How To Make Homemade Deodorant – Simple, Natural and Effective

Make your own all-natural, homemade deodorant with ingredients from your kitchen – it’s quick to make, works like a charm, and you never need to use a chemical-laden commercial concoction again!

Homemade Deodorant

Today we’re going to talk about something that’s easy to make, but it’s not food (even though you could eat it).

I’ve been ‘cooking’ this up in my kitchen for several years now and thought it was time to let you in on it, even though it relates to one of those hush-hush topics – body odour!!!

And, yes, I know this is a food blog, but really, most of the ingredients are found in my kitchen, so I think it qualifies. (If you wanted to eat it – you could, but then you’d just have to go and make some more to use for your armpits!)

I’d been using non-aluminum deodorant for many years, but still, when looking at the ingredients list I’d cringe reading all the unpronounceable words of supposedly healthy alternatives. Some studies have linked aluminum in antiperspirants and deodorants to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, and other studies have proven inconclusive. So until the experts decide whether or not it is safe to apply products containing aluminum and other toxic chemicals to the largest organ in our body, the skin, to be absorbed into our systems, I think I’ll just stay away from all that nasty stuff as much as I can.

The last couple years I’ve been making my own deodorant and I’ve been thrilled with how well it works – not only on my delicate feminine ‘glow’ (ha-ha) but on my husband’s manly sweats, too. This all-natural, homemade deodorant doesn’t stop perspiration, since it’s not an antiperspirant (in which the aluminum molecules plug the pores so the perspiration, and toxins, can’t come out through the skin in the armpits – how good is that?), but it does a wonderful job of retarding bacterial growth and neutralizing underarm odour – which is the main idea.

make a terrycloth holder for homemade deodorant cake

Don’t worry about the idea of beeswax or honey being sticky under your arms, or the coconut oil being oily – when combined with the baking soda and starch, these ingredients completely forget about their bothersome tendencies.  They get all cozy and smoochy, emulsifying into a creamy paste that glides on smoothly and doesn’t feel sticky at all.

Each ingredient in this recipe has a purpose and helps fight bacteria and odour. You can substitute corn starch or another starch such as potato starch or tapioca starch and it will still work fine, but there is a reason for using arrowroot starch if you can find it – it aids in drawing toxins from the body.

The dab of honey, while also being antibacterial, helps keep the deodorant soft at colder temperatures, while the beeswax keeps it from melting at higher temperatures. A bit of vitamin E, if you use it, helps with skin smoothness and healing (in case of razor burn) and the essential oils are purely for their lovely fragrance, but can be omitted. I like using a black spruce or white pine essential oil for the men in my family, and use a more floral aroma for my own deodorant – it’s fun to try different ‘flavours’.

But aside from all that – this homemade deodorant just WORKS. Period.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s the email my youngest sister sent  me after she tried the recipe:

“Hi Sis, Thank-you so much, I’ve made it and it works wonderful. I keep smelling my armpits throughout the day and Nothing!!!! I really didn’t think it would work as well as it does, even the natural stuff I buy doesn’t leave me so stinkless!!!! Thank-you again.
Love, Adelheid.”

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: I saved empty stick deodorant containers and refill them with the homemade deodorant. I also like to fill silicone muffin liners to make deodorant cakes. I use a small piece of cut-up washcloth to hold the end and just swipe the cake across my armpit to apply it. Or just fill any small, lidded container.

Because coconut oil melts very easily in the summer time (melting point is 25°C), this deodorant can get a little soft on hot days. During the hot months, I place one of the muffin shaped deodorant ‘cakes’ into a small plastic container with a lid, and pinch off a bit of deodorant between my finger and thumb, then apply it under my armpit. Easy-peasy.

homemade deodorant

Homemade Deodorant

adapted from the lovely Chocolate & Zucchini blog

  • 1 tablespoon chopped beeswax (I just hack a bit off a 100% beeswax candle)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch or other starch)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 vitamin E capsules (optional)
  • 25 drops essential oil (optional, for scent)
  • empty roll-up deodorant stick, silicone muffin cups, or small lidded container
chopped beeswax for homemade deodorant

you can just shave bits off a 100% beeswax candle and chop them fine

Place the beeswax, coconut oil, baking soda, starch, and honey in a microwave safe dish (like a spouted glass measuring cup).

Microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir, and microwave for 15 to 30 more seconds. (Start with 15 seconds, add more until just melted.

Or heat it all in a glass or metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water.

Poke the vitamin E capsules with a needle or the tip of a sharp knife, and squeeze in the contents, if you are using them. Add essential oil drops, if using. Stir well until your deodorant is nice and smooth.

add vitamin E and essential oil to homemade deodorant

Let the deodorant cool until it thickens to to a creamy consistency – about 10 to 15 minutes.

filling the containers with homemade deodorant

Pour into empty deodorant sticks, silicone muffin cups, or small containers. Place in the fridge to harden. After hardening, the deodorant can be stored at room temperature.

homemade deodorant cake, with terrycloth holder storing homemade deodorant

Fills one deodorant stick container and two small muffin cups.



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Posted in Health & Body Care, How-to-Basics, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos

Load up a plateful of spiced Sweet Potato Nachos with all your favourite toppings for a healthy version of that popular southwest treat.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos

Cooking With Meredith

Oozing melted cheese, dollops of zesty salsa, olives, bacon, diced avocados, chicken – who doesn’t love a plate piled high with tasty toppings? – only instead of tortilla chips, Meredith and I loaded all those yummy tidbits onto a plateful of spiced, baked, sweet potato rounds.

The meal instantly intensified in healthy vitamins and antioxidants and got an ‘oomph’ in the flavour department.

Cooking with Kids: Meredith's plate full of Sweet Potato Nachos

The only part of this meal that needed adult help was the slicing of the sweet potatoes. Older children could do it with adult supervision, but since the potatoes are hard and large, I did the slicing on a mandoline, although a sharp knife would do the job just as well (maybe not quite as quickly). Meredith did all the rest of the slicing and dicing herself. Once the sweet potato slices are roasting, it’s quick to prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, playing with the olives

of course, before you can slice the olives, you need to make finger caps of them!

The beauty of this simple meal is that everyone can customize their own nachos: If you like things spicy, use ‘hot’ salsa or pile on some jalapeño peppers or hot sauce. If you like it mild, forget about the spicy stuff. If you eat vegetarian or vegan, omit any of the meat, and use vegan cheese. If you’re really hungry, make the whole batch for yourself (or maybe share with one other person)!

Cooking with Kids: a plateful of Sweet Potato Nachos

Meredith chose to go without the avocado or yogurt, but piled on the rest of the toppings

You can have a delicious meal on the table in 35 minutes, one that will receive ‘oohs and ahhh’s all around.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: For these Sweet Potato Nachos it’s best to choose long thin, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. If all you can find are those monstrosities often labeled ‘jumbo yams’ you might want to cut them in quarters lengthwise and then slice them, though they might not hold together as well as the thinner ones, since the strip of peel around the outside of each slice helps keep it together once cooked.

It’s easy to scale this recipe for more people – just use more sweet potatoes and more toppings!

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potato Nachos

  • 2 long orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (1½-1¾lbs/700-800gms total weight)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (granulated onion)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Toppings of your choice:

  • shredded cheddar cheese (we like ‘extra old’ for flavour)
  • salsa (mild, medium, or spicy, to taste)
  • finely diced cooked chicken
  • crumbled cooked bacon
  • crumbled cooked hamburger or sausage meat
  • sliced black olives
  • diced avocado
  • diced sweet peppers
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • cooked or canned corn
  • cooked or canned black beans
  • sliced green onions
  • pickled jalapeño pepper rings
  • hot sauce
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • cilantro leaves
  • whatever else your heart (or stomach) desires

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Slice them into rounds (best if an adult does this) with a sharp knife or mandoline. The slices should be a little less than ¼ inch thick (about .5 cm).

Place the sweet potato slices into a large bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, Meredith measuring out the oil Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, Meredith adding the spices

Use your hands to toss the slices with the oil and seasonings until all sides are evenly coated. Scoop your hands down the sides of the bowl and bring up handfuls of slices in the middle. Use your fingers to rub any slices that have large clumps of seasonings together with slices that are bare, so that they can spread around the flavour.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, Meredith tossing the sweet potatoes with spices

Lay the slices in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheets.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, laying out the herbed sweet potato slices

Bake for 15 minutes, then take the cookie sheets out of the oven, and using tongs, turn each of the slices over.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, flipping the sweet potatoes

Bake for 15 more minutes.

While the sweet potato slices are cooking, prepare your toppings. Shred the cheese, and slice or dice any toppings that need it. Place each topping in a separate little bowl.

Cooking with Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, all the toppings

When the sweet potato slices are cooked, lay as many as you want for each person in a single layer on a plate. Top with shredded cheese.

Cooking With Kids: Sweet Potato Nachos, top them with cheese

Microwave the plateful of sweet potato nachos until the cheese is melted (about 1 minute on high) or, if the plate is ovenproof, turn the oven down to 325°F and heat the plateful in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Be careful taking the plate out of the microwave or oven – it’ll be HOT.

Now you can add whatever toppings you’d like on your nachos. Go crazy and pile them high. Don’t forget to drizzle with a bit of salsa. Sour cream or Greek yogurt is nice, too.

Eat them with your fingers and a fork to help things along. Use lots of napkins to wipe up because these Sweet Potato Nachos are fun and just a bit messy to eat.

Serves 4

Guten Appetit!

For a whole lot more great projects to cook with kids, check out my ‘Cooking with Kids’ page.

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Posted in Appetizers, Cooking with Kids, Potatoes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chocolate Banana Loaf | Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free

This rich-tasting, moist, light, chocolate banana loaf hits all the right notes to complement your afternoon tea or a cold glass of milk. (You’d never know it’s made with no gluten, dairy, or eggs!)

buckwheat and chocolate banana loaf | gluten free, dairy free, egg free

Everyone needs a basic chocolate banana loaf that can be stirred up in minutes and devoured standing at the counter while the cake is still slightly warm. My big batch of ripe bananas has been going down as I’ve been making all things banana this week. This lovely little cake whips up in one bowl and disappears within hours every time I make it (third time this week!) so I thought I needed to share. It’s a guilt-free way to quiet that chocolate craving that strikes every so often.

A few days ago I stood at the kitchen window, nibbling on a slice of warm chocolate banana loaf and looking out at this – yup, we had to have that last defiant spring snowstorm (winter reluctantly letting go):

chocolate banana bread - snow in springtime But today it is beautiful and sunny and the leaves are turning green before our eyes.

chocolate banana loaf, spring leaves popping out everywhere chocolate banana loaf, spring blossoms everywhere chocolate banana loaf, spring squills blooming chocolate banana loaf, spring bulbs are out I will do what I traditionally do on Mother’s Day every year, and plant the last of the garden. I started last week before the rumblings of the spring blizzard, so the seeds are safe in the soil, waiting for the coming warm weather to pop out to greet the sunshine.

chocolate banana loaf, planting the garden Then, I think there are secret Mother’s Day plans afoot (I’ve been hearing whispers.)

Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day, too.

* * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: While I’m toasting nuts, I like to toast 3 or 4 cups at a time and keep them in a jar in my pantry -  ready for baking, to toss on top of morning yogurt, or just  to nibble on. Because toasted nuts are wayyyyyyyy better than untoasted, for everything!

The hardness of coconut oil is very dependent on room temperature. It’s harder than butter when it’s cool, but its melting point is 25°C so it very quickly softens up when even slightly warm. I keep mine in a cupboard up beside the stove, so it stays relatively soft. It’s easy to soften it by putting the jar in warm water or popping it in the microwave. If you warm it too long and it turns to liquid, it’s still fine to use.

buckwheat and chocolate banana loaf - one bowl banana bread

Chocolate Banana Loaf (Banana Bread)

gluten free, dairy free, egg free

  • 3 large ripe bananas (300 gms/1¼ cups when peeled and mashed)
  • ½ cup (85gms) coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75gms) soft coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup (150gms) buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup (30gms) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (60gms) toasted pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the pecans or walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant and turning colour. Let cool.

Grease a 4 x 8 inch (10 x 20 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.

Mash the bananas with a potato masher in a large bowl. Mash in the brown sugar and the coconut oil or butter.

mashing the bananas for buckwheat and chocolate banana bread

buckwheat and chocolate banana loaf

this might not look so appetizing, but it is the base for a wonderfully moist and light chocolate banana loaf

Add the buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir with a spoon or spatula until smooth.

add the cocoa powder to the buckwheat and chocolate banana loaf

Coarsely chop the nuts, reserve one tablespoon, and stir the rest into the batter.

chocolate banana buckwheat loaf, gluten free, dairy free, egg free

Plop the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the reserved nuts.

buckwheat and chocolate banana loaf

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Slices best when completely cool, but sometimes you’ve just gotta cut off big slabs while it’s still warm!

Makes one loaf.

Guten Appetit!

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Posted in Breads, Biscuits & Other Baking, Cakes, Chocolate, Gardening | 12 Comments

Deluxe Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie

A bowl of spaghetti, a crustless pizza, and a savoury quiche, all in one hearty dish!

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

We are a pasta lovin’ family. No matter when I asked our kids what they wanted for dinner when they were growing up, the answer was always loudly and emphatically ‘Noodles!’, and that meant noodles in any form, and with any kind of sauce or topping, or turned into any kind of dish. Their favourite dessert after a pasta dinner was another helping of warm pasta heaped onto their plate, dotted with melting butter and sprinkled liberally with sugar. They always left the table with smiles on their faces after scarfing that down.

And then, one after another, my children and husband were diagnosed with different levels of gluten intolerance, and one with celiac disease.

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie, yummy stretchy cheese

We have since gone through many different kinds of gluten-free pasta in our hunt to fulfill our insatiable pasta longings – some brands turned to pots of porridgy-looking mush if you cooked them a mere second too long, some held up a bit longer but stuck together in one large clump if you looked away while they were cooling, and others held their shape reasonably well but looked like they’d been cooked in dirty grey dishwater.

The discovery of the lovely line of Catelli gluten free pastas changed all that. When one of our university student daughters came home the other day and had a taste, she said, That’s not gluten free pasta, is it, mom? It looks too normal. She didn’t quite believe me when I told her it was. I love that it’s made with a unique blend of non GMO white rice, brown rice, corn, and quinoa, and is produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. (It’s certified by the Canadian Celiac Association.) And we all love its taste and texture.

deluxe, gluten free, crustless pizza-ghetti pie

I caught the cheese snitcher red-handed!

Pizza-ghetti pie is what you get when you cross a bowl of spaghetti smothered in a zesty sauce, a deluxe pizza loaded with tons of savoury toppings, and a creamy, eggy, crustless quiche, all melded together in one hearty, cheesy, gluten-free wedge.

 * * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: Of course, this Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie can just as easily be made with regular, non gluten-free pasta.

The list of ingredients looks long, but don’t let that scare you, it’s all quite quick and straightforward to put together – much easier than making a lasagna.

You can also layer these ingredients in a 9 x 13 inch pan and serve it in squares like a lasagna.

Feel free to adapt ingredients to your family’s tastes and whatever you have in the fridge. Don’t like green pepper? Use red or yellow. Or substitute it with a handful of chopped broccoli, green beans, or shredded carrot. Use chopped marinated artichoke hearts instead of either the sun-dried tomatoes or olives, or omit them if you don’t like them.

Use a different shape of leftover pasta, or use pepperoni or ham instead of salami. If your family’s favourite pizza is ham and pineapple, use that instead (using canned pineapple). Use milk instead of cream, or use a different cheese. Whatever goes on pizza can go into this pie!

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Deluxe Crustless Pizza-ghetti Pie

  • ½ of a 340gram box (170 grams / 6 oz.) of Catelli Gluten Free Spaghetti or regular spaghetti (about 2½ cups if using leftover cooked pasta)
  • water for boiling the spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, in ½-inch/1cm dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 125 grams (4.5 oz) thinly sliced salami, cut in ½ inch/1cm dice (1 cup)
  • 1 cup (85gms) coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • ¼ cup (30gms) coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (35gms) coarsely chopped black olives
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (60ml) light cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups (200gms) grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil for garnish, optional

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the spaghetti and boil for 8 minutes, until just firm, stirring several times in the first couple minutes until the spaghetti strands are pliable and separate. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until the draining water runs cool. Set aside. (If using leftover cooked spaghetti, rinse it in a colander to freshen it up, and let drain.)

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10½ inch (27cm) quiche pan or 10 inch (25.5cm) deep dish pie pan.

While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and green pepper and sauté about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn golden.

Add the minced garlic, diced salami, and chopped mushrooms. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated from the mushrooms and the salami is crisp at the edges of some of the pieces. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, olives, 2 teaspoons of the oregano, and the cayenne. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove 1 cup of the cooked vegetable mixture and set aside.

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Pour the drained spaghetti into the prepared quiche pan and sprinkle with the cooked vegetable mixture. Using two forks, lightly lift and toss the spaghetti to distribute the vegetables and let them settle down amongst the pasta strands. Arrange the spaghetti evenly in the pan.

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Break the eggs into a bowl, and add the cream, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Pour the beaten eggs over the spaghetti.

Whisk the tomato sauce with the cornstarch and remaining 1 teaspoon of oregano until smooth (use the same bowl the eggs were in). Pour this evenly over the spaghetti and egg mixture. Use a spatula to spread it gently to the edges of the pan.

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Sprinkle with about half of the reserved sautéed vegetable mixture, then spread the shredded cheese over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining sautéed vegetables.

deluxe gluten free crustless pizza ghetti pie deluxe gluten free crustless pizza-ghetti pie

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese around the edges of the pan is bubbling and golden and the middle is slightly puffed up.

Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing into 8 wedges. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.

Serves 4 to 6.

Guten Appetit!

Disclaimer: The pasta for my experimentation and development of this dish was provided by Catelli. The recipe, content, and opinions are my own.


Bonus Opportunity for you, Dear Readers:

Catelli is hosting a Gluten Free Pastabilities Challenge for the public from May 4-31. Post your own original gluten free pasta recipe on Catelli’s Facebook page, and the three people whose recipes get selected and have the highest number of likes on their Facebook page will receive a year’s supply of gluten free pasta, courtesy of Catelli. Click here for a savings coupon for Catelli pasta: 

Posted in Eggs & Cheese, Pasta | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cooking With Kids: Homemade Gluten Free Playdough

Colourful, homemade, no-cook, gluten free playdough is a fun project to make with kids! Get the recipe here.

Cooking With Kids: Homemade gluten free playdough Cooking with Amelia and Lincoln

Making playdough with kids is almost as much fun as playing with it.

Meet my two partners-in-crime for this Cooking With Kids project: Amelia and Lincoln, four-year-old cousins.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough

Amelia is almost five and loves to ride her two-wheel bike, go on nature exploring walks, play dress-up, and all things princess. Her favourite colours are pink, purple, and rainbow. She spends hours cutting out her collection of paper dolls and dressing them up.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free play dough

Lincoln is the youngest in his family, and he loves planes and cars, running fast, and any messy crafts, especially ones including glue, tape, or feathers. His favourite colours are yellow and red, and he could ride around on his red bike all day long.

Cooking with Kids: homemade gluten free playdough

I’ve made more batches of playdough over the years than I can count, and even though our four kids are well past the playdough stage now, I still make a few batches every year for my German School Kindergarten class. I’ve usually made the cooked kind, with flour and salt. It takes a fair bit of time and much muscle to cook and stir the thickening blob in a saucepan on the stovetop, then let it cool enough to handle. This year I decided to figure out a way to make a no-cook, gluten free playdough version, and I think I have a winner.

Have you ever beat mashed potatoes too long, so that they’ve become rather stretchy and elastic? . . . not great for your mashed potatoes, but really great for playdough!

This recipe uses instant mashed potatoes (for their uniformity) and doesn’t need to be cooked. I’ve added some salt, like in the cooked version, plus a bit of vinegar to help keep the playdough fresh longer (bacteria don’t like an acid environment). The only problem with using potatoes, salt, and vinegar is that I get the munchies and crave a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips whenever I smell this playdough. I have to slap my fingers and think of other things. :)

While visiting family at the coast this spring, I nabbed my two cousins’ children, Lincoln and Amelia to help me make my first trial batches of this gluten free playdough. We had a blast.

They helped me scoop and level the ingredients,

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough, measuring the ingredients and took turns stirring up the dough.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough The fun part – squishing and mixing it with their hands.

cooking with kids: gluten free playdough IMG_8000a gluten free playdough cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough

We used liquid food colouring, so they had to work the drops of colour in with their hands. Lincoln wanted orange and Amelia wanted purple.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough The addition of wiggly eyes turned the lumps of playdough into goofy monsters.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough monsters with wiggly eyes cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough Making the playdough by hand with my two assistants was a whole lot of fun. The finished playdough had natural variations in shade that gave it a handmade look.

If you mix the dough with an electric mixer, you’ll have a smoother finish and an even colour to the playdough, but miss out on the sensory thrill of hand mixing. However, kids will still love to help measure the ingredients, turn on the mixer for you, and watch it all come together.

Cooking With Kids: homemade gluten free potato play dough Those first couple batches I made with Amelia and Lincoln were a learning process. The dough was a bit too oily and vinegary. I made several more batches of gluten free playdough at home in my mixer, tweaking the ingredient amounts until I got it right, and using gel food colouring for beautiful vibrant colours.

Cooking With Kids: homemade gluten free potato playdoughplaydough Bingo! Potato Playdough!

Cooking With Kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough My kindergarten students at German School loved it, too.

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough Cooking with Kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough cooking with kids: homemade gluten free playdough

Cooking With Kids: homemade gluten free playdough in kindergarten class * * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: When purchasing instant potato flakes, make sure you get the plain, unflavoured ones.

Gel food colouring can be found where you buy cake decorating supplies. (Michael’s Crafts here in Canada)

* I made two batches of the playdough recipe, dividing each into thirds, to get the six balls of colour in the photo below.

Cooking With Kids: homemade gluten free potato playdough

Homemade No-Cook Gluten Free Playdough


  • 2 cups (140gms) plain, instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 cup (140gms) cornstarch
  • ½ cup (160gms) fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot tap water
  • ¼ cup (60ml) white vinegar
  • 2½ tablespoons oil
  • gel food colour, or liquid food colour (the gel gives more intense colour)

Combine the instant mashed potato flakes, cornstarch, and salt in a large deep bowl. Add the hot water, vinegar and oil. *If you choose to make the whole batch the same colour, add the food colouring along with the liquid ingredients.

Mix well, either by hand (stirring first with a wooden spoon until it gets too hard to stir) or with an electric mixer, until the mixture comes together in large clumps. This will take several minutes.

If you squeeze a handful of the dough, it should stick together in a clump. If it doesn’t, keep mixing and it will eventually come together. (The longer you mix it, the ‘stretchier’ the dough becomes.)

Once you have a smooth, homogenous mixture, add the food colour to get the desired shades — divide the dough into two or three parts, colouring each individually.

Start by adding about 1/8 teaspoon gel colour with the tip of a butter knife, or a few drops of liquid colour, to one ball of playdough. Beat with the mixer or work by hand until the colour is evenly mixed in. Add more if you want the colour to be more intense.

If you are using the mixer and plan to colour separate batches, either start with colours that won’t muddy the next colour (ie – yellow, then orange, then red) or wash out the bowl between each colour.

Makes three 250-gram (8-oz) balls of gluten free playdough.

Will keep for several weeks in a sealed bag or container. Will keep longer if stored in the fridge. It warms up and becomes pliable within a few minutes of working with it.

Have fun!

cooking with kids: homemade gluten free play dough See other fun ‘Cooking With Kids’ posts here.

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Cooking With Kids: how to make gluten free playdough with instant mashed potatoes

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Posted in Cooking with Kids, Miscellaneous, Potatoes | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments