I have seen a few articles and ideas going around social media about natural egg dyes. Obviously, we're not big fans of food dyes and have cut processed foods, including food dyes, out of our diets. Despite wanting to take the "fun" route of buying a few egg dye kits, I thought this year we would give the natural egg dyes a shot and see how it went!
First things first, making the dyes. There are a lot of great recipes out there, like these. We worked with what we had in the fridge so I boiled some water and added different foods for coloring. I boiled up red cabbage, beets, kale and turmeric.
I boiled the water for about 5 minutes, a little longer for the kale and red cabbage, and then took them off the heat, strained the veggies and turmeric in a fine mess strainer and let the colored water cool down. When it was cool, I added about equal part vinegar to the water, although the recipe said for less, a little extra vinegar never hurt nobody. Then we were ready to dye!
Overall thoughts, well...the fake/chemical stuff certainly is more fun. You definitely can't get as much color, can't make cool patterns or designs (although I'm sure you could add some wax to the egg shells in patterns and dye over them if you felt like being creative.
Out of our 4 colors, the beets and turmeric were the only ones that really worked. The kale was a big flop, maybe spinach would work better? and the red cabbage color didn't stick. Nothing dyes quite like beets, as anyone who has ever cut up a raw beet knows well, so that was by far the best color. The turmeric was a fun yellow color too and if you let it sit longer, it started to look a little orange. I'd try maybe boiling the veggies in straight vinegar without water? That might make for better coloring. We were deep in our egg dying so I didn't bother starting over again.
The kids had fun, though. I also liked that if Ben tried to drink some of the dye, I knew it wasn't going to hurt him at all. It all cleaned up pretty easily, except the beets, darn those beets. Overall, it was a fun craft for little, little kids. I'd think as they get older, they'd expect better results so we'll have to perfect our natural egg dye options or buy a kit in the future. I've heard good things about this kit.
What are you doing for Easter egg coloring this year? Any great tips or tricks to share?