If you’d like to forgo the disco-era neon of conventional food colorings and their “generally recognized as safe” ingredients, making dye with food is a great option.
The technique may be a little different but the results are beautiful and earthy and honor the wonders of the natural world. It’s amazing the variety of hues that are waiting for you in the produce and bulk department!
For this recipe we chose three fresh veggies to do our coloring for us. Don’t stop there! Get creative and have fun trying other natural dyes like onion skins, dried hibiscus, berries, chili powder and coffee. There’s a rainbow of color waiting for you!
- • 18 eggs
- • 1/2 head red cabbage
- • 2 cups beets
- • 1 cup turmeric
- • 1 cup white vinegar
- Supplies: Nylons, twisties, flowers & plants
- Make the dye: Put each type of veggie in a small saucepan with 1 quart water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, strain and discard solids. Return dye to pots.
- Meanwhile, secure your flowers and leaves to the eggs by holding them in place and gently wrapping with pieces of nylon. Secure with twisties and trim extra nylon.
- Return dye to a boil and add vinegar and eggs. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and transfer to refrigerator. At this point the color will not show up yet on the eggs. Do not despair! Leave them to soak overnight and come back in the morning for glorious results.
- In the morning, remove nylons and plant materials from eggs. Pat dry and gently rub with vegetable oil for a protective sheen. Store in fridge.