Coloring Easter Eggs Red with Natural Food Color

Coloring eggs red for Easter doesn't have to involve artificial food coloring but instead can be done using natural plant pigments from fruits and vegetables. Vegetable dyes derived from natural ingredients like onion peel and beet root can be used to create deep reds and pinks without risking ingestion of harmful compounds or messy clean-up.

How to Color Easter Eggs Dark Red Using Yellow Onion Peels

Necessary equipment:
  • deep pot
  • 2 handfuls yellow onion peels
  • 5-8 cups water
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • white eggs
  • ice bath
  • rubber bands (optional)

  1. Fill a deep pot with onion peels and enough water to completely submerge Easter eggs.
  2. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Water will turn a red-orange hue.
  3. Add eggs and vinegar to the colored water. Bring heat up to gentle boil for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Immediately remove dyed eggs and dip briefly into ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Following these directions with produce rust colored Easter eggs with a subtle mottled appearance. For marbled Easter eggs, secure onion peels directly onto the eggs with rubber bands before boiling.

Dye Easter Eggs Pastel Pink and Magenta Using Red Beet Pigment

Necessary equipment:
  • hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup beet powder
  • metal or glass container
  • wax paper or paper towels
  • egg holder (optional)
  • spoon

  1. Completely submerge hard boiled eggs in vinegar for 5 minutes. Wipe clean under running water to remove any dissolved egg shell.
  2. In a metal or glass container, stir beet powder into 1/2 cup water until completely dissolved.
  3. Dip eggs into beet dye, letting sit for 15-20 seconds. Remove and place on a flat surface, lined with wax paper or paper towels, or position onto an egg holder. Spoon excess beet dye over egg if needed to create an even colored pattern.
  4. Do not touch! Allow pink colored eggs to rest for 20-25 minutes until beet dye has completely dried on outer shell surface.
  5. Beet powder is available at certain specialty spice stores or from online retailers. If beet powder is unavailable a similar dye can be created by boiling beet root with vinegar, however eggs will be a speckled pale pink in color and not bright magenta. Boiling eggs in the water with red beets will create a tan colored egg.

Discover What Other Plants Can be Used to Create Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Vegetable dyed Easter eggs are possible because the unique color compounds in certain plants, like beet root pigment, are water soluble and become absorbed the eggs' shell. Bright yellows and oranges can be achieved by dyeing eggs with turmeric and blues and purples by coloring eggs using red cabbage and wine. Experimenting with a variety of other natural ingredients, like fruits, vegetables and spices, will produce a rainbow of colored Easter eggs without food coloring.

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