It’s easy and fun to dye hard-boiled eggs with onion skins, and since the dyeing takes place at the same time and in the same pot as the boiling, it’s a great alternative to messy and time-consuming food color dyes – and if you have eggs and onions on hand already, you won’t need to purchase a dye kit, either!
Dyeing eggs with onion skins
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Yellow onion skins (the skin of one onion for every three eggs you want to dye).
- Raw, white-shelled eggs.
- A pot large enough to hold the eggs you want to dye in a single layer.
- Water, a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar.
Put the onion skins in the bottom of the pot, then add the water, salt and vinegar. Gently place the eggs on top of the water-logged skins. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling (keep an eye on it so your pot doesn’t go dry!) for fifteen minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and add cold water to help stop the boiling process. When the contents of the pot have cooled, remove the eggs and gently pat them dry before storing them, or else enjoy them right away. The onion skins can be discarded (or added to your kitchen compost!).
The eggs will be a lovely, deep golden color and are great for Easter – or any time of year. If you enjoy hard-boiled eggs and do a lot of cooking with onions, why not dye your eggs on a regular basis to make your snacks more colorful?
Experiment with different color onions and different color eggs. You can’t get an ugly color. And onions aren’t the only form of natural dye for eggs.
- Leftover chopped red cabbage, using the above method, will turn eggs a blueish-green shade.
- Grape juice turns them purplish.
- Grated red beets turn them a vibrant deep red.
- Blueberries turn them (no surprise here) blue.
- Used coffee grounds or black walnut shells will turn them a nice shade of brown.
- Leftover carrot gratings turn them a pale orange.
- Used bags of Red Zinger tea turn them lavender.
- A touch of red wine that’s gone off for drinking will turn them bluish.
- The juice from a can of beets will turn them pink.
A half teaspoon of alum added to the water will make colors more vibrant.
There’s really no end to leftover food bits you can try using in this method. Some bits don’t impart color as well as others – for example, red potato skins only give enough color to create a very light pink. But it’s still lovely.
Guest post and photos by Robyn.
Originally published April 15, 2011