Mar 302015

Some Vegetables to Dye For

You can use vegetables and flowers to create natural Easter egg dyes. You can either dye your eggs naturally by adding the plant material to the pan while the eggs being hard-boiled, or dye the eggs after they have been hard-boiled. Try both fresh and frozen vegetables. Canned veggies will produce much paler colors.

Adding vinegar while boiling will produce deeper colors. Some materials must be boiled to create their color (noted with the word ‘boiled’ in the table below). Other fruits, vegetables, and spices can be used cold. To use a cold method, cover the boiled eggs with water, add dyeing materials, about a teaspoon of vinegar, and refrigerate the eggs in the dye until the desired color is achieved. In most cases, the longer you leave your Easter eggs in the dye, the more deeply colored they will be.

Here is the preferred method for using natural dyes from

  1. Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered.
  2. Add approximately one teaspoon of vinegar.
  3. Add the natural dye. Use more dye material for more eggs or for a more intense color.
  4. Bring water to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. If you are pleased with the color, remove the eggs from the liquid.
  7. If you want more intensely colored eggs, temporarily remove the eggs from the liquid. Strain the dye through a coffee filter (unless you want speckled eggs). Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and let them remain in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. Naturally-colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.

You can use fresh and frozen berries as ‘paints’, too. Simply crush the berries against dry boiled eggs. Try coloring on the eggs with crayons or wax pencils before boiling and dyeing them. Happy Easter!

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Color Ingredients

Red Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Pomegranate Juice

Pink Beets
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets

Orange Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cooked Carrots
Chili Powder

Lavender Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea

Violet Blue Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Hibiscus Tea
Red Wine

Blue Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice

Green Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll

Greenish Yellow Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)

Yellow Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Green Tea

Golden Brown Dill Seeds

Brown Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea


Very excitable and prone to fits of glee, Christine cooks on a vintage 1950 General Electric double-oven stove, does not have a dishwasher unless you count the husband, and is guilty of posting cat cuteness on the interwebs. She photographs and blogs about food and other joyful topics from her home in Vermont.

Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics

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