Natural Dye Easter Eggs

How Food-Colored Easter Eggs Can Help Dietitians Encourage Healthy Eating


Spring holidays especially are full of tempting treats, with Easter being no exception. Carrot cake is one holiday favorite, and it even turns vegetables sweet. Is it possible to keep the focus on healthy foods during a sweets-centered holiday?


Using foods as natural dyes for Easter eggs is a great way to fuel the festivities without anything artificial. Plus, you can often cook these ingredients right into the Easter feast! Try these favorites for some inspiring dyes, and make sure to reduce food waste by saving scraps that can be used to add color to your eggs if you can.


Read on to learn how to use food as a natural way to dye Easter eggs.


Food-Dyed Easter Eggs in Four Easy Steps

Step 1: Ingredients

Different foods create different colored eggs. Some produce surprising results -- for example, red cabbage actually turns a white egg blue! Eggs can be dyed with a variety of foods. Try experimenting with the following:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Herbs

  • Spices


The following image can help you decide what food to use to produce your egg dye:


Step 2: Making the Dye

Making a dye from food is easy once you know the steps.


First, chop or mash the food you are using (unless it is already in powder or spice form).


Then, combine it with water and vinegar, which can be the white or apple cider varieties. The rule of thumb is for every one tablespoon of vinegar, there should be two cups of water. In most cases four to six cups of water and two to three tablespoons of vinegar should do the trick.


For spices, reduce the amount to one cup of water and one tablespoon of the spice. Adding more spice than this will deepen the color.



Step 3: Prepare the Dye for Dunking

This third step is simple. Strain the liquid to remove any large pieces or scraps.


Then, place the remaining liquid in a bowl that is big enough to easily submerge and remove the eggs.




Step 4: Time to Dye

Dunk hard-boiled eggs into the dye you’ve created -- remember, the longer it soaks the darker the shade will be. Some colors exhibit best once they’ve been soaked overnight or exposed to heat, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find your favorite hue!


Additional Ideas for Natural Egg Dyes

Here are some additional ways to mix, match, and manipulate egg dye using natural foods and colors:

  • Soak your eggs in the dye for several hours

  • Soak your eggs in the dye overnight

  • Soak your eggs in a food dye and then a spice dye for a different mix of color

  • Expose your dyed egg to heat


How Food-Based Dyes Can Help Dietitians Teach Healthy Holiday Habits

Easter egg dyes made from food are a great way to show individuals and families that plant-based eating and avoiding food waste can be fun.


Here are some ideas to suggest to your clients so they can make the most of their spring celebration:

  • Use the skins or scraps from an Easter meal preparation as the base for your Easter egg dye.

  • Keep spices like turmeric and chili powder on hand to spice up seasonal dishes and mix into food-based dyes.

  • Find fresh vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage, and more at the store. When it’s no longer fresh enough to eat, turn it into a food-based dye for your Easter eggs!

  • Avocados offer healthy fats -- plus you can save the pit from the trash by using it to dye Easter eggs a nice peachy color!

  • Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and cherries have helpful antioxidants that can keep the body healthy. They are also great for getting dyes in all shades of red, purple, and blue!




References


Denbow R. Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs. Abeautifulmess.com. Published March 23, 2020.


Watson M. DIY Natural Food Dyes. Thespruceeats.com. Published March 5, 2020.


Watson M. How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally with Food Scraps. Thespruceeats.com. Published March 22, 2021.