ETL Friday! Recipes: No-Grain Granola…

~ Update: This NoGrainola is actually excellent with plant-milks; the texture is best described as the texture of “Grapenuts Cereal” if you recall ever eating that. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜€ ~


No Grainola with Goji Berries and Walnuts

Hi, Folks. No grain, no sugar, no acrylamides, and low fat ETL-DPYC granola. I thought I’d share one of my recipes that I created, utilizing the humble but versatile garbanzo bean —ย  grain-allergy free to boot. Feel free to tweak. Let me know if anyone you serve this can tell this is NOT “cereal” (without informing them what it is first, of course!); so far, no one has thought it otherwise.

Oh, and, you can make this with grains if you wish; oats are excellent, as well as wheat germ (see note below recipe)

This can take a lot of tweaking and be just as good — from spicing to lots of additionals to taste, such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, oats/grains, flavorings, extracts, etc.

For morning cereals with ‘milks (see update above ๐Ÿ˜‰ )– I can’t say with 100% certainty you will like this with nut or seed milk: It will soften, which most cereals do; however, the texture is different, being beans and all. It’s ultimately up to you whether you like it that or not; try it :D. One friend of mine eats this with nut milk, but doesn’t let it sit to get soggy, so….I don’t know. You can spruce it up with berries — fresh and dried — or some banana, of course.

Sweetening can also be adjusted. I think the 1/2 C is a moderate amount, 2/3 C will satisify most; feel free to add more, if needed. Alternatively, if you find it is not sweet enough, or if others need more and others don’t, simple sprinkle in some date sugar, or sweeten your nut-seed milk. You can also spray the granola with water, then sprinkle with date sugar, spray again so it sticks; then pop it back into the dehydrator/oven ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are two basic, simple versions; work widdit ๐Ÿ˜€ :

No-Grain Granola


1 can of salt-free Garbanzo Beans, plain,drained and rinsed very well (or 1 1/2 C home-prepared, plain — sprouted, even better!)

2ย  tsp vanilla extract

1/2* – 2/3 C Date Sugar, or to taste

2 TB Ground Golden Flax Seed

1-1 1/2 tsp Spice, such as pumpkin pie mix, cinnamon, Or Ginger if you’re a pea picker ;),ย  etc. (2 tsp Ginger 1/2 tsp Cinnamon is good)

1/2 C Pecans or Walnuts or both, chopped (OR choice of nuts/seeds)

Citrus Zest of 1 fruit (1 orange), Optional

1/2 C dried fruit, Optional

Coconut, flakes, pieces, dried or fresh, Optional


See directions below

I used the entire skin of kumquats for the citrus zest. The skin of kumquats is sweet and edible straight and the inside fruit is tart; so it was easy to just slice up the skin. Use some zest of orange as an alternative. I also threw in chopped up pieces of fresh young coconut and the texture was fantastic; it wasn’t like dried coconut flakes, it was chewy like dried fruit.

*Half cup of date sugar makes this light on sweetness; use 2/3 for a just-right sweetness; more?…at your own risk! ;D .



Basic No Grainola ๐Ÿ˜‰ II



I like the addition of a bit of tahini in this version:

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, unsalted, drained and rinsed well, (or 1 1/2 C home-prepared, plain)

2/3 C Date Sugar, or to taste

1 – 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon or more (Or others, such as Ginger, Cardamon, etc.)

2 TB Tahini + 2 TB juice/water, mixed

1/4 tsp Almond Extract

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 TB Ground Golden Flax seed

1/2 C Almonds, chopped (or nuts/seeds of choice)

1/2 C Dried Fruit, Other additions, such as coconut, etc., Optional

Zest of 1 Citrus, Optional

1/2 C Creativity ๐Ÿ˜‰ Optional


Beanola ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Directions

Drain and rinse very well the Garbanzo beans and drain.

Pulse them in the processor

Dump into a bowl.

Combine tahini-water+ extracts

Then with a fork work in the tahini mixture, taking care not to mash — Just toss, but till thoroughly combined.

Add the Date sugar, cinnamon and flax, fork-tossing in as above.

Add the nuts, and mix.

Pour onto parchment-lined dehydrator sheets or baking sheet. Dehydrate at desired temperature till thoroughly dried; Or, bake at 248-degrees (to avoid acrylamide formation) or at lowest temperature you can in your oven till thoroughly dried and crunchy-yum.

I dehydrate 1 recipe in the Excalibur dehydrator at the highest temperature (155-degrees) for 3-or-so hours; it can actually be eaten at @ 2 hours; however it’s not thoroughly dried to my satisfaction at that point for best crunch factor (or for storing). You’ve probably tasted different granolas and some are super hard, others have a softness to them. You decide.

I’ve done lots of variations; so take your pick.


Note on adding grain and / or Creativity:

If you add the grain, pulse chop rolled oats; if you use quick-cooking oats, you don’t need to pulse them. Start with 1/2 C;ย  I believe 1/2 C is about right. Try other ingredients such as some carrot pulp, perhaps; or ground nuts/seeds, etc. (Be sure to taste to determine if seasoning needs adjusting.)

And let me know your results ๐Ÿ™‚



Above is one using oats (pic before dehydrating). Interestingly, though, those who tasted both had no idea the only-garbanzo one was without any grain.

It has pecans and dried bananas

These mixtures look especially beautiful around the holidays with festive fruits and nuts. Oh, and not to mention a great way to maintain your Eat-To-Live lifestyle during that tough season :).


ETA: Have to add this!ย  If you are having problem with eating nutritionally/snacking; etc, this may be too “snacky” or contain too much dried fruit (dates ) for you;ย  it is, however, great for children. Eat responsibly ;^)


Some pics to help with the directions;

Pulse the beans; don’t cream them:



granola-chickpea_pulsed (8)




Granola_chickpea_tahini (3)


Granola_chickpea_tahini (4)


Granola_chickpea_tahini (5)




Oh, and speaking of crunch…Don’t forget my My Kale Chips recipe! For a delicious savory crispy munch ๐Ÿ™‚



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Click pic below for a looksee at what else I ETLize to make for family and friends with the incredible, edible chickpeaย  (and more) ๐Ÿ˜‰



Got recipes to share?

Send ’em to me and I’ll post ’em here on ETL Friday! ๐Ÿ˜€



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Sweet Cherry Essene…


May as well start writing these down :D.ย  I made a few types of Essenes last week (see Monukka Essene Bread; here’s another one.

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Whenever I make things, I rarely to never use a recipe; AND Iโ€™m so bad at writing stuff down. Okay, the following is an example of a recipe I’ve made and previously not written out; yet I managed to do it ;).

This is whipped up, using a blender in minutes (you can use a juicer; I don’t bother). Just pop into the dehydrator (I like to crank it to highest temp) and let ‘er go — “set it and forget it,” haha ๐Ÿ˜€ The little loaf took several, no-hassle hours.

Essene is not for everyone; it is a sprouted (therefore, healthful ๐Ÿ™‚ ), sometimes “raw” bread; but as with any recipe, you can tweak, add, modify to suit your tastes.

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This is a sweeter bread.ย  Make sure to blend till smooth!


Sweet Cherry Essene

For more thorough, step by step instructions (including sprouting your own grain) with pictures, click HERE.

1 C Sprouted Organic Kamut

1/2 C Dried Organic ~sweet~ Cherries

1/4 C Nut or Seed Milk (or water) to soak fruit*

2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 C or more Walnuts, finely chopped

Few scrapes of freshly grated Nutmeg


Zest of one Orange


(This is sweet and doesn’t need a sweet, date sugar topping, however, a ground nuts/coconut/seeds + spices would work, if you’d like)


Blend all in a blender till smooth and creamy. It takes some doing with Essene; use a tamper or shut off your blender and scrape sides. It will turn over and begin to emulsify and smooth.

Spread onto a parchment-lined dehydrator tray or cookie sheet. Dehydrate a until done, from 2 1/2 -6 hours (depending on method of baking and at what temperature).

*Notes: If I don’t have time to soak, just adding the 1/4 C liquid works. It’s just that some dried fruit is really stubborn and it may take a bit longer toย  blend. It’s best to soak the dried fruit, and really doesn’t take much time. You can use hot water while you are getting everything together, and that’s usually enough too. If you soak, omit the 1/4 C liquid, but drain the fruit!

You can use just water or other nut or seed milk; I like sesame. Milks help a bit with the “raw” flavor.

This was blended very well, and this makes Essene miles better. The chunkiness is from the walnuts…




This dough is a bit looser, so it takes longer to finish dehydrate/bake (you choose). You can still get a little loaf out of it. Just use a spatula to shape it.I didn’t want it too thick, though…




There is enough to make a faster-baking flat one too…(or you can make a baby loaf ๐Ÿ™‚ )



Cut these up and you have better-than-any-ol’-storebought (stale!) “raw” bar ๐Ÿ˜€


I mentioned athletes in my last post; these are good forย  hardcore workout freaks ๐Ÿ™‚ or youngsters who play hard. Preteens in my family love these sweeter ones.(Dr. Fuhrman has okayed these for children ages 1 and up!)

Sweet Cherry Walnut Essene Bread…





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Barbie Bread — Homemade Essene Bread, More Sprouting!


Monukka Essene Bread



Recipe at the end of this post ๐Ÿ™‚ย  ( Also see Sweet Cherry Essene recipe )*Essene, (aka “manna,” is aย  Dr. Fuhrman-approved breadfind at end of recipe instructions* You have to go through my ramble on sprouting (and OF COURSE my going off track…slightly ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) the whole-grain berries to make this bread.

Essene bread is an ancient, sprouted bread. It is much different, however, from what we consider bread today. It goes by other names — Manna bread, raw bread, etc. — all the same thing ;^) There is a brand name, “Ezekiel,” but one should read the label(s) to double check ingredients on any brands claiming “raw,” “live,” or “sprouted,” etc. breads.

It is extremely easy to make, from its most simple form — just grain, which is the original — to various additionals, flavorings, herbs, etc., for more modern palates. Some get carried away — be careful ๐Ÿ˜€ —ย  but, by all means, do add vegetable/fruit or their pulps; or other fromย  juicing ๐Ÿ™‚


It should, however, be void of preservatives, sugar, salt, other unwholesome additives, and yeast. It is also very quick to make, which is a bonus. It can be made sweet or savory, both usually containing the traditional raisins or you can use other dried fruit.

It is sometimes referred to as “raw” bread, but most of the Essene breads eaten nowadays are storebought; and the majority are baked at @ 250-degrees, rendering them un-raw. One may be able to find a “truly raw” bread in some stores, as the natural and “raw-food” food movements has become more widely commercial. The packaging will indicate if it is truly “raw,” as that is a selling point; it’s usually produced by a merchant specializing in “raw food.” It will state at what temperature the breads were baked/dehydrated.

Essene breads store very well; and you can freeze them if making in bulk. Additionally, you may freeze your sprouts, too, (or even dehydrate-see pics)ย  for use later, to make these even more convenient.

If you have never had Essene bread be aware it is not going to be like traditional bread — it is moist and chewy and has a very particular flavor from the sprouted grain. It is a “raw” flavor. The the longer and the higher temperature at which it is baked, however, the more bread-likeย  it tastes. It is surely an acquired taste ๐Ÿ™‚

If you try Essene bread, however, and don’t like the texture, moistness, or “rawness”; you can simply dehydrate till crunchy OR bake them at higher temperatures.

The Essene bread “doughs” benefit from sitting a while to develop flavor, just like one rests and rises yeast breads. Just don’t let it sit too long ;). This is another reason dehydrating can be tastier.

I’ve mentioned previously that I have a lot of drafts on sprouting, and other things, which I haven’t gotten to! But, since my fellow nutritarian enthusiast, Barb, (aka, Kneecap, aka Vegan Barbie) over at HealthyVegan likes a little Essene bread now and then, I figured I’d put up this post to show how easy-peasy Essene can be!

Ha…this post is sorta funny…I don’t eat grains any longer, but I do make this (and other things I don’t eat!) for family — the athletic types in the group like these better than “power bars” :). Actually, I never made Essene bread for myself, even pre-healthful eating through ETL…I was too toxic from a bad carb addiction to mess around with healthful “bread”! I was into the crusty (or chewy) topped white bread…Ugh! Okay, we won’t go there now. Even though not my thing, I hope this blog post will be helpful for those interested in healthful breads and wraps with wholesome grains. ๐Ÿ™‚

NOTE: My recipe calls for really blending this till very smooth. Many use a juicer to get the best texture. If you have one, of course use it; but a power blender works fine. Also, my pictures do not show the Essene “dough” completely smooth, as the persons this is made for like it textured. But, generally, the batter should be smooth as you can get it.


NOTE: Also remember: You can make this to your taste buds! Use any tasty grains/ingredients you wish! This is a great base from which to sprout your creativity ๐Ÿ˜‰ Add whatever extras — dried tomatoes, carrot or other vegetable pulps, various nuts and seeds, vary the texture — it’s endless! Read the ingredients labels of your favorite brands and make your own for pennies.


ALSO: please remember to use very good, fresh ingredients: With so few, it really matters! Use good quality to get good quality.

Sprouting, period, is simple; so berries are no different. Here are some samples and directions:

These are Amaranth seeds: Place in a clean jar, add fresh water and soak…


Amaranth, soaked — Isn’t it pretty! this is soaked, drained, and rinsed amaranth…


Here they are, the lovlies :). Amaranth Sprouts!


Beautiful, aren’t they? Amaranth sprouts fairly quickly, too…just fyi…Sprouted in my hand-made hemp bags :D…


Same deal for other grains: Here is quinoa, sprouted….


Here, their tails got longer (conditions will determine speed of growth)…



I sprout sometimes on my dehydrator trays! The mesh has nice sized holes to let air flow through, and, as you see, these buckwheat sprout roots grew through the bottom…


Here are the beautiful buckwheat sprouts…



Essene is made with berries from the wheat family, so, whole-grain wheat, kamut, and spelt are a few.

Here are some Spelt berries, dry…




Just soak ’em…


Couple days later, Voila! Spelt Berry Sprouts…



Kamut Berries, Dry: These are so gorgeous. I love the color of kamut. It’s an Amber (one of my favorite colors ๐Ÿ™‚ )..


Kamut is my choice for an Essene. Combined with spelt and rye makes a delicious combo, too; and of course, you can get as creative as you wish, using any grains. Experiment, experiment ๐Ÿ˜€

Kamut is a member of the wheat family (spelt, as well). Closer look ๐Ÿ˜‰ :


Soak kamut 6-12 hours (overnight makes it easy)…


Drain, Rinse, then lay out on a tray…


…and rinse and drain them every 8-12 hours (usually about 2-3 times) (minding weather conditions)


Kamut Berry Sprouts Day 2


For Essene Bread, where you stop growing is debatable: Some say the tail should be twice as long as the berry; others say just as long as the berry, or equal in length to the berry. Grain sprouts get bad-tasting when sprouted too long; they are best, and sweeter at a small tail. You decide. Taste test. My advice is to go with length of the berry or 1/4-inch tail.

Okay, here are the tails at Day 2 (in California winter time; summer, these grow faster and would be longer) …


Rye Berry Sprouts: These came out perfect. As you can see, I did them in a jar. Small amounts are fine this way….



Jar method:

Soak (rinsed and drained) seeds/berries in a clean mason jar. Drain and rinse every 8 hours or whatever is specified for the particular seed you’re growing.ย  If you have a sprouter lid like this one…


Use it. (Sprout People have nice ones (the one above), which I prefer; I like the plastic bands — the metal rusts).

If not, some clean cheesecloth (found at any market) works great…


(The above are broccoli sprouts, which are obviously not what I’m discussing here; but the cloth top is to demonstrate; )

Lay it on it’s side so it continues to drain, has more space to breath, and is not sitting in a puddle.

Not the best pic…it should be facing down slightly more than in this pic to drain, as opposed to strictly on its side, if that makes sense…It should be at an angle…


I have put them in my sink dish rack to drain; that works great too ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s some more good news: You don’t need a dehydrator tray (though, it’sย  nice and roomy) nor a jar and lid; you can sprout in a colander, preferably with lots of holes. Of course you still need to soak them somewhere — a bowl or any-‘ol jar will do.

While sprouts are growing, you must place a towel or newspaper over it in order to keep out light. Sprouts need darkness to grow (same for the jars). Procedure for green sprouts requires another step where it bathes in sunshine; but for grain berries, for our purposes, it only grows a small tail and will not grow to a green.

This is one of those ubiquitous steamer inserts! It has lots of holes for good air flow. It’s not a lot of room, but, if you’re making small amounts it works very well. These are ryeberries


To demonstrate that this does work, here are some pics of sprouts I grew to green on the steamer — alfalfa sprouts…


…and some clover sprouts!


So, you don’t really need fancy equipment ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Especially, if you’re not growing loads (like I do!) Look around your home and you may find something similar to use.

For more on jar sprouting, visit this page at SproutPeople.

Okay, getting off track…I LOVE MY SPROUTS!!! ๐Ÿ˜€


Back to the Essene Bread…

Choose your berries and sprout, OR you can buy some in the refrigerated section of some markets (if you have a hippy-vitamin store they sometimes have some in the fridge sections too ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

kamut_sprouts_package-2sm-copyThe pic to the left is a 6-ounce container of organic, sprouted kamut from Whole Foods; it cost $1.99 (a rip when you consider how VERY inexpensive it is to buy your own organic grain and sprout!)


So organic Kamut, sprouted, for this recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰


Look for these delicious Monukka raisins…




Some Vanilla…


…don’t worry, use extract ๐Ÿ˜‰


Date Sugar:ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  date-sugar-sm-copy



OR a Combo:ย  nuts/seeds, spices, dates, ground together (coconut) ๐Ÿ˜‰






























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Just put berries, raisins, vanilla (not nuts or topping!) in the blender…







Pulsing helps draw it in…






Use your tamper or stop blender and use a spatula to get it moving…





Coming along ๐Ÿ™‚






I stop here for texture; however, you should let it get to smooth as possible…




…and stir in by hand the finely chopped or ground nuts.

Spread onto parchment-lined dehydrator tray…








Sprinkle with topping, if using…







Dehydrate or bake…







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The Recipe:









My Monukka Essene Bread,ย  (basic, sweet version)

This is rated at light-medium-sweetness. For lighter sweetness, omit the dates (in the/or the) topping.

It has the intended chewy texture of classic Essene bread; however, you can adjust the texture to preference.

This is a raw-food Essene, but you may bake it at as low a temperature as you please in your oven, not to exceed 250-degrees to be considered an Essene Bread. You may, of course, do as you wish ๐Ÿ™‚

Vary the textures for variety; see notes.

6 ounces sprouted, organic Kamut Berries, whole (@ 1 1/2 C sprouted berries)

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 C Monukka Raisins, soaked and drained (or good-quality, super-tasting, sweet golden raisins (OR Dates, pitted)

Blend in a power blender till VERY smooth. You will see the gluten makes it a sticky dough. Do not add water, unless absolutely necessary; the grains should have enough, and the fruit as well.

Stir in by hand @ 1/4 C or more of finely chopped, minced, or ground Pecans


Spread evenly onto sheets to desired thickness.

You can sprinkle with a topping if you choose.

Dehydrate to desired texture.

The above, took 2 hours in the dehydrator at maximum heat — 155-degrees —ย  to have a bendable texture; so good for a wrap or sandwich (or cookie). The thicker one took about 3 hours (see pics below).

I left the crackers go @ 6 hours — again, depends onย  how thickly you spread the dough and what texture you like. To test, just take out a piece and let it cool. Then taste for texture.

Note: If decide you should have added a topping to the recipe, but didn’t, you can still add it: Just spritz the top of your bread with a water bottle and then sprinkle with date sugar, date-nuts/seeds, or cinnamon-date sugar. Give it another light spray to make sure it sticks. Then, simply pop it back in to the dehydrator for a bit till dried. Voila! Fixed ๐Ÿ™‚

Cinnamon Date Sugar:

  • 1/4 C date sugar
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground

Mix thoroughly. Store in a well-sealed.

Sprout People has a good suggestion: sprinkle the pan with seeds or nuts to keep it from sticking. Sesame seeds are a great choice! Or dip your doughย  in a bowl of seeds to cover all sides. I’d just sprinkle them on top.


I just use parchment and it peels right off when cooled. The above pic shows what happens when you don’t let it cool first ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Use something because it will stick to the plastic mesh sheet of a dehydrator and not be easy to release. Alternatively, some dehydrators provide solid sheets for making fruit rolls and other sticky things; you can use that.

I’ve also used a silicone baking sheet in a pinch. Works great. There are small sizes available now, too. “Silpat” is the original, I think.

Temperature is up to you. You can make it “raw”; or bake it at a low temperature in your oven — the higher the temp, the more “enzymes” will be killed. (To avoid acrylamide formation, I would keep it under 248-degrees). It’s up to you. The ones in stores, unless specified, are usually heated above 250-degrees.

Oh, and by the way, if you want it “raw,” you should actually start off the temperature as high as it goes for at least the first 15 minutes to half an hour. Pre-heating the dehydrator helps, too. The reason, is that the wet loaf will not be anywhere near the high temperature for a while (especially the inside and the center); so it will still be raw. You also avoid it rotting! You won’t like that taste ๐Ÿ˜‰

So you see the advantages of making these into bread-like slices or like wraps, such as lavash or pitaย  — one being that the short dehydrating/cooking time doesn’t allow it time to get bad ๐Ÿ™‚ —ย  amongst other advantages. I never understood the little thick loaves…too raw on the inside and just too gummy. But that’s just me ๐Ÿ™‚ย  You can make little loaves, if you wish; just not too thick (high) and watch for fermentation by taste testing.






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Here is a picture of the thicker layer I mentioned…




You can cut trim the sides to make it more even…







Make little bread sticks ๐Ÿ™‚ Or dry for extended periods to make crackers…






…or till desired texture (to get a cookie-like texture and shape) ๐Ÿ˜€


* I asked Dr. Fuhrman if raw, dehydrated Essene bread is safe for children (and if dehydrating is okay and if baking is okay); his response:

“I don’t see any problem with some of that healthful bread for children after one year of age. Any way you prepare it is okay.”

So Good News! ๐Ÿ˜€ Another DPYC recipe!

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Here are pictures of kamut berries which I had sprouted, then dehydrated for long storage…





Properly (thoroughly) dehydrated grain sprouts lasts indefinitely…


I’ve stored them for years, and they are still excellent. Good for your earthquake kit or other kit custom to your location.

Also a possible traveling food…


Sprouted grain, by the way, is higher in protein and enriched through the sprouting process; so it itย  has lower starch and less carbohydrates.

To dehydrate, take care to do so at a very low temperature to preserve its nutritional value, but also to not burn the delicate little roots. Do not put them in the dehydrator wet; rinse them one last time and let them complete their final sprouting for the 8-12 hour period. Then pop them into the dehydrator at @ 90-degrees to dry. It won’t take long at all. Bite or cut through one or two to make sure it’s dry throughout. Store in a tightly covered glass container.

** ~ **


So, barb, here’s the skinny:

Soak, drain, lay out to sprout and rinse every 8-12 hours some kamut or spelt berries till their tails are @ 1/4″

Dump ’em in the blender with some Monukka raisins and vanilla.

Blend, add nuts, Spread, Dehydrate or bake.


Voila!…Barbie Bread ๐Ÿ™‚



Any sprouting question, just ask! I’m not an expert, but I’ve done lots…some of it documented here on my blog, so take a look around at posts from last year, and you’ll find lots of info; but absolutely feel free to ask. I’ve done some microgreens, and lots of sprouts ๐Ÿ˜€


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ETL Friday! DPYC Series…

Well, it’s just me this time ;). Instead of rambling, I’ve decided to start the DPYC Series this week with a couple ETL-friendly recipes. The first of these, anyone will like, not just children. I mentioned child-friendly ideas over at forums (hint) So far, no entries :(.

green-twist-roll SO, I decided to kick it off myself andย  just post a couple DPYC-friendly recipes that I make for family and friends ๐Ÿ™‚ . And, anyway, with no children of my own, I can’t really write anything more about it than recipes, haha. So, if you’re a parent and have a fun story, hints, suggestions, strategies, experiences, etc., etc., please send them to me! I’m sure lots of parents would benefit from your experiences — Doesn’t have to be a big-time production or long or complicated. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, and don’t worry, we’re back to guest bloggers for ETL Friday! next installment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, here we go….


The original of this recipe by Eriann Hullquist calls for 1 1/4 C total sweetener, salt, and starch. I revised it, tweaked the flavoring, and it tastes the same. It’s one of my most requested sweet things. Never has anyone guessed it is made with carrots!

Butterscotch Pudding

1 lb cooked, good-quality carrots (weight after prep @ 5 carrots) or 3 full cups of chunked carrots

4-8, large, pitted, Medjool Dates (2 1/4 – 4 1/2-ounces, pitted) or to taste

1 TB Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp Walnut Extract*

1/4 C (1 oz) Cashews

1/2 C water

Steam the carrots in water till done; While hot, ladle carrots into the blender with the extracts and blend for a minute. (Be sure to put the lid on, but leave off the cap to allow air to escape; hold a cloth over it to avoid sputtering and getting burnt.)

Add dates, and blend, adding water.

Then add the cashews and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

Is ready to eat, warm, if you like; but it’s better after it sits a while and flavors marry. Tastes better the next day, and will also set up to a more pudding density after refrigerated.


Makes 3 Cups

Substitutions: * Here are some variations, if you can’t find walnut extract:

If you have limited access to flavorings, you can simply use the Vanilla; it makes a nice, more caramel-tasting pudding combined with dates ๐Ÿ™‚

If you can find a good-quality butterscotch extract, start with1/4 tsp + vanilla (start with 1 tsp) and work from there. As well if you can find a good-quality maple extract, start with 1/2 tsp + butterscotch + vanilla.

If no butterscotch, just use the maple + vanilla.

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Notes: Regarding the hot carrots, this is done with very hot carrots in order to temper the off-taste of some extracts. If you are using cold carrots, just heat them first in the microwave, or “cook” it in a power blender by letting it run on, “high” for several minutes, until very hot. In some recipes, extracts need to be cooked.

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Non-Toxic Play Doh!

Okay, so you can’t eat this; but it’s in step with keeping your child safe and employing environmentally friendly, inexpensive, interactive play time. This is super easy and fun for you — uhh, I mean — children to make!

See “Dough Notes” for more play dough info ๐Ÿ™‚

When I recently wanted to make these, I had neither flour nor regular salt! It was an odd feeling — one, going into a regular grocery store into the non-produce section;ย  and, two, buying cheap veg oil, salt and flour! I think I was able to slip out, undetected; however, the cameras may come back to haunt me some day! ๐Ÿ˜€

First, “classic play-doh” using regular ol’ย  white flour came out best of all the dohs.

Here is how it goes…

Combine dry ingredients, whisk well:


Add Liquid Ingredients:


Stir Well:




Oops, I fogot the oil…that’s okay…


Mix thoroughly:


Pour into saucepan:


Forgive the bad quality of these next pics; I don’t get good natural light in some parts of my home, over the stove, being one of them!

Stir over heat:




It starts to coagulate:


Keep stirring! Elbow, grease, elbow grease!


Comes to a ball when done:


Let cool till you’re able to handle (not long)ย  and knead, as you would bread,ย  into a ball:


Here you can see slight differences in shades. It’s nice to be able to adjust it:


~ resized

A lighter yellow:


You can easily use whatever you have around the house to decorate. I used a whole clove for the nose, and two coriander seeds for eyes on this fella :^)


Dough Notes:

Age appropriateness for the original Play-Doh product is set at 2 and up; ultimately, it is up to and the sole responsibility of the parents as to when their child can play with it. Personally, since I don’t have children, I cannot really gauge; But, for sure, I would provide supervision with a child that young.

The original Play-Doh product is also a flour, salt, and water emulsion; however, the entire list of ingredients is confidential, apparently — wouldn’t want those evildoers getting their hands on Our Play-Doh!ย  It is free from peanuts and “milk”; but no indication it is dairy-free — I assume not, or it would be expressed. Most likely there is casein for texture; it is the component which gives cheese(s) its stretch. Original Play-Doh purports to be “non-toxic,” as well.

I tried different play dough recipes from the web, calling for varying amounts of the same basic ingredients. I adapted the thriftiest of them, and it actually came out better than the ones calling for more oil and cream of tartar (which is not inexpensive).

This will clean up fine; however, you may not want to use your very best pot. Whatever you use, filling with water right away to sit for a bit before washing will help — it will come right off. You then won’tย  have to scrape, avoiding any scratching. Additionally, a wooden spoon or utensil or a heat resistant spoon (such as the silicone ware) will not scratch surfaces.


The Recipe:


Traditional Play Dough, My Way

1 cup flour

1 cup colored water*(see Naturalย  Coloring, below)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon plain vegetable oil

1/4 cup salt

Combine in a saucepan, all the dry ingredients, whisk together.

combine water and coloring to equal 1 C. Whisk in the oil.

Add liquid to the dry ingredients and stir together till smooth.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, paying attention to the bottom sides of the pan. Keep it moving continuously so it doesn’t burn.

When it comes to a ball, and is stiff, remove from heat and continue to move it around for a minute.

Let cool till can handle comfortably. Knead on clean, even surface, like bread dough ๐Ÿ™‚

Done! Safe play doh ๐Ÿ˜€

Wrap in plastic, place in plastic bag or airtight container to store. Refrigeration extends shelf life.

~ *** ~

And, then I started to wonder…what about the micro? Yep! It works. Good way to make play dough if need to make a lot and quickly, or making for others (great, easy, inexpensive gift for children, by the way!)ย  Clean up is WAY better this way! You won’t have to worry about scrubbing your good pots.

There is an extra step for microwave play dough*:

Microwave ‘Doh

Combine ingredients…




*Scrape the quick-cooking sides well…


Mix it up…


Getting thicker still…




At this point (@ the 2-minute mark), spread toward the sides making it more shallow in the center, since it cooks faster there, so all the dough gets cooked through:


Continue mixing/kneading with a utensil (it’s hot!)


Ah, coming together…








Check out the easy-peasy cleanup!..


No pots or pans to scrub ๐Ÿ™‚


The Recipe

Microwave Play Dough:

Here is one I tried with blueberry juice — 2 TB + a bit more — it made a nice purplish. (blue is a primary color and I’ve yet to have success with it) More would have made a deeper purple. Note: when using a natural colorant, more than a tsp or so, add it first to the measuring cup, then add water to equal the total amount of liquid for the recipe; otherwise it’s too much liquid.


My Microwave Play Dough

Store in a plastic bag,or in plastic wrap. It will last quite a bit in a cool place; or refrigerate for longer shelf life.

1 cup flour

1 cup colored water

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon plain, vegetable oil

1/4 cup salt

Combine dry ingredients in a microwave-safe glass bowl; whisk well.

Add cool or room temperature liquid and oil. Mix thoroughly.

Cook on “High” at 30-second intervals, stirring well in between.

At about the 2-minute mark, it is becoming solid, so make sure to spread the dough, so it’s not in a ball or pile in the center — the sides cook first and you will have it hard on the sides and undone in the center. Spreading helps to cook it evenly (see pics).

~ Important: Do not over-cook these in the micro; your end product will become rubbery.

This should take a total of 3 1/2 minutes — your micro’s “high” may be more or less, but it should not be too much more or less than that . My pictures may help. And remember that things continue to cook when removed from the microwave.

~ Also, dough is very hot from the microwave; use caution when touching. Knead with the spatuala until cool enough to handle ~

*The extra step

…is that microwaved play doh forms a white dusting, fairly quickly after cooling:


Best solution is the following:

Add Oil: You can put a teaspoon or so in the palm of your hand and spread it on; I just poured it on in order to photograph it ๐Ÿ˜‰


Spread oil all over the surface only, first.


Now knead it…


Good as new!


With the small amount of oil used, it won’t be greasy. It may dry out a bit again, but not as bad; repeat with (small amount of) oil, or simply knead again to replenish ๐Ÿ™‚ Wrap in plastic wrap as soon as done playing with it to keep it from drying.


The following is what I did the first time, and, is a second option:

If you don’t have the oil with you, simply knead it…


Depending on how fast you get to it, it may leave a bit of texture from having hardened too much, as in the above doughs; but that’s no big deal. The more you knead, the better.

Not too shabby:


AND don’t forget to store, wrapped in plastic wrap. ๐Ÿ™‚

*Natural Coloring:

You can buy some or combine vegetables and fruits to make your own:

Red: Beets

Purple: Blueberry juice (I don’t even juice them. I simply drain the bag of frozen blueberries. There is always at least 2 TB of juice; it’s not ice!)

Green: green powder, such as spinach powder or spirulina or chlorella powder (you can find these in some vitamin shops in bulk bins; it costs MUCH less to get a tablespoon of this stuff for projects. I wouldn’t consume algaes that came from a bulk bin, though!); OR leafy greens pulse-blended with water (parsley is good; has a more pleasant fragrance than cruciferous)

Yellow: Tumeric (1 tsp makes the dark yellow above), Safflowers orย  Annatto (both inexpensive, found in the South American Foods section in little clearย  packages)

Orange: (I think I tried using carrots at one point…but I do know I combined red with tumeric and got the dark orange! Sigh.. so many experiments, I forgot and can’t seem to find it in my notes ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . I’m doh confuuuused! ๐Ÿ˜€

Combinations: Orange = Red + Yellow

Lime Green = Yellow + Green

PLUS, you get varying shades and hues — some really pretty: With beets, for example, you can get many shades of pink. Cranberries work too.

Experimenting might be part of the fun too, mixing and matching fruits and veggies ๐Ÿ˜‰

A tip: Instead of using whole fruits/veggies, save the pulp from juicing or scraps from prepping and add water, pulse-blend and strain. This is actually better than putting whole juices or whole veggies into the mixture. It’s best NOT to blend too smooth or the bits will end up in your mixture (and smell/rot); instead, use the lower level on your blender to break it up; it colors the water.


Parsley, pulse-blended with water…



: green-coloring_parsley_strain



Here is a pic of doh made with the parsley water…


~ *** ~

Other Safe Play Dohs

There is organic tapioca starch available, and

cornstarch: “Let’s Do Organic” by Edward and Sons has both, and Rapunzel’s cornstarch is organic, as well.

Gluten-Allergy-Free Play-Dohs:

We tried a LOT of various recipes for allergy-free ‘dohs and, ultimately, most remained sticky. Some were better than others. The best were ones using cornstarch (more on an alternative, if you have a corn allergy, below). Some come out with a gelly-like look and texture (not like play-doh at all, but still may be liked by children) and others look a lot like play doh.

What I found is, whichever you choose to make, you need to knead it with more of the “flour” you chose to remove the stickiness. The dough feels great at first, but as the warmth from your hands as you’re playing with it makes it sticky and leaves it on your hands and fingers — probably not something you want littleย  hands deposiiting all over the house :). So, it may take kneading it every so often.

These also decay faster and are better kept in the fridge. Those made with flour, for some reason, lasted weeks out of refrigeration, wrapped in plastic, while the others molded.

We tried all combos and found this one the better gluten-free play doh:

I found this recipe online and decided to give it a go:


1/2 cup rice flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup salt

2 tsp cream of tarter

1 cup water

1 tsp cooking oil

Food coloring


Mix ingredients. Cook and stir on low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture forms a ball. Cool completely before storing in a sealable plastic bag.


Sometimes the doughs begin to smoke a bit but, that is okay (it won’t burn as long as you keep it moving, and lift from the heat source, occasionally, if necessary).

The little blue pieces are some cornflowers I added…


Here is a look at the pan after making a gluten-free dough — not pretty! The starch dohs are not as easy to clean; so soak your pan as quickly as possible…


You can try adding things like flowers, small toys, etc., to make it more creative and fun.

Some fragrance works nicely too. Vanilla is nice. But some essential oil of peppermint or cinnamon, etc., is nice too.

Here is another example (with a different dough experiment); I used safflowers in this one:


~ *** ~

Next up, I decided to try another one, without corn.ย  I (we) did a lot of experimenting (it was a nut-house here!) and came out with, surprisingly, many that actually worked. But, this one I came up with came out best (if anyone would like another option, let me know; I probably tried it! It’s just too much to post here):

My Tapioc-Oat Doh-(say that 5 times ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


Oat doughs — I thought this was interesting. I found some recipes online; Of course, they call for regular white flour (wheat). I tried it with various techniques and different flours and starches, and none worked without the gluten of wheat.

So I came up with this, and it worked quite well. Of course, it has texture! You will get some crumbles — shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I have three versions for your choosing ๐Ÿ˜€

*Oat dohs need to be refrigerated when not in use*

The oat dohs will go bad quicker than other dohs.

This takes minutes, is easy, and is a no-cook allergy-free doh:

Tapioc-Oat Doh

2/3 C Quick-Cooking Oatmeal, Organic

1/3 Cย  Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB plain vegetable oil

1 TB Guar Gum

1/2 C Water, (colored, Optiona)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Add water and oil into the center and work in the flour with a fork.

When it comes to a ball, remove from bowl and knead thoroughly a few minutes.

Makes 1 ball

This is for one ball of dough. If you want to make a large batch, then quadruple the recipe, and do not color your water. Additionally, be aware that the resultant color ofย  Tapioc-Oat Doh will be diluted by the natural color of the oats. Have four, 1/2-Cups of color water desired ready and give each person a bowl of the divided dough mixture. Everyone mixes their own.

OR, if using a dye, make the Tapioc-Oat doh with water. Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Choose dye you wish, and, with your thumb, make a small indention into theย  center of the dough Squirt a drop of dye into it. Knead the dough till the color disperses throughout.


My Tapioc-Oat Doh, using rolled oats (regular oatmeal flakes) and a version with steel cut oats (good for leftovers!)


Tapioc-Oat Doh, Rolled Oats (regular oatmeal):

2/3 C Rolled Oats Oatmeal, Organic

1/3 C Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB Guar Gum

1 TB plain Vegetable Oil

1/2 C hot water (micro 1 min)

Combine rolled oats and hot water and oil.

Combine tapioca starch and guar gum, mix well.

Add dry ingredients to the oat mixture. Mix well.

Knead into a ball, adding additional tapioca flour as needed (@ 2TB is all I needed).

These are ready to play with, but benefit from sitting. As well, after playing with it a bit, as I noted above, additional tapioca flour may be needed if it becomes sticky from the warmth of the hands. ‘

Alternatively, with the oatmeals, you can used cooked oatmeal; just omit liquid.


Tapioc-Oat Doh, Steel-Cut:


Combine, wellย  in a bowl:

2/3 C packed, plain, cooked steel-cut oats, Organic

1 TB Vegetable Oil

Then combine:

1/3 heaping C Organic Tapioca Starch

1 TB Guar Gum

Add the dry ingredients to the oat mixture.

Mix thoroughly Knead a couple of minutes, using more tapioca flour if too moist.

As I mentioned, don’t expect any of these to be exactly like “Play-Doh”; they will crumble a bit.ย  Best fixative with ANY of the play doughs is to add a bit of oil, either for drying, dust formation or for crumbling. For the oat-dohs, it will help it stick when it starts to crumble. Reknead, and, of course storing in plastic when not in use extends the doh’s life ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some more pics:

Here are the rolled oats (L) and the steel cut (R), side by side:



Here, you can see the textures are quite nice…



Okay, and now for a little artwork ๐Ÿ˜‰







There are also some available for purchase, but why when they are so inexpensive; fun; fast and easy to make; and something you can do with your children? ๐Ÿ˜‰

But here you go…

Soy-Yer Dough

Gluten-Free Playdough

Aroma Dough Playdough

Gluten and Wheat-Free Play Doh

I hope you enjoy these recipes and that it was helpful, and will inspire you parents to join in and contribute to DPYC soon! If not, I’m gonna run outta recipescutie_blush


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