Baking can be healthy; I can prove that.
Healthy Baking is not an oxymoron; we can make our desserts and snacks in healthy ways.
Healthy Baking Definition
Before we go any further, let me define Healthy Baking for you:
A baking practice which does not contain any refined flour, refined sugar, and refined oil. In other words, healthy baking involves using nutritious flours, natural and unrefined sugars in less quantities and good fats (no trans fats especially).
Why Healthy Baking?
Somebody said to me a while back:
Sugar is one of the most dangerous weapons this mankind has ever made.
I completely agree. Most of the diseases that are rampant these days are actually due to high consumption of sugar. Hence, I have completely thrown away white refined sugar from my lifestyle because a refined component has limited nutritional value.
Well, I know what you must be thinking – that everything is fine in moderation. Am I correct? Okay, so here is my perspective.
I agree that everything is fine in moderation, but the problem is that we are not consuming sugar in moderation.
An average person consumes big chunk of sugar in the form of beverages, cereals, flavoured yougurt, sugary snacks etc. in a day, and this is hidden sugar in your food.
Most importantly, people consume desserts like a main course meal. Desserts are supposed to be a small part – a happy ending – of our meal, but this does not happen anymore. Ninety-nine percent of the people with whom I have met are addicted to sugar, and their undying love for desserts is affecting them in a critical way.
I thought to myself, “People love sweets and the idea of abstaining from them make people unhappy. So what if we make these sugary snacks a bit nutritious and super delicious at the same time? What if we switch to healthy alternatives in our baking?”
This was a challenge, and I love challenges :-). So I took this pledge to make healthy desserts and nutritious sugary snacks; ultimately shifting to Healthy Baking.
Why Gluten-Free baking?
I have no gluten allergies. I love wheat; it is my staple food. However, my baking products are gluten-free because I do not prefer refined flour. I tried replacing it with whole wheat flour in some of the recipes but I was not happy with the texture.
Hence, I switched to unrefined flours to bring nutrition and good texture in the baked goods.
I do not label Gluten as unhealthy. I switched to gluten-free baking because I wanted to replace refined flour with nutritious flours.
About the program “Live Learn Inspire”…
When my healthy treats became uber famous among family and friends, people started asking me to educate them about Heathy Baking. I have always conducted heathy sessions where I educate people about the perils of hidden sugar and the ground rules of healthy lifestyle. Hence, along with these sessions, I decided to inspire others about baking nutritiously at home.
And this is how the idea of “Live Learn Inspire” germinated.
But nothing was simple. Firstly – Nobody believed in the concept of Healthy Baking initially. It was hard to convince people, but I never gave up. I baked, baked, and baked with healthy ingredients to make people believe that baking can be healthy and tasty at the same time.
Secondly – Without refined flour and refined sugar, my biggest challenge was to achieve the beautiful texture of baked goods. Baking is a science. The gluten element in refined flour gives products a beautiful structure; it gives the perfect body to the products. Without gluten, the baked goods will crumble and will fall apart as there is no structure.
Hence, gluten-free baking is not that straightforward.
Similarly, white refined sugar is not only added for sweetness but its chemical nature performs many essential functions of baking.
But I kept on trying and learning new things. Finally, there came a time when my confidence blossomed as my healthy products became perfect.
Have a look at all the healthy and gluten-free recipes
But remember, moderation is still the key….
I apologize in case I gave you the impression that healthy desserts can be consumed without any restraint. Nope, that’s not the case. Even though I use natural sugars which have good nutritional value, they are still SUGARS. Our body will digest them in almost the same way as it digests refined sugar.
Hence, even though you are consuming natural things, it is important to keep a check. Over consumption of natural sugars or anything is not recommended.
I love guilt-free desserts…
Yes, my treats are absolutely guilt-free. Even though I keep a check on the sugar content, the nutrition in the healthy flours, natural sugars and good fats keep me satisfied and happy.
Let me share a secret with you. I know it is hard to believe but I indulge in these healthy treats at least 5 times in a week :-). I need to have something – may be a brownie or a muffin or a piece of cake – with my breakfast coffee. However, I do not over-indulge, and I exercise regularly.
I made a promise to myself long time back that if something does not give me any nutritional value, I will just abandon it. And I have stopped buying desserts from outside because I cannot take that junk in the form of heavy cream and sugar rush anymore.
Read more about Healthy Lifestyle – The three pillars of Healthy Living
So, here I am, presenting to you my program “Live Learn Inspire” where I will be sharing all my secrets to healthy and nutritious baking.