experimenting with natural egg dyes


I got the idea off the Z recomends and I just haad to try it myself.


I used the following ingredients to make my dyes; yellow – turmeric, pink – beet, purple – black berry, blue/green – store bought pomagranet juice.


I started with hard boiled eggs following Martha Stewart’s instructions.

Purple Dye
I used about 1 cup of blackberries and pulsed them in the food processor with about 4 table spoons white distilled vinegar.

Yellow Dye
I made a paste out turmeric and vinegar using just enough vinegar to make the paste spreadable. I then coated the eggs in the paste and wrapped them individually in plastic wrap.

Pink Dye

I cooked some beets per the Betty Crocker instructions and reserved the left over juice which I reduced in a sauce pan until it was about 1 cup of liquid. I then added 2 table spoons white distilled vinegar.(I made Dilly Tomato and Beet Salad with the cooked beets)

blue/green dye
This was simply Trader Joe’s brand pomegranate blueberry juice. The first ingredient listed is pomegranate juice.

For every color but the yellow I put 3 eggs in a glass and covered them with the juice/dye. I then covered the jars with plastic wrap and refrigerated them for about 16 hours. I checked the liquid dyes at this point and realized that a film was forming around the eggs. I pulled them out, rinsed them and then returned them to the die for another 8 hours. At this point I simply removed the eggs and put them in their carton to dry. The beet dyed eggs were a brilliant pink – much brighter than pictured above. The pomegranate dyed eggs were a deathly shade of gray and looked horrible. At this point I actually took one of the gray eggs and ran it under hot water hoping to wash some of the gray off. It got a bit lighter but really didn’t make much of an improvementĀ  so I just put all of the eggs in their carton and put them back in the refrigerator to dry. I pulled them back out 24 hours later and the eggs had totally changed colors again. The colors really mellowed. TheĀ  pomegranate eggs turned the beautiful blue/green shade above (top picture center egg), the turmeric eggs turned a pale yellow and the beet eggs a pale pink. The blackberry eggs had the littlest change. I polished the eggs up with some canola oil and took the above pictures. I love how they turned out, I really like how the color is not at all even – each egg has it’s own individual texture. It is probably not necessary to leave the eggs in the dye so long – probably 4 – 6 hours would achieve the same effect.

So why go to all the effort of making your own dyes? Well according to Organic.org, “Many food colorings contain color additives such as Red No. 3 and Yellow No. 5, which, according to a 1983 study by the FDA, were found to cause tumors (Red No. 3) and hives (Yellow No. 5).” In addition many food dyes have been linked to ADHD and other behavioral problems. And food dyes are made from things like dried cochineal beetles and coal tar (I’m not making this up). Not really something I want Simon eating. Puls it’s fun to make your own.

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  1. I attempted this, but didn’t have nearly the luck you did. We did resort to the other kind of dyes, but I’m bookmarking this for when we do some more this week, I’m so glad you did this. I so wish we had Trader Joes…

  2. These eggs really are beautiful! Canola oil! I was wondering how they got so shiny.
    As far as food dyes go, do you feel like there is a risk of ingesting dyes when eating a dyed hardboiled egg even when you don’t plan on eating the shell…? I’m not up on all the research although I have definitely heard that food dyes aren’t our best friends. Just curious. (Oh and this is me delurking- I think your photos are so fun and Simon is a sweet little guy!)

  3. That’s so cool. Thanks for sharing your process!

  4. admin

    “do you feel like there is a risk of ingesting dyes when eating a dyed hardboiled egg even when you don’t plan on eating the shell” Well eggs are porous and some of the dye is absorbed through the shell. I am sure you will notice when you crack open a pink egg that the egg is somewhat pink. But no, I don’t think it is nearly as bad as say eating a blue M&Ms or drinking Mountain Dew.

  5. Kay Weaver

    I love the yellow best and the oil rub really brighten them up.

  6. I just did a link round-up for natural eggs dying and linked to you!
    (I also used the pic of those purty eggs. I linked on the pic and a couple more times in the blog…hope that is okay!)

    These are fantastic, and I’ll do them separate from the ones I do with my kids, who kind of need that instant gratification!

  7. Jelena

    Yellow onion peel (the darker one looking more brown is better). Use a lot of it and add water in the pot. Have it boil for 20 minutes. Then wait for the water too cool. Add the eggs and cook for 10 minutes. beutiful dark red comes out.

    Do the same think with hibiscus tea (whole dried flowers). The beautiful earthy green comes i=out. First time I did it I thought it would turn out purple, because the hibiscus flower is deep purple. But turned out green.

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  1. By Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs! « Emily Weaver Brown Photography April 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

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