Mary Olivar with Whole Foods has some fruit, veggie and spice substitutes that will make your egg dying safe and still colorful.
The following colors can be made with the following food items:
- Yellow/Gold - Lemon or orange peels, carrots, or turmeric
- Orange - Paprika, cumin, chili powder
- Red/Pink - Cranberries, raspberries, beets
- Purple - Hibiscus tea
- Blue/Lavender - Red cabbage, blackberries, blueberries
- Green - Spinach leaves
- Brown/Beige - Coffee, tea
Ingredients for one color: 2 cups of produce for desired color (ex: blueberries for blue/purple) crushed or chopped, or 1 teaspoon of spice for desired color (ex: turmeric for yellow/gold), 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, desired number of hard-boiled eggs.
Method: Put your choice of coloring ingredient into a small pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any solids, and then stir in vinegar. Set aside to let cool until warm or room temperature. To color eggs, submerge in dye, turning often for even coating, until desired color is reached. For more colors, dye eggs first in one color, then wipe dry and dye in a second color.
Pro-tip: boil your eggs and make the dyes the day before to save time on decorating day. Natural dyes are still messy, dress the kids in their play clothes and have paper towels handy.
And if you're using hardboiled eggs you can enjoy them later on salads or in an egg salad sandwich. If you intend to eat them, only have them out of the refrigerator for no more than two hours.