Change up your Easter egg-decorating routine by using fresh veggies and spices for dye. Beets, cabbage and turmeric take the place of synthetic coloring agents to give your holiday eggs brilliant color using only natural ingredients.
Technique tip: For perfectly centered yolks, turn the egg carton on its side and refrigerate overnight before boiling.
- 1 quart (4 cups) water, divided
- 1 quart (4 cups) white vinegar, divided
- 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 24 (2 dozen) hardboiled eggs
- 1 small beet, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
- 1 bay leaf
Blue or purple eggs
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 2 to 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
For each color base:
Heat 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup sugar in a small (1-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
For pink eggs:
Add the beet slices and bay leaf, cover the pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
For blue or purple eggs:
Add the cabbage, cover the pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda 1 teaspoon at a time, since it will bubble up immediately upon contact with the liquid. 2 teaspoons of baking soda will make the brine purple; 3 teaspoons will make it blue.
For yellow eggs:
Add the turmeric and peppercorns and whisk until the turmeric dissolves. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
To dye eggs:
1. Carefully pour the brines into wide-mouth, heatproof containers such as quart-size canning jars.
2. Let the brine cool for 10-15 minutes, then add 6 eggs to each jar.
3. Refrigerate for 2-12 hours, gently tilting the jars occasionally to make sure the eggs are evenly submerged in the liquid. Pink eggs will begin to take on color immediately in the beet brine; blue and purple eggs will need more time in the brine to achieve concentrated color.