by Winston Gamache
A baking habit has many benefits and, dare I say, no real drawbacks. Baking is a great way to relax, baked goods make great, inexpensive gifts and allows you to tailor them to your diet. I’d say at this point baking for me is probably an addiction, but it doesn’t really affect stability, so let’s indeed call it a habit.
My earliest memories of baking are making hot cross buns for Easter with my mom. She’s a pro at making squares and hot cross buns but didn’t really have a lot to teach me anything past that. I learned most of my baking knowledge from the Internet. It’s all been uphill from there. There’s been a few flops but even ugly shortbread cookies at least usually taste great.
Baking is a great way to unwind from the busy hustle and bustle of work or school. There is something truly relaxing and rewarding about being able to follow a simple set of instructions and make something with your own two hands. I just turn on some of my favourite music on and let myself focus on nothing else but the recipe in front of me. (I may do some laundry or read a book while the cookies are baking, but otherwise the process is distraction-free.) Then when it’s all said and done you have a treat that is instantly rewarding and delicious. I like to get friends in on the action. Everybody shows up with a few ingredients and everybody leaves with a variety of treats for the coming week.
In addition to being a relaxing break from a busy week, baking is a pretty useful skill if you need to satisfy a sweet tooth on a budget. You could buy one cinnamon bun for three or four dollars at their favourite coffee shop or you can bake a dozen of them for less than two dollars and have one for a quick breakfast everyday. Also, by making your own treats you get to decide what goes into them and ultimately into your body. For example, I like to replace most if not all of the refined white sugar in my baked goods with honey. You can also easily boost the nutrition of muffins by adding chia seeds or hemp hearts. Your imagination really is the limit when it comes to making healthier baked goods.
Last but not least, baked goods make great gifts that will brighten anyone’s mood. It’s super easy to cheer someone up with a cupcake or bribe your friends with homemade oatmeal cookies. (Or, my personal favourite, a whole tray of raspberry cheesecake brownies. Although that can be a hard one to share.)
Go forth and get into the habit of baking, my good friends!