Due to concerns in the news about the effects of artificial coloring and dyes, many large companies are moving away from using these types of dyes. (Learn more from Forbes, U.S News, and Special Education Degrees). However, while it is becoming increasingly easier to buy food using exclusively natural dyes, solutions are still needed for many common traditions such as dying eggs. Luckily, dying eggs doesn’t have to be limited to the restraints of artificial colors. Many natural alternatives for dying eggs can be found either right in your pantry or at your local The Spice & Tea Exchange®! Learn how to obtain the color you want, tips & tricks, and additional instructions below!
Depth of color, generated from any natural substance, will vary depending on a number of conditions:
- Type of water used: whenever possible, use distilled water, as chlorinated water and water treated by a water softener will make it difficult to achieve beautiful results.
- Extracting the maximum amount of color out of the produce, i.e. spice, tea, or produce, by boiling it for at least 1-15 minutes will assist in achieving richer, more vibrant colors.
- Once you have extracted the depth of color you are looking for, straining and removing solids from the liquid will give you the ability for an overall uniform color. Whereas coloring with solids and liquid together, will create more speckled and patterned colors.
A wide spectrum of colors is available from a selection of spices, teas, and produce. When coloring eggs naturally, there are a couple things to keep in mind when deciding on which colors your trying to achieve:
- Using spices & teas will generally yield warmer tones of yellow, gold, orange, red, and brown.
- Using fresh produce such as blueberries, purple cabbage, and spinach bring on a much cooler palette of blue and green.
- Keep in mind that artificial dyes are relatively flavorless. When you switch to using a natural dye such as spices, teas, or produce, these items have flavor to them. As a result, your egg may retain a small amount of the dying agent’s flavor.
Select from a wide spectrum of colors to dye your eggs:
- Turmeric – yellow
- Light Chili Powder – tan/light orange
- Blood-Orange Smoothie Herbal Tea – copper/bronze
- Blueberry Black Tea – reddish/burgundy brown
- Dried Hibiscus Flowers – dark purple
- Berry Bouquet Herbal Tea – blue/grey
- Blueberries – dark blue/grey
- Spinach – pale green
Begin dying eggs naturally now!
Instructions for cooking and coloring eggs at the same time:
- Use a separate pan for each color.
- Add 2 Tbs. white vinegar, eggs, 2-3 Tbs. spice, tea, or produce (chopped) item, and just enough distilled water to cover the eggs. Less water will help concentrate the final color.
- Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit 17 minutes. Transfer eggs and liquid to a stain resistant bowl and allow to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and place bowl in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to achieve deepest colors.
Instructions for coloring eggs after they are hard cooked:
- Bring a large pot of distilled water to a boil.
- While water heats, place each spice, tea, or produce (chopped) item, in separate heat safe/stain resistant bowls with 2 Tbs. white vinegar.
- Carefully pour enough boiling water into each bowl, to cover the eggs you will want to color. Let sit 10-15 minutes allowing the maximum amount of color to produce.
- Strain solids out of liquid and replace with hard cooked eggs for a uniform color, or keep solids and liquids together, adding eggs for a more speckled, patterned coloring effect.
- After 20-25 minutes, cover bowls with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to achieve deepest colors.