Hop. Hop. Hippity Hop! That bunny will be here in just a few days, and wouldn’t it be fun if he arrived with a basket of all natural, beautifully dyed Easter eggs? This spring, let’s leave those artificial dye pellets in all of their excess packaging at the market, and opt for coloring eggs with a few simple kitchen ingredients instead. It’s safe, economical, and fun!
Ingredients (makes 18 hard boiled Easter eggs)
water (1 cup per dye color, plus water for cooking eggs)
vinegar (1 tablespoon per color)
1 cup coffee (for chocolate brown color)
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage (for robin’s egg blue color)
1 tablespoon ground paprika (for caramel color)
2 tablespoons dill seed (for pale yellow color)
1 red beet (for gray color)
Other ideas (not shown):
1/2 cup shredded spinach (for pastel green color)
1 tablespoon ground turmeric (for gold color)
Step 1) Place eggs gently in a single layer in a large pan, and cover completely with water.
Step 2) Bring pan to a gentle simmer and cover. Cook eggs at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Remove eggs from water.
Step 3) For chocolate brown eggs: Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of cold coffee in a 2-cup container. Add up to three eggs (double the vinegar and coffee if you wish to color more than three eggs using coffee).
Step 4) For blue eggs: Bring shredded cabbage and 1 cup of water to a boil. Drain liquid into a 2-cup container. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and up to three eggs. Note: adding vinegar to your cabbage water will turn the water pink. Your eggs will still turn out blue. Ah, the marvels of chemistry! Note: follow this same procedure using spinach instead of cabbage, if you’d like to make pastel green eggs.
Step 3) For gray eggs: Peel one red beet. Bring the peels and 1 cup of water to a boil. Drain liquid into a 2-cup container. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and up to three eggs.
Step 4) For yellow eggs: Lightly crush dill seed with a mortar and pestle, a meat tenderizer, or 1 -2 seconds in a grinder. Add to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes before draining liquid into a 2-cup container. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and up to three eggs.
Step 5) For caramel colored eggs: Boil 1 cup of water with paprika. Filter through a coffee filter into a 2-cup container. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar and up to three eggs. Follow this same procedure if you plan to try using turmeric.
Step 6) For all colors: Place your 2-cup containers of all natural dye and hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator. Allow eggs to soak in dye at least overnight; 24 hours is best. Remove eggs from dye and allow to air dry on a paper towel. Dyed eggs will have a matte finish. If you’d prefer shiny eggs, carefully rub them with a tiny bit of vegetable oil.