The smell of baking in your kitchen that wafts throughout your home makes people feel dreamy, brings a content smile to their faces and evokes happy memories. I love baking for my family and friends. The act of baking satisfies my need to nurture them. This is especially true over the holidays when we gather as family and with friends.
In the past what I baked for my family was not so healthy. It was filled with butter, sugar and more salt than humans should consume in a week or more. Increasingly, I have come to realize that my love of baking and my need to nurture was made even better by being mindful of the ingredients I use. To care about what I am baking is part of what makes up the nurturing I need to offer. Providing healthy baked goods is actually more in line with my need to nurture and nourish the ones I love than what I was producing previously.
Introducing new treats that have ingredients that promote health is a true act of love and nurturing. I have had so much fun experimenting with savory herbs in muffins, cookies and cakes. Adding more puréed fruits and alternative natural sweeteners to reduce the amount of refined sugar I use has allowed me to discover better ways of creating baked goods.
I think we have a false belief that healthier means less tasty and unattractive foods. This may have been the case at the beginning of the Whole Foods and organic movements but is hardly the case today. There are pastry chefs like Vanessa Musi who have opened our eyes to what is possible...and beautiful to our eye and palette. No more do we need to hang on to the old notion that healthy means crunchy granola.
Today when so many we know, including ourselves, are struggling with weight and health issues we need to embrace doing things differently, including what we bake for the holidays. We give up nothing in doing this. Instead we add the gift of health to the love of nurturing. It is true, our baked goods can become a part of a healthy lifestyle.
As we gather for Hanukkah and Christmas as well as look to the New Year here are some delectable and healthy cookie recipes to enjoy and share:
Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thyme-infused Cardamom-Orange Oatmeal Cookies
Double-Ginger Ginger Snaps
|Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie|
Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Looking for an easy way to measure in the kitchen and serve up right-sized portions at the table? Check out the award winning LivSpoons and make them part of your daily living.