Guide to Natural Egg Dyes | CUESA

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March 11, 2013

Guide to Natural Egg Dyes

You don’t need artificial chemicals to dye eggs at home. All the ingredients you need to make safe, all-natural dyes can be found at the farmers market! Here are instructions and a shopping list to get you started.

Download a PDF of the guide »

Traditionally, eggs are hard-boiled before dyeing. Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. Run the eggs under cold tap water or place in an ice water bath until cooled to room temperature.

Once the dye is made (see opposite side for instructions)and the eggs are cooked, submerge an egg in the dye for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if more intense color is desired. Remove from the dye, handling as little as possible, and let dry completely. Naturally colored eggs will not be glossy, but if you want a shiny appearance, you can rub a bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry.

Ask your farmer for onion skins, carrots tops, and other items they may be discarding and test them out.

Shopping List

Click the links for a list of Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farms who carry these products:

Natural Egg Dyes Color Guide

Blue: Cut ¼ head of red cabbage into large dice and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain.

Orange: Add the skin of 6 yellow onions to 2 cups simmering water and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain.

Brown: Add the skin of 6 red onions to 2 cups simmering water and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain.

Dark pink: Cut 1 medium beet into large dice and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar and let cool to room temperature and strain.

Light yellow: Cut 1 medium golden beet and ¼ head of red cabbage into large dice and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar and let cool to room temperature and strain

Pastel pink: Chop the stems off of 3 bunches of red chard and add to 4 cups boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain.

Pastel yellow: Simmer the tops of 2 bunches of carrots in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain.

Tan: Simmer a handful of dried chile peppers in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and strain. Note: Wash hands after handling chiles and dye.

Download a PDF of the guide >

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »