Yes, you can dye brown eggs! Natural dyes work beautifully with organic brown eggs, creating rich, muted colors. Try natural dyes from beets (pink), turmeric or boiled onion skins (yellow), and boiled red cabbage leaves (blue).
1. Prepare the dyes:
- RED/PINK: Boil a few cut beets in a small pot of water until tender and the cooking liquid turns a deep pink. Pour liquid into a small bowl. (Save the beets for a snack!)
- BLUE: Put a few red cabbage leaves in a small pot with 1 cup water. Gently boil until the cooking liquid turns a deep blue. Pour liquid into a bowl.
- GOLD: Mix 1 heaping tablespoon of turmeric with ½ cup water. Stir to blend.
2. Prepare the eggs:
Be sure to wash your hands (and any small hands involved) before handling eggs.
There are two options for preparing eggs for dying:
Hard-Boiling: Boil the eggs, remove from hot water, and cool slightly. Rub shells with white vinegar to help the shell take up the dye.
- Boiled eggs are sturdier for little hands, but they will go bad if left out on display. Always refrigerate hard-boiled eggs after coloring them. The USDA advises discarding cooked eggs that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Shells-Only: Alternatively, if you plan to put the eggs out on display, use a fork or skewer to poke small holes in both ends of the egg and gently blow the egg out of the shell into a bowl. (Save to scramble up later!) Rinse the shells very well and allow to dry. Rub shells with white vinegar to help the shell take up the dye.
- Shells-only is a good option if you plan to display your creations. They’re very fragile, though, so this method is best done with older children who will be less likely to crush them.
3. Color away!
Place eggs in bowls with dye and let sit for several minutes – longer for deeper color penetration. Blot eggs dry with a paper towel and arrange on a festive plate.
Step up your egg-coloring game by making patterns on the eggs! Draw on them with a white crayon or apply masking or electrical tape to the eggs before adding to the bowls. Then gently remove when eggs are dry.
Experiment with colorful herbal teas, black tea, coffee, grape juice, spinach, paprika, and even onion skins to get a rainbow of colors!
Calling All Easter Bunnies
Try using bright, reusable, plastic eggs filled with eco-friendly toys and organic treats for children’s hunts. Hard-cooked eggs may crack, allowing bacteria to enter and grow inside the egg, so the real ones are best enjoyed in the kitchen.
Food-grade egg dyes also work on brown eggs. Try preparing the solutions with less water, for strong, rich colors. They will not mask the brown entirely; rather they will blend with the egg’s natural color to create a unique, textured look.