Monday, January 25, 2016

Five Reasons Why You Need to Bake It and Not Buy It

 It seems to be something of a foreign word among mothers in today's world.
I think we have lost the very essence of what it is to make something with our own two hands and serve it to our families with love. 
We have forgotten HOW to cook or even WHY we should be cooking.

There are several reasons that as parents, we should not be feeding our kids store bought goodies for their lunches and school snacks or even serving regular take out for dinner.

 Yes, it is more convenient, however, it is the worst thing for their health we can do.
 As we hear of more and more disease and obesity in the youth, we need to make it a priority to bake food and cook dinner, from scratch.
(No Pillsbury either)


1) Processed foods are causing weight gain and obesity  

2) Processed foods do not fill you up so you feel full, leading to over eating & less energy

3) Artificial Ingredients - Look at the label. Most of the items we don't even know what they are. This means it isn't food, it is a chemical, so essentially, we are feeding chemicals to our family and slowly killing them. 

4) Addiction. Certain foods are making us junkies and we just cannot say no to these foods.
(LAYS Chips. Anyone able to have just a few?)

5) Processed foods contain no nutrients

Do you ever wonder why there is a new item on the grocery store shelf that suddenly becomes the new go to favorite for our kids? Industry gears it this way so we buy it. They know we are busy parents and that we claim to have no time to bake for our kids.

This is a lie. We have time and it is important we make time because we are killing our kids.
If you don't believe me just google why processed food is bad and begin reading. Do your own research and figure out a way to make time in your life to feed your family correctly.
Just because years ago, when we were growing up, we could eat out and be okay, doesn't mean we can now. Food and the way it is made, has changed.

What does it require to attempt this foreign thing called "baking"?
A little organization and pre-planning.

Kids come over to our place and look in our pantry and think we have no food.
That's because I buy whole foods, not junk food, to put in our pantry.
You won't find a lot of mac and cheese or hamburger helper in my kitchen pantry.
Around here, we eat properly almost all of the time. 
Now we are taking on a new horizon and eating a wide variety of organic and vegan dishes.

I tested my theory on food making us sick recently.
I felt compelled to be like other moms. They ask me what I am doing and I say that I am making dinner or baking cookies and I get this...
 "oh why don't you just buy it, you waste so much time baking it yourself."

I started to feel badly because I said no to a coffee or text message because baking was my priority in the moment.....
Needless to say, I noticed my son getting sick for an unknown reason. is back to baking for my family for school lunches.

I have my items for lunches that I like to bake down to a science.
I can usually turn out three recipes within an hour. This can include 2 cookie recipes and a muffin recipe or a cookie, brownie and muffin recipe. I often throw a loaf into this mix as well. And, kids do the cleanup because there is something about baking that makes them extremely helpful in the kitchen and willing to laugh and joke with me.

My recipes do contain sugar and normal ingredients and one might take the easy route and say, "Well, that isn't much healthier", but that simply is not true. Anything you bake at home is 100% better then what you buy on a store shelf. Also, you can substitute apple sauce for sugar, use coconut oil instead of canola oil, and buy organic whole grain flours if you wish.
For simplicity sake though, I keep it simple.

I can give you my tricks and you can prepare yourself to buy real food at the grocery store on the next grocery shop. At first glance if you are not used to shopping this way, you might think it is too expensive. After all, the $12 bag of large flour does cost more then the chocolate chip cookies for a fantastic sale price of $1.99. But ask yourself, how long does that bag of cookies last? And with the bag of flour you can now make many, many recipes that will feed your family for the long term.

Every kitchen should have flour, eggs, butter, oatmeal, vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, coconut oil, parchment paper, chocolate chips, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and milk (or substitute)

If you follow the links under the pictures in this blog, you will be taken to some gorgeous blogs that inspire and teach cooking. There you can find a plethora of ideas of your own.

So saying you have no time is no excuse.
Make time.

This weeks entire blog posts will be devoted to making time to get our lives organized and healthier, as it seems we too often think it is okay to come up with the excuses like, "I have no time or I am too tired". It is not okay to just take a break, contrary to what the TV or internet is telling you, we must take back our right to be healthy and feel in control of our lives and our bodies.

That my friends, begins with us as parents. We teach our kids what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. If your kids are eating Kraft Dinner and Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies as their staple in their diet, you really need to take a look at that. Saying you don't know how to cook, when you are a parent, is not very acceptable either. Cooking is something we learn and quite easily I might add. 

Time to shift your focus, stop running around doing nothing important, and learn to cook.
And as preachy as I may sound, rest assured I am no where near perfect.
I myself have a whole lot of learning to do too.

Here is my basic chocolate chip recipe:

A little secret to a good chocolate chip cookie is to use real butter, not margarine, and leave your eggs and butter out on the counter for 40 mins prior to cooking. 
Second, the more you beat the batter for the cookie dough, the fluffier your cookies will be.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
First Preheat your oven to 350C


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix margarine, sugars, and vanilla with a mixer, then mix in the eggs.
Add your dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Drop by teaspoon fulls onto a cookie sheet.

Bake 10 - 12 mins. Leave on a rack to cool.

You can add walnuts, almonds, or even pecans to this recipe if you like.

I promise you this is a no fail recipe. Just be sure to mix all your wet ingredients for at least 3 minutes so the batter is nice and light colored and looks "fluffy". Watch your cookies while they are in the oven to be sure that they do not burn.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
First Preheat your oven to 350C

1 cup butter 
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or quick oats)
2 cups chocolate chips or raisins
(Feel free to omit raisins and reduce the amount of chocolate chips)

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the oats and raisins by hand. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. The edges should be a golden brown and the center should be a light brown. Cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack. to cool.

I will share more of my easy recipes with you this week. I also plan to give you suggestions and ideas for getting your house in order and explain why it is important. I have a few pointers on good stones and crystals that will clear negative energy and restore balance if you feel like your home just isn't quite right lately....

Happy baking!
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