1. Spending time in the kitchen should not only be about the end result, but the small, gentle, joyous moments along the way. Using your hands to bake can be incredibly restorative. I like to turn this time in the kitchen into a calm and peaceful ritual.
2. I like to be mindful of where our food comes from, whether it be a beetroot from the
garden or a jar of local honey from the farmers’ market. Knowing where ingredients originate helps me to connect with the story behind what I choose to feed my family. Not only has this helped me to create a healthy relationship with food, I have also gained a deeper appreciation for each, and every thing I make. It’s not surprising that my shopping habits have changed quite considerably in the process!
3. Before I dig in to that piece of cake, I like to take a moment to consider all the love, time and effort that went into creating it: the farmers who grew the cacao beans, the chickens who laid the eggs. Taking a moment to practice gratitude helps us to enjoy cake in all its beautiful glory.
4. An hour devoted to baking does wonders to the soul, even if it’s only once a week. I find it gives me the time out I need from a busy day’s work. Let baking remind you that there is always time for yourself, should you choose to make it so.
5. I like to savour and enjoy sweet food. I find that by eating it slowly, I am more aware of when I am full, and I often notice flavours I might otherwise have missed.
6. I often pop half a batch of cookies or the last few slices of banana bread into the freezer for a rainy day. Not only does this help to stop over-indulging, but I am always grateful it’s there when guests drop by without notice.
7. Let the kids get busy in the kitchen. They are more likely to try more wholesome versions of baking and have a higher appreciation for something they have made themselves.
8. Next time you enjoy something sweet, pay close attention to each and every flavour
you taste. It’s a wonderful way to eat mindfully and enjoy food in all it’s beauty, whether it’s the bittersweet of chocolate, the tanginess of lemon curd, or the crispy crust of perfectly golden pastry.
9. I prefer to use wholesome sweeteners in my baking, not only for the health benefits but for the subtle and unique flavour profiles they can add. Golden, unrefined sugars such as rapadura, coconut or muscovado sugar bring rich, caramel tones, whereas honey can add subtle floral notes to your sweet treats.
10 I believe there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the sweet foods that you love. Sweet food is delicious and there is so much pleasure to be had in enjoying a little something sweet when you crave it deeply. It’s all about moderation.