It’s almost time to spend a colorful afternoon with your kids creating beautiful Easter eggs. Did you consider that you could avoid unnatural food coloring and color your eggs by using natural ingredients, such as beets and tea? Some of the materials I will list, such as lemon peels, must be boiled first, and others, such as berry juice, do not. Coloring eggs naturally isn’t much harder than using an Easter egg coloring kit, and you can teach your kids the wonders that food can create besides just eating it.

Here is a list of natural dyes organized by color:

Green: Boiled spinach leaves

Blue: Frozen or canned blueberries and red cabbage leaves, both boiled

Purple: Hibiscus tea, grape juice (organic), and skins from boiled red onions

Red: Fresh beets boiled, red wine, raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries boiled, cranberry juice, boiled red onion skins, wine

Yellow: Boiled lemon peels, ground cumin or turmeric boiled, boiled carrots, boiled orange, or lemon peels

Orange: Orange juice, paprika, or boiled yellow onion skins

Brown: Strong coffee, any black tea

Steps to dye your Easter eggs:

For ingredients that need boiling:

1. Place your eggs in a pot of water, and bring to a boil. Turn heat off and cover for 15 minutes.

2. Place eggs in cold water to cool.

3. Place whatever ingredient you are choosing to work with (about two cups) in the saucepan and cover with water by one inch, and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and let simmer until the desired color is reached.

5. Strain the concoction so that you catch the colored water in a bowl, and add three teaspoons of vinegar for each cup of liquid.

6. Dye your eggs just as you would with conventional dyes.