Condo Blues: Two Natural Ways to Dye Easter Eggs

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two Natural Ways to Dye Easter Eggs

I was caught off guard this year and just realized that Easter is fast approaching. I don’t have time to run to the store to buy an egg dying kit. Not to worry, I found two ways to dye Easter eggs with the stuff you may already have around your house.


How to Dye Easter Eggs With Spices

I’ve read that several sources have tried to use spices to dye Easter eggs. Most of the things they tried like beet juice didn’t work too well but one did – turmeric.

It’s odd but we have a very large international population in Columbus. There are a ton of independent grocery stores for just about every ethnic population here - Middle Eastern, Asian, Hispanic/Mexican, and Hippie – those are our health food stores. I can get spices on the cheap and sometimes in bulk if I buy them from the ethnic/health food stores. However, your mileage may vary.

1. Fill a pot with water and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Boil your egg in the water for 15 minutes to both hard boil and dye the egg.


2. Remove the egg from the pot and dry on a cake rake with either newspaper or an old towel underneath because the drips may stain your countertop.


I also used the same method to hard boil and dye an egg in 2 teaspoons of paprika.

My Grandmother the porcelain artist painted the china bunny for me when I was little.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with (Natural) Food Coloring

The natural food coloring I found was like $8.00 for a 2 oz bottle. Since I don’t use food coloring that often I decided to go with the cheaper and probably not so natural food coloring I bought at Kroger. Again, your mileage may vary.

1. Hard boil your eggs using one of these two methods.

  • Boil the egg in clear water for 15 minutes in a pot on the stove.
  • Put the eggs in water in an electric tea kettle. Turn it on the tea kettle and let the water boil. Then turn off the tea kettle (mine has an electric shut off when it gets to a rolling boil) and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. (I learned this trick curtsey of Alton Brown.)


2. Mix half a cup of boiling water (I used the hot water from the tea kettle that I boiled my eggs in), 1 teaspoon of vinegar (Hey, did you know that you can use vinegar for things other than cleaning? :)) and several drops of food coloring in a cup. Swanky vintage tea cups are optional.


3. Drop the hard boiled egg into the dye bath and wait.

Variation: Use a light colored crayon to draw a design on the hard boiled egg before you drop it into the dye. The crayon parts of the eggs will stay white and the shell will take on the dye. I didn’t do this with my eggs because I couldn’t find any crayons in The Condo. What’s up with that?


4. Remove the egg from the pot and dry on a cake rake with either newspaper or an old towel underneath because the drips may stain your countertop.

Here are the eggs! The yellow egg was dyed with turmeric. The green egg was dyed in food coloring.

I use and reuse twisty gift bag shredded paper instead of plastic Easter basket grass.

What do you think?