Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I despise baking.
It’s not that I’m lazy. Quite the opposite, actually… I enjoy keeping busy and I have many hobbies and activities that fill my days.
It’s just that baking creates so many opportunities to get things wrong and make mistakes, and in the end you actually have to SERVE whatever you’re attempting to make to other people. Baking is a skill I have always envied in others, but one I assumed I’d never get the hang of myself.
A few months ago, I had an “a ha” moment. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of packing healthy lunches for my husband and myself, and overall have been successful.
The one area where I was falling short, though, was in the snack department. We’ve both been eating store bought granola bars for years. Many people swear by granola bars, but I decided to sit down and actually take a look at what ingredients are in them.
Big surprise, but most store bought granola bars are packed full of sugar and sodium. Sure, one bar only has 150 calories. But, if those are 150 bad calories, what’s the point? After really breaking apart the ingredients list, I decided I could do better.
So, I went out, bought baking ingredients – for the first time ever – and picked a recipe for low-fat pumpkin chocolate chip loaf. When made with whole-wheat flour and less sugar, this recipe only sets you back 160 calories per serving.
Then, when cooled, I cut up the loaf, packaged each slice individually and froze. Voila! Just like that, I’d made my own healthy snack that was full of good ingredients. And the best part – it tasted amazing!
Next, I tried muffins and made a banana chocolate chip recipe that used Greek yogurt and honey instead of butter and sugar. It worked again! Who knew that following a recipe could be so easy (and yes, I realize how silly that sounds).
I haven’t tried anything else yet, but plan to keep going in the New Year. I love that baking allows me to control what’s going into the food I’m eating, so I can ensure I’m getting only the best ingredients. It’s also a sneaky way to try to keep my full-time student husband eating better while he’s in school – but don’t tell him that!