Thursday, March 21, 2013

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs - Grace Grits and Gardening

Although my nest is empty, I still love to dye Easter eggs. This year I decided to dye eggs using food and spices on hand.

I started with red onion skins, blackberries, cinnamon (ground & sticks), green onion tops and cilantro, beet juice and turmeric.

After boiling water, steep each ingredient for ten minutes while grinding and stirring the various ingredients to release the juices. Add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to each glass.

To enhance a few of the colors, I added a bit of ground cayenne pepper to the cinnamon, spinach leaves to the green and a splash of red wine to the blackberry. (Next time, I would not use green onions—spinach worked better.)

The beet juice produced a beautiful rose color. The turmeric was vibrant.

(left to right) purple onion, spinach/cilantro, blackberry/wine, cinnamon/cayenne, beet, turmeric
After soaking a couple of hours, my eggs turned a soft pastel color.  Soak in the refrigerator overnight for best results.

A word about boiling eggs: The eggs we buy today are very fresh (i.e. free range, etc.) The fresher the egg, the harder to peel—the white membrane is not mature and sticks to the shell. A teaspoon of baking soda in the boiling water will make the egg easier to peel. 

White eggs will produce the colors above. Brown eggs will produce different shades. Mix and match for more color variety.

And don't forget to use the eggshells in your garden. Crushed and sprinkled around flowerbeds, they will fend off slugs. Or mix with your soil as compost.

Happy Easter!



  1. Wow! Those colors are so beautiful! I have never tried this and I haven't colored eggs for a long time..but you make me want to do it again! How fun! Thanks Talya, this was a very cool post!

  2. Very pretty- I miss doing this with my kids. I love the natural colors you can achieve. My fav is spinach cilantro.

  3. What a great idea to use food and spices. Your eggs are beautiful!

  4. I love this idea and think it would be fun for my kids to search around the kitchen and try and figure out what they think would work to dye and try it. Love it!

  5. wonderful! my favorite is the second to the left (spinach/cilantro)
    thanks for a wonderful post ! I am going to try some with the beets very soon, although now I may have to try the spinach/cilantro mix too now that i see how pretty yours turned out :)

  6. I love the soft pastel colours the natural ingredients created on the eggs. So pretty, I will have to try this. Thank you for the tutorial. I'll have to buy white eggs from the store, our chickens all lay brown eggs. (another thing to do with egg shells, let them dry out, the crush them and give them to your chickens...they love them and the calcium is very good for them!)
    Debbie :)

  7. Wonderful posts. The eggs turned out very pretty and all your tips are very useful!

  8. Great share, Talya! I love that the eggs are naturally dyed - the colors turned out so pretty. Thanks for the tip on fresh eggs and peeling - good to know! This would be so fun do do with my youngest...maybe we could experiment with some other kitchen items :)

    1. Mary, I'm sure there are lots of other foods, spices, herbs that will work well. I used what I had. Some worked better than others and the key is letting the egg soak a looooonnnng time.

  9. You are so clever! What a neat idea!

  10. Beautiful, creative, and another FUNderful idea! :)

    Cindy "Lu"