Food + Drink

How to Make Naturally Dyed Eggs with Food Scraps

Gone are the days of relying on synthetic store-bought dye for Easter eggs—you can create wonderful, deeply colored eggs with leftover scraps you have in your kitchen. Our source is Waste Free Kitchen Handbook author Dana Gunders, a scientist working on food and agriculture with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Subsequently, she possesses a wealth of knowledge on how to eat well and save money by wasting less food (did you know about 40% of all food in the United States doesn’t get eaten?).

Her book is also sprinkled with fun and surprising anecdotes, like this excerpt for dyeing eggs.

Labeled Eggs

Interested in trying it out? Here are the instructions:

  • Bring 1 cup/240 ml of water to a boil with your choice of vegetable matter of choice (see the infographic below), then simmer, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid and add 1 Tbsp/ml of white vinegar.
  • Dunk your eggs in and leave them there for 30 minutes. You’ll have perfectly dyed eggs, as pretty as anything you could have made from the store. About 4 cups/960 ml of dye is needed to color one dozen eggs.

The results: simply stunning eggs that will impress anyone.


Red Onion

Yellow Onion

Purple Cabbage




Give it a shot this weekend!

If you liked this post, you might be interested in other tips Dana Gunders has to offer, like learning the right way to organize your fridge to make your food last longer, or five easy ways to get more food out of your food.

Photos by Irene Kim Shepherd

Jenna Homen

Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found cooking, camping, or in a museum. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
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