Dye Eggs Naturally
Start with hardboiled eggs and refrigerate until ready to use. Eggs that are too fresh are difficult to peel. Eggs need to be at least three days old to peel well.
The longer you soak the eggs in the following dye liquids, the more intense the colors will be.
You can colour eggs all one colour, but f you want to decorate draw shapes, pictures or inspiring words on the eggs with crayons or a piece of wax before dying them. The wax won't absorb the colour, it will only colour the egg where there is no wax applied.
Here's another method. Use a collection of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the rubber bands, one at a time, around the eggs. The areas of the eggshell exposed will be dyed but the area protected by tight-fitting rubber bands will not, however colour may bleed under the edges a little to create a soft edge that will make it look like the egg was tie-dyed.
Once the eggs are dyed to the colour you like, remove them from the water and let them dry. Once dried completely, pull the rubber bands off to reveal your banded design.
Applying colour with a sponge will create a textured finish.
How to make natural egg dyes
Eggs colored with natural dyes have a dull finish, not glossy. Once dry you can rub the eggs with cooking oil or mineral oil to give them a soft sheen. Use common juices or spices that can be found in your cupboard. The process is very safe and simple. For example, the juice from canned blueberries or beets make wonderful food dyes. Tumeric produces a rich golden colour. See the colour ingredient chart below.
To begin, wash hardboiled eggs in warm soapy water to remove any oily residue that may prevent colour from sticking to the eggs. Let eggs cool before attempting to dye.
Except for spices, place a handful (or more) of a dye ingredient in a saucepan. You will have to use your own judgement on this.
Add tap water to come at least one inch above the dye ingredient. NOTE: This should be about 1 cup of water for each handful.
Bring the water just to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer at least 15 minutes until you like the color obtained. The dye will look much darker in the pan than it will be when you apply to eggs. Remove the pan from the heat.
Strain and pour mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye. Add 2-3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of dye liquid.
Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the hot liquid. Leave the eggs in the water until you like the color. The longer the egg soaks, the deeper the final color will be. If you plan to eat the eggs be sure to put them in the refrigerator while they soak.
Lift the eggs out of the dye liquid with the slotted spoon and let them dry on a rack or in a colander or egg carton. Handle with care - some colors can easily be rubbed off if the egg is not completely dry.
|Color||Ingredients to Use for Dye|
|Blue|| Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice
|Brown or Beige|| Strong Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
|Brown Gold||Dill Seeds|
|Brown Orange||Chili Powder|
|Green|| Spinach Leaves (boiled)
|Greenish Yellow||Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)|
|Grey||Purple or red grape juice or beet juice|
|Lavender|| Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea
|Orange|| Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets
|Red|| Pomegranate juice
Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
|Violet or Purple|| Violet Blossoms
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
|Yellow|| Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffron
A Word from our Poultry Specialist
Ken Severson is the Nutrition and Poultry Specialist for Sparks Egg Farms. Ken takes care to make sure the hens and pullets are fed a balanced diet, and to safeguard their health and welfare.
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