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Fresh Takes on Kids' Favorites

Jul 13, 2015 04:37AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features Food, Family Features

As the kids head back to school, there's no better time to make a fresh start in the kitchen, too. Substituting nutritious ingredients such as sorghum in your favorite grain-based foods is an easy way to upgrade your family's menu this fall.

Some of the traditional snacks kids love most - such as cakes, cookies and doughnuts - can all be prepared using sorghum, a gluten-free cereal grain grown throughout the world. This highly versatile ingredient is naturally high in fiber, iron and protein, and can be used in a wide range of preparations. In fact, white food-grade sorghum can be milled directly into whole grain flour to produce foods such as brownies, breads, pizza dough, pastas, cereals, pancakes and waffles.

Whether it's a power breakfast to fuel the day, a sweet lunchbox treat or a tasty after school snack, these recipes showcase how simple it can be to give your kids' favorite treats a nutritious makeover they'll be thrilled to sample.

For more nutritious back to school recipes and tips for cooking with sorghum, visit

Celiac-friendly substitutions:
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract: Use 2 teaspoons X-Tra Touch vanilla or any other gluten-free vanilla.

  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour: Replace with 6 tablespoons chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour and 6 tablespoons sweet rice flour, or use 3/4 cup commercial gluten-free flour.

  • 3 cups oatmeal: Replace with 3-4 cups of any gluten-free, ready-to-eat flake cereal slightly crushed, or gluten-free crispy rice cereal.

  • 1 (10-ounce) package almond toffee bits: Verify product is gluten-free or use 1 3/4 cups chopped almonds or walnuts.

Chewy Oatmeal Toffee Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1(10-ounce) package almond toffee bits


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Cream butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix flour, salt, soda, allspice, cinnamon and cloves; add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended. Stir in oatmeal, coconut and toffee bits with spoon. Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto prepared sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove to wire rack.

Milo Doughnuts


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted shortening or lard
  • 1/2 cup sifted sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 8 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In large bowl, beat together egg and sugar. Stir in milk and shortening. Sift together all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir to combine. Chill dough for 30 minutes. On lightly floured surface, flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness with your finger-tips or rolling pin. Cut out doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or two sizes of round cookie cutters. Transfer doughnuts to waxed paper and allow to dry for 10 minutes. In deep heavy pot or electric fryer, heat oil to 375°F. Using wire spatula dipped in hot oil, carefully transfer doughnuts into hot oil. Cook 2-3 doughnuts at a time turning them when brown on one side. Remove to paper towel or racks to drain.
  2. For glazed doughnuts, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla flavoring. Drizzle on doughnuts or sprinkle doughnuts with powdered sugar or mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Sorghum Pancakes


  • 1 3/4 cups sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2cups water


  1. Heat oven to 200°F. Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, beat together eggs, melted butter and water; add to dry ingredients and mix just until well blended. Heat large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray pan with cooking oil. Wet fingertips under faucet and shake them over hot griddle. If water droplets "sizzle," heat is right to begin making pancakes. For large cakes pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan; for small use 2 tablespoons of batter. Cook until bubbles form on top; flip and cook until golden brown on bottom. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in oven while making rest of pancakes. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

Sponsored by United Sorghum Checkoff Program

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