Simple Homemade Bread Recipe (for White or Wheat Bread!)

Simple Homemade Bread Recipe (for White or Wheat Bread!)

Homemade bread recipe

Looking for a simple bread recipe for beginners? Well, here’s the perfect recipe for a delicious, homemade loaf of goodness!

 

My family loves bread, but my oldest daughter has a severe allergy to a very common bread ingredient – sesame. Instead of scouring over ingredient labels at the grocery store, I decided to take the safe route and make my own homemade bread. I needed an easy recipe for rookies, that’s free of sesame and several other major allergens. Thankfully, I developed a recipe that’s safe for my daughter to eat and absolutely delicious!

 

This recipe is easy-to-follow, made with simple ingredients and makes a seriously tasty loaf of bread. This recipe can be used to make either white or whole wheat bread, depending on your preference. Plus, it’s free of several major allergens including sesame and tree nuts.

 

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe for the BEST loaf of homemade bread!

Simple Homemade Bread Recipe

Supplies
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cloth or towel
  • 9″ x 5″ loaf pan
  • Bread bag or bread box
Ingredients
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan sea salt (fine ground)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
  • 5 cups all-purpose white flour or bread flour (you can substitute white flour with whole wheat flour)

Optional Ingredients:

  • butter or ghee
Directions
  1. Mix warm water and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the yeast to the mixture, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture has a foamy texture.
  3. Mix the nutritional yeast, flaxseed meal, salt, and olive oil to the mixture and stir.
  4. Add one cup of the flour at a time and stir until well combined. Knead the last two cups of flour into the mixture.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then place the dough in a large bowl.
  6. Top the dough with a little olive oil and cover with a wet, warm cloth or towel.
  7. Allow the dough to rise for one hour (this is the first rise).
  8. After an hour, remove the cloth and punch the dough down into the bowl (this removes air bubbles). Then, knead the dough for another few minutes.
  9. Place the dough in a greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Allow the dough to rise until it’s about 2 inches above the top of the pan (this is the second rise). Note: the dough can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to fully rise. The dough will rise faster in at a warm temperature and takes longer to rise at higher elevations. I live in Denver at a high elevation, and it takes about 2 hours for the second rise. Just keep an eye on your dough and wait for it to rise two inches above the top of the pan, then it’s ready!
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 35-38 minutes.
  11. Brush with butter, ghee or olive oil and enjoy!
Storage

Store in a bread bag or bread box for maximum freshness. I love these zero-waste, linen bread bags!

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Portia Owens

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Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients!)

Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe (Just 3 Ingredients!)

Homemade dishwash detergent

Dishes, dishes, dishes… the constant leaning tower of dishes. My downfall, my demise, my absolute nemesis.


Okay – that was a slight exaggeration but to be frank, doing dishes ranks pretty low on my favorite household chore list. I’m (admittedly) lazy when it comes to doing the dishes. I prefer a quick rinse, and it’s off to the dishwasher for the hard labor. Manually washing dishes requires extra effort, and it’s more wasteful than running a fully loaded dishwasher. One study found that washing dishes by hand wastes 3.5 times more water than a dishwasher!


If you want to be more efficient with your water usage in the kitchen, use that dishwasher! AND use a dishwasher detergent that effectively cleans dishes. To be honest, I haven’t found a commercial dishwasher detergent that’s non-toxic, eco-friendly AND effective… so I simply make my own! With just three simple ingredients, you can make an effective DIY dishwasher detergent.

 

Homemade dishwasher detergent is not only easy and fast to make, it’s also safe, non-toxic and reduces plastic waste. Plus, it’s cheap! Comparatively speaking, a 62-pack container of dishwashing pods at Walmart runs about $0.27 per load. This dishwasher detergent recipe is simple to make and only costs about $0.01 per load to make!


I believe having safe, homemade alternatives to the chemical-heavy products you can find in the store is important for living a minimalist lifestyle. I also believe that you don’t need to have any fancy equipment or secret ingredients to get the job done. Some DIY dishwasher detergent recipes call for Borax or washing soda, and those are great if you’re not in a pinch. But this homemade dishwasher detergent recipe is super easy and only requires three ingredients: naturally derived dish soap, baking soda, and water.

Make Your Own Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

All you need are a few items you likely have on hand already: 
  • An airtight container like a clean milk jug or bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water

Take 2 teaspoons of your favorite dish detergent or castile soap (preferably a natural option like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Dr. Bronner’s) and add them to your container along with 4 teaspoons of baking soda. Slowly fill the jug with water, swirling it around to help mix everything up, and voilà! You have a simple dishwasher detergent that’s ready to use like any store-bought option. Simply fill your detergent reservoir before turning your dishwasher on, and you’re good to go.


Helpful hints: Gradually add the dish soap to your jug as you fill it with water. This will make the mixing process easier and help prevent over bubbling.


If you want to take your DIY approach to the next level, check out this recipe for homemade bar dish soap!

Simple Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Supplies
  • 1 clean gallon jug or airtight container
  • 2 teaspoons dish soap or castile soap
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • Water
Directions:
  1. Add baking soda and dish soap to jug, or gradually add dish soap to container with the water to prevent bubble build-up.
  2. Fill jug with water, gently swirling along the way to mix the ingredients together.
  3. Fill dishwasher detergent reservoir
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Please feel free to leave comments about your experience and any additional helpful tips for other readers.
Up Your DIY Cleaning Routine

Be sure to check out other homemade recipes to fit your lifestyle:
Easy DIY clean laundry

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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Homemade Bubble Bath Paste – A Non-Toxic DIY Soak

Homemade Bubble Bath Paste – A Non-Toxic DIY Soak

A Non-Toxic DIY Soak

Let’s be honest, I’ve tried almost every plant-based, low-tox alternative to commercial bubble bath… and each has been a complete #momfail. When it comes to bath time, my sweet little children demand clouds of everlasting bubbles – to which, I’ve failed miserably to provide. But alas! I found a recipe that meets the high expectations of my children AND that satisfies my lowtox, easy-to-make mom requirements.

 

Bubble bath is self-care staple for many households and unfortunately, one that can be potentially dangerous for human and environmental health. Much like shampoos, laundry detergents, dishwashing liquid, lotions, and hand soaps, bubble bath typically contains a number of harsh chemicals. These chemical components can cause skin irritation and contribute to household and environmental degradation. I’m especially wary of store-bought bubble bath products because they tend to include toxic ingredients like:

  • Strong artificial fragrances and synthetic colors
  • Sodium laureth sulfate (which creates the bubble or foam effect)
  • Various other sulfates (another item used to create foam, and to loosen oils from the skin or
    hair)
  • Preservatives like methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone (which can
    potentially cause contact dermatitis)

The ingredients present in many bubble bath products can also disrupt vaginal pH levels and contribute to health issues like infections and UTIs.

 

Aside from the potential health impacts, commercial bubble bath products can damage household drainage systems, pollute local water sources and damage soils. The chemicals in these products eventually make their way into the surrounding environment, where they can cause significant damage in large quantities. Sulfates in particular tend to make their way to local water resources and contribute to the acidification of water and soil.

 

So, as the hippie-granola-eco(and)health-conscious mama, I’ve created a simple bubble bath paste recipe that for the entire family to enjoy!

Bubble Bath Paste Recipe

Supplies:

Large mixing bowl and spoon

Mason jar or other air-tight storage container

Ingredients:
Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir.
  2. Once your ingredients are thoroughly mixed into a paste, transfer them to an airtight container
    or jar.
  3. Use between 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of the paste per bath (more bubble bath paste = more
    bubbles!)

Tip: For the best bubbles, drop one teaspoon of the bubble bath paste in the bathtub and then run the water (this will produce more bubbles than adding the paste to the water later). 
Storage:
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Natural Bubble Bath Liquid
If you prefer liquid bubble bath, you can try the following combination of ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 4 oz cup water
  • 4 oz vegetable glycerine
  • 10 oz castile soap
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oils
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir until you have a uniform mixture.
  2. Transfer the liquid to a bottle or jar and seal with a lid.
  3. Pour a few teaspoons of the liquid into the water at bath time.

Note: The liquid bubble bath solution produces fewer bubbles than the paste (especially if you live in an area with hard water)

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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DIY Multi Purpose Cleaning Scrub

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaning Scrub

DIY Cleaning Scrub

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaning Scrub

Let’s talk about the most downright dirty, filthy, bacteria-ridden places in the home…

 

Of course there are the typical culprits – the blatantly obvious, smelly petri dishes of yuck like garbage cans and toilets. But did you know that the there’s over 200,000 bacteria per square inch lurking in your bathtub alone? Sinks and bathtubs harbor dangerous bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter, streptococcus, hepatitis A and norovirus, which can cause severe illness in humans.

 

The top ranking, down-right dirtiest places in the home include sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and the surfaces surrounding these places. To effectively clean these germ-havens, you’ll need an effective disinfecting, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial cleaning agent. Unfortunately, the majority of commercial household cleaners used to target these surfaces include dangerous chemicals and toxins like phthalates, butoxyethanol, and chlorine. These toxic ingredients (when regularly ingested) can cause damage to major organs, disrupt hormonal balance and cause respiratory distress.

 

Aside from the adverse health impacts of generic household cleaners, the monetary and environmental costs of using single-use cleaning products can be significant. One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact while simultaneously saving money is to incorporate multi-use products into your household cleaning routine. Multi-use products target several different cleaning needs, ultimately decreasing the amount of products you need to buy (and the waste associated with those products!).

 

While there are several non-toxic, eco-friendly, multi-purpose cleaning products available on the market, it’s easy to make your own using common household ingredients!

 

One of my favorite multi-use cleaning agents is a combination of just a handful of simple ingredients – baking soda, castile soap and essential oils. Together, these ingredients make a cleaning scrub that effectively targets those dirty, bacteria-ridden surfaces.

 

If you’re in the market for an easy, eco-friendly, and non-toxic household cleaner, try my multi purpose cleaning scrub recipe! This simple scrub can replace up to four different household cleaning products and takes less than five minutes to make. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and extremely effective against dirt, grime, grease, and germs. So, don’t let those germs fester any longer… check out my DIY multi purpose cleaning scrub below!

DIY Multi Purpose Cleaning Scrub

Supplies:

Spoon

Mason jar with lid
Scrub brush

Ingredients:

2 cups baking soda (where to buy)

2 tablespoons castile soap (where to buy)
10 drops tea tree essential oil, 10 drops lemon essential oil (substitute either of these essential oils with disinfecting, anti-bacterial essential oils)


Tip: I typically use  Dr. Bronners unscented castile soap, but you can also use Dr. Bronners peppermint, lavender, citrus, tea tree, or eucalyptus castile soaps for this recipe. If you substitute the unscented version with any of the scented versions, do not  add the essential oils (the castile  soap blends listed above are all anti-bacterial and anti-microbial). 

Instructions:
  1. Combine baking soda and essential oils in a mason jar.
  2. Add castile soap to the mixture and stir, breaking apart any clumps.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture on sink, tub, grout or in the toilet and scrub with a scrub brush.
  4. Rinse the scrub away with water or remove with a wet towel.

Note: I recommend using this scrub on sinks and tubs weekly (see the NSF guidelines on cleaning frequency).

Storage:
Store in a cool, dark place until next use.
ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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DIY Clean Laundry Detergent

DIY Clean Laundry Detergent

DIY Clean Laundry Detergent

DIY Laundry Clean Detergent

In the growing age of product transparency, there’s been a lot of concern over the number of toxins and irritants in common household products. Commercial laundry detergent has been at the top of my list of home products to replace with a natural, non-toxic alternative. Recently, I made the transition to a homemade detergent for number of reasons, including the overall health of my family, cost, and environmental impact.

 

 

As a mom, I’ve been on the hunt for a gentle alternative to our regular detergent. Many detergents contain harsh chemical ingredients that can be either irritating to the skin or even mildly toxic. Common irritants and toxic ingredients in standard laundry detergents include phosphates, formaldehyde,  phthalates and chlorine. Each of these ingredients (in moderate to large amounts) can be harmful to both people, animals and the environment.

 

 

Standard detergents not only cause skin irritation, but they’re also significant sources of water pollution. Generic laundry detergents typically contain phosphates, which are components that help soften hard water and increase the effectiveness of the product. Unfortunately, phosphates aren’t removed in the wastewater treatment process and often make their way to groundwater resources. Once these pollutants reach groundwater, they can cause significant human and environmental damage.

 

 

Along with water pollution, standard laundry detergent use contributes to the growing plastic waste problem. Almost all store-bought laundry detergents are packaged with single-use plastics, which typically end up in landfills and take hundreds of years to decompose.

 

 

For these reasons and many more, I’ve made the transition to a simple and non-toxic homemade detergent.

DIY Laundry Soap Basics

If you’re currently scouring the internet for natural laundry detergent recipes, you may have noticed a common ingredient in many of them: Borax.


Borax is an effective cleaning additive for laundry detergents, but it can also be harmful to humans and animals when ingested. Borax can lead to acute toxicity and cause skin and eye irritation, vomiting and respiratory issues. Because of the potential danger associated with borax, I use a recipe that utilizes washing soda instead.


Some of the best homemade laundry detergent recipes are simple to make and incorporate washing soda, rather than borax. Because washing soda is a different chemical compound than borax, it’s significantly safer for humans.


My favorite recipe so far incorporates only a few simple, easy-to-find ingredients and costs under $8 to make! Check out my go-to homemade, zero-waste laundry detergent recipe below:

DIY Clean Laundry Soap Recipe

Supplies:

Large baking pan or sheet

Ingredients:

4 cups baking soda (where to buy)

1 five-ounce castile soap bar (where to buy)

20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils (optional)


Tip: I typically use Dr. Bronners unscented castile soap bar, but you can also use any of the scented variations of the castile soap bar. If you use a scented castile soap bar, you do not need to add the essential oils. Some of my favorite scented castile soap bar options are lavender (best for sensitive skin and children), peppermint and citrus

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Prepare the washing soda by spreading baking soda evenly across the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for one hour, or until the powder is greyish and no longer clumps together. (Tip: Sift through the powder halfway through to break apart any clumps).
  3. Remove the baking sheet and combine the washing soda with one bar of grated castile soap.
  4. Add 20-30 drops of essential oil to the mixture (optional).
  5. Use 1-2 tablespoons of the detergent mixture per laundry load. 
  6. Store in an airtight container, in a cool and dark space.

 

I hope you enjoy this homemade, low-waste recipe!

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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Moisturizing DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

Moisturizing DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

 

Bath bombs are, well… the bomb. They’re almost a guilty pleasure, a bit of a calming sensory experience packaged up in an attractive, sweet-smelling fizz ball. Recently, bath bombs have become a staple in our self-care regimen and a fun addition to the kid’s nighttime routine. They’re also a great tool for parents, a foolproof way to coerce (bribe) our smelly little nuggets to take that much-needed bath. As the overbearing, annoying, I-need-to-know-everything-that’s-in-this-product mom, I decided to create my own homemade, DIY bath bomb recipe. After several experimental batches and human test trials (my children), I nailed down the perfect recipe for moisturizing, fun bath bombs. These bath bombs make the perfect gift and a fun family activity where the kids can test their creativity (and your patience… they’re messy). Enjoy!

 

 

Make Your Homemade Bath Bomb Recipe

Supplies

Large Mixing Bowl

Spoon

Bath bomb molds (where to buy)

Ingredients

1 cup arrowroot powder (where to buy)

1 cup citric acid (where to buy)

1/2 cup baking soda (where to buy)

1/2 cup epsom salt (where to buy)

1/2 cup coconut oil (where to buy)

 

Optional Ingredients:

40 drops of essential oil

Dried flower petals (see “Tips” section)

Food coloring or natural coloring (see “Tips” section)

Directions

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl

2. Melt coconut oil and slowly add the essential oils

3. Pour the coconut oil and essential oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir. Add any desired food coloring, natural coloring or flower petals to the mixture

4. Firmly pack the mixture into the bath bomb molds and press together for 20 seconds

5. Carefully remove the bath bomb from the mold and let it sit to dry for 24 hours

6. After 24 hours, wrap the bath bomb in tissue or store in an air-tight container

Tips

Moisturizing DIY Bath Bomb Recipe

It’s perfectly okay to use food coloring or food coloring gel for your bath bombs, but I really love to play around with natural coloring. Here are some of my favorite natural ingredients for beautiful, vibrant coloring:

 

     – Blue butterfly pea powder (royal blue)

     – Beet root powder (fuchsia)

     – Elderberry powder (deep purple)

     – Black Himalayan sea salt (gray to black)

 

 

Add the plant powder or sea salt gradually until you achieve desired color. If the mixture seems too dry after adding plant powder or sea salt, add a little melted coconut oil (about 1-3 tsp).

 

If you’d like to add some dried flowers to your bath bomb, some of my favorites include lavender, rose, jasmine, red plum and lily. 

 

 

Note: These bath bombs will leave your tub a little slippery, so please be careful! I recommend using my Multi-purpose Cleaning Scrub to remove the excess oil from the tub. 

DIY Easy Moisturizing Bath Bomb Recipe

Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe
Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe
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Homemade Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Most American kitchens rely on some version of liquid dish soap for all of their dish-washing needs. Most generic liquid dish soaps are packaged in plastic bottles and rarely recycled or reused, contributing largely to the packaging waste issues facing the world today. While liquid dish soap can definitely be adapted to the low or zero-waste lifestyle (as long as you’re utilizing a  refillable container), solid dish soap and dish soap bars have proven to be effective, low-waste alternatives. 

 

 

Solid dish soap and dish soap bars are completely container-free and a conscious step toward low-waste living. There are many online options available for purchase, but we like to make our own with the recipe below! This recipe is calculated at 1% superfat, which makes it a potent grease fighter. The use of coconut oil and castor oil results in a rich lather that is not harsh on hands and is, of course, completely biodegradable and sewer-friendly.

 

 

You will want to take the usual precautions when making your soap. Eye protection, gloves, and an apron are always recommended. We will be using individual molds for this recipe, since the final product is very hard and difficult to cut as a loaf.

Minimalist Mama Bar Dish Soap Recipe

Yield: 1 pound
You will need:
14.4 oz virgin coconut oil (where to buy)

1.6 oz castor oil (where to buy)
6.08 oz distilled water
2.82 oz lye (where to buy)
Stick blender
Individual soap molds (any shape is fine) 

Make the Lye Water

Measure out the 6.08 oz of distilled water into a heat-safe container. Weight out the lye into a separate container, then carefully pour it into the water container. It will get hot and may bubble. Gently swirl or stir to mix until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Melt the Oils

Weigh out your coconut oil and castor oil and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave at 45-second bursts until fully melted. Alternatively, you can melt your oils using a double boiler, but the microwave is faster.

Blend

Before you blend, make sure your molds are clean and ready. When your oils and lye mixture have each reached about 110 degrees, you can blend them. Pour the lye mixture in a steady stream into your oil mixture, blending on low speed with a stick blender. Once the lye water has been fully incorporated, you can switch to high speed on your blender. You will reach trace fairly quickly, so try not to overshoot it. A thin trace is preferable, since we are using individual molds here. The mixture should resemble thin pancake batter.

Pour into Molds

Pour your mixture immediately into the prepared molds. Allow them to dry and harden for 24 hours (it happens fast). Unmold bars and store them in a cool, dry place.

 

Note: you can certainly add fragrance to these bars. However, you will want to use natural oils, such as lemon or orange essential oils-not synthetic versions. You will also need to incorporate these oils into your calculations. Soapcal.net has an excellent calculator that accounts for these adjustments. You will be using 90% coconut oil and 10% castor oil.

 

To use your bars, place one on a wooden or bamboo soap dish. You can get a lather going with your hands under some running water, then place the bar back on the dish and use a scrub brush or sponge to scoop the lather onto what you are cleaning.

 

We hope you enjoyed this recipe! Please let us know how it worked for you in the comments!

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Play dough… the squishy, colorful staple of every household with school-aged children. During the pandemic and lockdowns, we were in need of a new craft or activity for the kids. Thankfully, my mother-in-law passed along this seriously simple, long-lasting play dough recipe. This easy recipe makes for the best play dough (seriously, the BEST) and almost all the ingredients are found in your pantry. There’s also so much room for creativity and experimentation when making homemade play dough – you can personalize your batch with color, fragrance, and glitter. If you’re looking for an easy, low-waste and plastic-free craft for the family, this is it!

Supplies

Large cooking pan and mixing spoon

 

Storage container (mason jar, glass container, Tupperware, etc)

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 cups water

2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil

4 tsp cream of tartar

Optional Ingredients:

20 drops of essential oil

Food coloring or natural coloring (see “Tips” section)

Glitter

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a large cooking pot over low heat

2. Stir frequently until dough forms and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot

3. Remove the dough from the pot and let cool

4. Enjoy!

Storage

Store in an airtight container, away from direct heat or light. I’ve found mason jars to be the best option for play dough storage (some batches have lasted up to six months!)

Tips

Use liquid or gel food coloring for a variety of play dough colors. If you’d like to be a little more creative, I highly recommend using natural coloring. Here are some of my favorite natural ingredients for beautiful, vibrant coloring:

     – Blue butterfly pea powder (royal blue)

     – Beet root powder (fuschia)

     – Pitaya (dragon fruit) powder (vibrant, bright pink)

     – Elderberry powder (deep purple)


For that smell-good batch of dough, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender, orange and peppermint are some of our favorites!).


During the fall season, we love to add some pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring to make pumpkin spice dough! Just add 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to the recipe above and enjoy a fun and festive adaptation of the original recipe.


From my family to yours, we hope you enjoy this homemade, low-waste recipe!

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe​