variety of brown and white eggs – See below for the variations of color for brown vs. white eggs. If you mix it up, it allow you to have more variety of color with fewer dyes.
Make at least 3-4 cups of each dye – To make sure you have enough dye to cover the surface area of your eggs while dying them, make sure you make at least 3-4 cups of each dye color.
- 1 – 2 dozen eggs, mixture of brown and white for varied colorings
- 1 cup of water for each amount of the ingredients below:
- 1 cup shredded beets – fuchsia on white eggs, red on brown eggs
- 1 cup chopped purple cabbage – blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs
- 1 cup yellow onion skins – orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs
- 2 tbsp ground turmeric – yellow on white eggs
- 1 tbsp of white vinegar for each cup of dye you make
1) Hardboil your eggs and set aside.
2) For each dye color, add a ratio of 1 cup of the dye ingredient to 1 cup of water to a pot. (I recommend making at least 3-4 cups per dye color). Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes.
3) When your dye color reaches the depth of color you desire (you can test this by dripping a little of the dye onto a white plate or paper towel), set aside the dye to cool off to room temperature.
4) Once the dye has cooled, use a strainer to remove the dye ingredient from the liquid. Once the dye ingredient is removed, add 1 tbsp of vinegar per cup of water used to each dye and stir.
5) Divide eggs and place them flat in a bowl or dish that you can pour each individual dye over, making sure that the eggs are fully submerged.
5) Place the submerged eggs in the refrigerator and allow them to soak for at least 2-3 hours (preferably overnight) or until the eggs have reached your desired color.
6) Remove the eggs from the dye and gently dry them off. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to hide them or eat them!
Enjoy the hunt!
Comment below if you want to try this recipe yourself!