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DIY: Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
That’s why Mia, my daughter, refused to eat Easter eggs for a long time. She was sure that when you eat an egg you’re eating a baby chick. Eventually, I was able to convince her that eggs sold for human consumption are unfertilized and infertile eggs at no point in time will hatch. And so we decided to colour Easter Eggs last Sunday. As I prefer most things in my life to be natural rather than artificial, the creative idea of using vegetables and juices to colour our eggs really caught my eye.
To tell you the truth: Natural materials do not consistently yield beautiful, vibrant colours.
It’s a unique twist on your traditionally dyed Easter eggs, only using foods and plants. However, natural materials do not consistently yield beautiful, vibrant colours. I did some research to find out what it takes to make naturally dyed Easter Eggs: Spinach for green dye, onion skins for yellow, carrots for orange, blueberries for purple. Vinegar and lemon juice. And, of course, fresh free-range eggs, preferably white ones. I wasn’t able to get many white free-range eggs, so I tried dyeing happy brown eggs from happy hens. In fact, it turned into a bit of a science experiment.
Brown Eggs Stay Brown Eggs
We started experimenting with spinach and carrots. We cooked the vegetables for half an hour before we added the eggs. Before, I had roughened the eggshells with vinegar and a brush to improve the dyeing process. To yield purple, I mixed half of a liter of blueberry juice from the health food shop with the same amount of water (given the price of € 8 per liter, I decided to not use more juice). This time, I started with raw eggs and cooked them in the dye bath. I used the same batch for a second dye.
To imprint a pattern onto the egg, you can for example place golden rain flowers directly on the shell (dampen the egg and the flowers to help them stick firmly where you place them). Wrap egg tightly in a single layer of hosiery, gather the ends, and secure tightly before tinting. The flower silhouette will be visible once you unwrap the egg. Or, you can use a cotton bud soaked in lemon juice to draw patterns onto the coloured egg.
Boiling the eggs in spinach and carrots, the brown eggs remained brown, more or less. The result with the white eggs was a (very) gentle palate of greens.
Honestly speaking, it left us a bit disappointed. After that, we didn’t experiment with onion skins anymore. After all, brown eggs stay brown eggs. The blueberry juice, however, worked out really fine. The first batch of eggs was a deep purple, the second was a brighter hue, yet very beautiful. I tried to find a name for the shade. Mia compared the colour to concrete. “A very beautiful concrete,” she added. This made us laugh.
The Bottom Line:
To dye eggs with natural materials I recommend using white eggs. Blueberry juice makes a good dye for brown eggs, too. I will continue this experiment with onion skins and red beet as soon as I get some white eggs.
Until then, we pile our naturally coloured eggs in gentle shades in a basket—they make a delightful impression with a difference.
The eggs taste incredibly good and we can eat as many eggs as we like, as there were no chemicals used to tint them. They are safe for our health. Well, unless we eat 20 boiled eggs in one go. There might be an upper limit.