Easter is right around the corner and that means it is time to start planning all our favourite holiday traditions like sunrise services, easter baskets and egg dying.  Over the years, I have gradually been eliminating processed foods and chemicals from our pantry. There is increasing evidence linking food additives and artificial colour to conditions such as ADHD. This year I thought it would be fun to try a more natural approach to easter egg dying. Although it is a little more work, the kids loved seeing how ordinary fruits and vegetables can make pigmented dyes.

Here is a guide that will outline what produce/spice will equal what color. It is a simple process of simmering the ingredients with water, adding a little vinegar, and then soaking the eggs in the dyeing liquid. It is not an exact science, but experimenting with different colours is part of the fun.


Beets: Red

Yellow Onion Peels: Orange 

Purple Cabbage: Green/Blue

Turmeric: Yellow

Red Onion Peels: Reddish Brown

Frozen Blueberries: Grey/violet


It is important to keep in mind that the colors will change based on what kind of egg you use and how many times you dip and dry it.  Around our home we normally just have brown eggs but we got some white ones for this occasion.  We found that the colours showed up brighter with the white eggs. I started by hard boiling the eggs. My son loved packing his colourful eggs in his lunch box the following week!



2 beets, peeled & grated, about 5 cups of grated beets

5 cups water

5 T distilled white vinegar



3 yellow onions, peeled, about 1 1/2 cups onion skins

3 cups water

3 T distilled white vinegar



1 small head purple cabbage, grated, about 5 cups grated cabbage

5 cups water

5 T distilled white vinegar



1 tablespoon ground turmeric

2 cups water

2 T distilled white vinegar



3 red onions, peeled, about 1 1/2 cups onions skins

2 cups water

2 T distilled white vinegar



1 cup frozen blueberries

2 cups water

2 T distilled white vinegar



-Place the prepared produce/spice in a sauce pan with the water and bring to a boil then simmer covered for approximately 30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the deeper hues you will get.

-Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl (label your bowl with which produce you used so you know what color to expect).

-Add the vinegar to the solution and let cool to room temperature before coloring eggs.

-To dye the eggs, place the hardboiled eggs in the dye solution in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight for rich hues.

Additional Tips-

-For the produce that requires grating, I used the food processor for easier clean-up.

-For the onion skin dyes, make sure you peel the dry flakey skins off and use that rather than the fleshy part of the onion.

-We found that the colors intensified if we let them sit for an hour, took them out and let them dry, and then let them soak again. Some of the more richly colored eggs in the photos were dipped, dried, and dipped again up to 3 times through. Let the kids use their imagination and have fun!