As the end of 2015 is very nearly upon us, I thought I’d have a look back at the year’s baking and eating adventures and muse what culinary activities 2016 might have in store.
I don’t want this to become one of those tedious new-year-new-me-embarking-on-a-detox-diet-frenzy-until-the-novelty-wears-off-after-a-week type posts that are a common side effect of January’s imminent approach. However, I have been thinking about my recent eating habits and would like to make more of an effort to be healthier in the new year.
I drink gallons of water and, in terms of my savoury diet, I eat a good deal of wholegrains, fish and a hell of a lot more veggies than I used to, but fatty, sugary sweet treats really are my downfall. My typical daily work situation is as follows: eat a lovely healthy lunch of delicious homemade cous cous salad with, say, mackerel or a bit of feta cheese, accompanied by a banana, a nutritious homemade oat or raw/vegan-type bar and perhaps a packet of low fat crisps, preceded by a mid-morning snack of dried fruit or a cereal bar…and then the 3pm slump hits and I stuff my face with the abundance of chocolate, cake and/or biscuits that are a continual feature of the office.
One of my weaknesses is that I am terrible with portion control – I can’t stop at a couple of squares of Dairy Milk or one Bourbon biscuit once I start munching. I eat a balanced home-cooked meal when I get home, and then the sweet cravings start again later in the evening, only this time tenfold.
And this is why I have put on weight and frequently feel more bloated than a waterlogged whale without a blowhole. Although I walk to and from work, 20 minutes each way, every day and practise yoga once a week, my energy levels are currently zero and I generally don’t feel great in myself. This is why I really want to better my eating habits – I don’t want to use the word ‘diet’ as I’m not about to launch some desperate bid to lose a ton of weight (although shedding a few pounds would be a welcome bonus); it’s more for general reasons of all-round health and happiness.
With this in mind, I’ve been bookmarking some delicious-sounding healthier bakes. I’m also looking forward to making some of the lighter recipes I’ve tried out previously with success when feeling health-conscious, like my Christmas pudding brownies, matzo meal muffins and other treats that can be found here: https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/category/healthier/ (I’m hoping 2016 will see this category of my blog expand!)
Here are a few new recipes I’ve found that I’m already keen to try out soon:
- Healthy Digestive Biscuits – http://www.talesfromthekitchenshed.com/2015/01/healthy-digestive-biscuits/
- The Hairy Dieters’ Low Fat Fruit Tea Loaf – http://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/recipe_directory/h/hairy-bikers-lowfatfruittealoaf.html
- Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes – https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwj_6Mrh0ITKAhVBVxQKHUUtBQ0QFggmMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsallysbakingaddiction.com%2F2013%2F02%2F19%2Fskinny-chocolate-peanut-butter-swirl-cupcakes%2F&usg=AFQjCNGet8gHepME-iC6PzI4BJbtI8MAGA
- Vegan Apricot Crumble Bars – http://embracethecake.co.uk/post-a-recipe/2015/6/12/apricot-crumble-bars
- Cinnamon macaron-style cookies; I haven’t found an actual recipe yet but I’m thinking of experimenting with maple syrup or sweetener or something to lower the refined sugar content in these low fat cookies – watch this space!
Aaaand finally, here’s a selection of my favourite bakes from 2015 🙂
- Healthy No-Bake Choco-Date Bars (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/healthy-no-bake-choco-date-bars/)
- Autumn Bliss Cake (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/autumn-bliss-cake/)
- Banana Toffee Cake (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/banana-toffee-cake-with-brown-sugar-buttercream/)
- Cherry Bakewell & Cherry Chocolate Scones (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/cherry-bakewell-cherry-chocolate-scones/)
- Mary Berry’s Coffee Cake (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/cookbook-challenge-1-mary-berrys-coffee-cake/)
- Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/cookbook-challenge-2-nigellas-devils-food-cake/)
- Trine Hahnemann’s Scandi Marzipan Tarts (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/cookbook-challenge-3-trine-hahnemanns-scandinavian-marzipan-tarts/)
- Nigella’s Chocolate Fudge Cake (available at nigella.com)
- Oatmeal Gingerbread (from the 1000 Cakes & Bakes cookbook)
- Minimalist Raisin Spice Christmas Cake (from the 1000 Cakes & Bakes cookbook)
- Stollen Biscotti (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/stollen-biscotti/)
- Neapolitan Cake (https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/neapolitan-cake/)
Best wishes for a fantastic 2016, fellow bakers and bloggers – I hope it’s a happy and healthy one!