The “juice” of a red cabbage is an indicator. This means that it will change color based on the pH. Adding an acid will produce a pink to red solution, while a base will produce a blue to green liquid. With very few ingredients you can customize the color to your egg dyeing needs.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 Red Cabbage
- White Vinegar (or any other acidic liquid)
- Baking Soda (or a basic alternative)
Step 2: Making the Cabbage Juice (Bile Em Cabbage Down)
I prefer to use the lazy method of tearing the cabbage leaves into small pieces and pouring boiling water over them. Alternatively, you can blend the leaf water solution and then strain the leaves (but that’s too much work for me - and too many things to wash afterwards!). The more concentrated, the deeper the color so I like to stop adding boiling water when it covers only half of the leaves. Then I will use a spoon and pack the cabbage down.
*Cabbage juice stains (which is a good thing considering we’re making dye), so you may want to take necessary precautions (gloves, protect clothes and counters, use glassware instead of plastic, etc.)
Step 3: Color Customization
Adding an acid, such as white vinegar, will give you a pink to red solution. The more you add, the closer the color will approach red. I added 5 mL vinegar to 3 oz of cabbage juice solution and reached a hot pink color. 10 mL vinegar to 3 oz of cabbage juice was fuchsia (your shades will be dependent on the concentration of your cabbage juice dye).
I used a baking soda solution to create shades of green and blue. My solution was made by dissolving 1 part baking soda to 2 parts water. 5 mL of this solution in the 3 oz of cabbage juice produced a blue color and 10 mL bordered on teal.
The photo shows the final colors that I used to dye my eggs: the original color of the juice (bottom), 10 mL of acid (left), and 10 mL of base (right)
Step 4: Boil Your Eggs
Make your hard-boiled eggs. I make mine by putting the eggs in a pot, filling it up with water, and heating it on the stove until it reaches a boil. Then, I turn the burner off, cover the pot with a lid, and allow it to sit on the burner for about 15 minutes (of course, I usually forget about them and they end up sitting for a while longer). Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water and allow them to dry and cool off.
Step 5: Time to Dye
Place your eggs in the desired dye and allow to sit. The color was apparent after an hour, but I allowed mine to sit overnight. When you remove your eggs from the dye, just remember that the dye will stain. Place them on paper towels and allow to dry.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Store in the fridge (or just eat them!).