Natural Easter Egg Dyes

March 31, 2020
| Created by Harmons

You may not know the reasons we dye eggs at Easter, but chances are good that you’ve done this and have strong memories attached to the tradition. The history behind coloring eggs comes from early pagans who believed (understandably) that eggs were symbolic of life and rebirth. Decorating them and giving them out as gifts provided great emphasis to the upcoming spring season, when the world became green and new again.

Early Christians also adopted the dyeing of eggs and symbolism of rebirth into their Easter traditions as they celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Most people today will tell you they dye eggs so they can find them once they’ve been hidden. Or, maybe that’s just me. But this highly unusual year seems like a perfect one to do something different, and so we’re offering up a twist on the tradition, using Harmons produce and products to create your own natural dyes and lasting memories. The best thing about dyeing eggs naturally is you know exactly what is in the dye.

Some of the best produce and products for dyeing eggs includes:

  • Red onion skins
  • Beets
  • Raw blueberries
  • Purple cabbage
  • Yellow onion skins
  • Grape juice
  • Coffee
  • Turmeric

The basic recipe for dyeing eggs is simple, and the only difference between colors is the dyeing agent you use or add.


Dyeing agent (beets, red onion skins, coffee, etc.)

1 quart water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon of salt

Bring water. vinegar, salt, and dyeing agent to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, and reserve the liquid in individual cups or bowls for dyeing.

The amount of dyeing agent you use will control the color, so for red dye, for example, you would use two chopped up beets. For yellow dye, you would add six or more tablespoons of ground turmeric, and for blue dye you could use one container of blueberries or one large red cabbage. For brown dye, add a cup of ground coffee, and for purple, try a cup of purple grape juice. Feel free to experiment and make your own colors with different kinds of natural ingredients.

After you have created your dyes, you simply soak the hard-boiled eggs in the liquids until they reach the desired hue. This can take several hours for darker, more vibrant colors, but the lighter ones have a special pastel vibe that fits the tone for Easter and spring.

No matter how long you let them soak, be sure to let your eggs dry completely after removing them from the liquid, either in your egg carton or on a wire rack.

Onion-skin Eggs

If you’re feeling extra motivated this year, you can even try making onion-skin eggs. Unlike traditional egg-dyeing, these eggs are not pre-boiled before coloring, and the cooking and dyeing process happens at the same time.

To create these fun and different dyed eggs, you need:

8-10 onion skins (yellow or Spanish variety) for every dozen eggs

Some cheesecloth or an old t-shirt cut into six-inch squares

Kitchen twine or string



12 eggs (for an even more interesting result, use both white and brown eggs)

Place an egg into the palm of your hand and wrap it in onion skins. The more layers you wrap it with, the darker the color you will get, so be creative. When it’s covered in the onion skins, place it on a cloth square, wrap it tightly, and then secure at the ends with twine.

Fill a pot with cold water and add the wrapped eggs. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt per quart of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and boil for about 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, discard the water, and let the eggs cool while still wrapped. When the eggs are completely cool, unwrap and let them dry on an egg carton or a wire baking rack.

And what to do with all those leftover onions? Take advantage of the in-season produce we have, like on the vine tomatoes and mini sweet peppers, and chop up a great fresh salsa, or take a minute and make some comfort food, like this great Harmons chili.