4 Healthy Baking Must-Haves

Posted by Courtney Robertson on Dec 01, 2016 /  comments

Do you have fond memories of time spent in the kitchen making gingerbread cookies while snow fell lightly outside? Perhaps you’ve never baked in your life, our you have a dear family member with a variety of dietary restrictions; or maybe you just want make healthier holiday treats this year. Whatever the reason, we’ve got a list of key holiday ingredients that will make baking healthy and tasty.

 

Spice and something nice  

When I was growing up, I loved to help my mom and grandma make cookies, especially around the holidays. I remember reaching for the bottle of vanilla extract and taking a big whiff of the sweet aroma. When I got older I realized that my favourite baking ingredient was a total fraud! It was nothing more than water, sugar and artificial flavour.

Now that I’m old enough to bake all by myself, I use real, organic vanilla extract by Simply Organic. Their organic spices are great too! Conventional spices from the grocery store are often irradiated, a food safety practice that can cause food to lose valuable nutrients and flavour. I’m happy to say Simply Organic does not irradiate any of their organic dried herbs or spices. At Kardish, we are also big fans of Cha’s Organics Spices, which are Fair Trade.

Allergy-friendly chocolate 

It’s not the holidays without chocolate in some form. We’ve talked about the challenges around allergies and sensitivities during halloween, but this can be just as frustrating during the holiday season. Many desserts contain chocolate that is made with or contains traces of dairy, soy and other common allergens.

Enjoy Life takes the stress out of baking because their chocolate chips (and all other products) are made without dairy, gluten, soy, and other common allergens. They are NON-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, vegan and absolutely delicious.

Butter without the dairy 

Many beloved holiday recipes call for butter, and lots of it. Everything from grandma’s pumpkin pie, to the mashed potatoes and even the Butterball turkey contain this staple. But what is you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply avoid dairy products? Sometimes coconut oil can do the trick, but recipes like pie crust and cookies don’t always work with it as a substitute.

We really like Earth Balance Spreads because they can easily replace butter in your favourite recipes. It spreads smoothly like margarine, but don’t worry because it contains no hydrogenated oil. It can be used to make a rich caramel sauce, moist cookies and even frosting for cakes and squares!

Local ingredients 

Eggs are a staple in many traditional holiday recipes. Beking’s is a family run farm in eastern Ontario that has been producing eggs for over 40 years. What makes Beking’s special is their dedication to natural farming methods; their hens are not fed antibiotics or hormones and are cage free. At Kardish, these eggs are a popular purchase throughout the entire year!

Don’t eat eggs? You can always whip up a vegan alternative using ground flax or chia. It’s simple, just whisk together 1 tablespoon of either flax or chia with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let the mixture sit for a minute and you’ve got a great replacement for one whole egg. You could even try using aquafaba the liquid from chickpeas!

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What are your favourite healthy holiday ingredients? Be sure to let us know on Twitter and Facebook or by commenting below. Happy baking!

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