There are many ways to deal with stress, and coping can sometimes come in the form of food. There is a positive and a negative to food being the solution to our stressful situations. The negative is stress eating, which can add unwanted weight and create unhealthy relationships with food. There is a way that food can be a positive solution, and that is stress baking.
Stress baking can be an easy, creative, and cheap way of letting go of whatever may be bothering you. It has been proven time and again that having a creative outlet is therapeutic. It allows you to put your energy toward a positive outcome; it requires a person to be both physically and mentally attentive, and that provides them with a productive outlet for negative emotions. In 2015, Cake Angels conducted a survey among bakers that concluded that one out of three bakers started baking because they were stressed.
Baking and cooking also gives you a space where you are in complete control. With all of the ingredients, you can make variations to a recipe, make your own recipe, or follow the recipe and let the creativity come later.
There is another aspect that allows for stress baking to have a positive impact, and that is what you do with your goodies. While it is nice to have a treat when you are stressed out, that can easily lead to stress eating. Try giving some if not all of your treats away to make someone else’s day. Giving to others can release endorphins, leaving you with a burst of positive energy and increased feelings of satisfaction and joy from sharing kindness
While baking is fun and can boost your mood, it doesn’t have to be chocolate chip cookies and cakes. Look for recipes that are lower in sugar or are full of fruits and veggies. Make ingredient substitutions to some of your go-to recipes
Whether you already enjoy baking or you are looking for a new way to de-stress, you cannot go wrong with baking.
Baking Ingredient Alternatives
• Puree soft or silken tofu, then use it in a one-to-one ratio to replace half the fat, like butter in your favorite brownie recipe.
• Mix a can of diet soda into a cake mix so you have a moist, fluffy dessert. Most dry mixes already contain some fat, so you don’t need to add oil or all those eggs.
• Replacing one cup of white flour with wheat flour adds 10 grams of heart-healthy fiber to your favorite cookie.
• Vegetable shortening gives pie crust its flaky texture, but it also can contain artery-clogging hydrogenated fats. Instead, opt for versions made from coconut or palm oils.
• Use sweetener-sugar hybrids developed specifically for baking, like Truvia Baking Blend, and follow the substitution directions on the package.
Written by: Mandy Douthit