Spring is in full swing! With Easter right around the corner, egg-dyeing is one fun activity you can do with the whole family. Rather than using artificial dyes (most synthetic food dyes are derived from petroleum), you can make your own natural dyes by upcycling food scraps from the kitchen.
There are so many natural vegetables, fruits and spices in your kitchen that can be used to make dyes. In addition to using extra food items you might have laying around, you can also use food scraps you'd otherwise be throwing away, and give them a second purpose before composting.
Red cabbage will create blue dye. For green, red onion skins or spinach. Turmeric will create a golden yellow dye. For red try beet shavings, and for pink try avocado pits and skins. And for orange, try yellow onion skins.
Along with your food scraps you will also need white vinegar, water, hard boiled eggs, and bowls and spoons for dyeing. We recommend using compostables from World Centric, which can be commercially composted along with your leftover food scraps and dyes.
Step 1: Boil The Eggs
Hard boil 1-2 dozen eggs (depending on how many you'd like to dye), for 8-10 minutes on medium heat.
Step 2: Make The Dye:
Combine 1-2 cups of food scraps, 2-3 cups of water, and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. For the yellow dye, combine 3 tablespoons of turmeric with 2 cups of water and microwave for 2 minutes. The more water you add, the less vibrant your dye will be. Remove the food scraps from the pot, and pour the remaining dyed water into a bowl.
Step 3: Dye The Eggs
Add 1-2 eggs to each bowl of dye. Let the eggs soak for 20 minutes, then flip the egg and let soak for an additional 20 minutes.
Step 4: Dry The Eggs
Remove the eggs from the dye, and place them back into the carton to dry.
Step 5: Clean Up = Compost
Don't forget to compost all leftover food scraps, compostable bowls and utensils, and any paper towels.
World Centric compostable bowls, spoons, and more are available at retailers nationwide including Whole Foods Market, Sprout's Farmers Market, Target, and Publix. You can use our store locator to find a retailer nearest you.