how cooking is a form of self-care

Cooking your own meals is the best way to ensure that the foods you eat are fresh and healthy. You can save money by making your favorite family soup or pizza at home. As well as this, however, cooking, it turns out, can be highly soothing for your mental health. Cooking at home greatly affects both your physical and emotional wellbeing. Let’s have a look at how cooking can be used as a kind of self-care or therapy.

Photo by RF._.studio 

Creates Mindfulness 

Mindfulness means paying attention just to the now. Accepting your ideas, emotions, and experiences as they are and then deciding to let them go is known to be a positive part of what mindfulness can do for your life.

Stress reduction, higher concentration, increased cognitive flexibility, and immune system stimulation are just some of the advantages of practicing mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness is often associated with disciplines like meditation and yoga, but you can also apply it to a wide range of other endeavors. Making a meal is no different. 

If you’re already a fan of getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, you shouldn’t have any trouble incorporating mindfulness into your cooking. Even if you don’t love cooking, you can learn to appreciate it with a little practice. The internet has everything you need to improve your cooking. For example, you can learn how to easily brown butter at sugargeekshow.com. You’ll soon learn to love cooking because it serves as a diversion from negative thoughts when done with mindful intent. 

It’s A Creative Outlet

Instead of viewing cooking as a burden or chore, look at it as an opportunity to express yourself creatively. They’re a great way to recharge and focus on self-care, especially when you feel truly accomplished afterward. 

When it comes to food, you eat what you prepare. You don’t have to worry about what you’ll do with it when you’re finished because it’s fuel to get you through the day. It’s a nice hobby to bring friends and family over to spend time together and strengthen your bonds.

Stimulates Your Brain

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of work and home, it’s easy to become bogged down. Despite our best efforts, routines can become tedious, even when we like the result. The thought of having to make yet another choice about what to prepare for dinner at the end of the day can be exhausting in this situation.   

Cooking is a great way to shake up your regular routine and stimulate your mind. Try new ingredients and dishes that you haven’t tried before to see what you think of them. Cooking is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. Your favorite food blogger or a new cookbook can be a great source of inspiration when it comes to finding new ways to prepare your favorite dishes, for example.

You Can Find Joy In Simple Things

There are a lot of obligations and commitments in everyday life. You can make life a lot sweeter by choosing to take delight in the little things, like making a new soup or not deflating that souffle. Cooking can be just as enjoyable as eating it if we approach it from a different perspective.

** This was a contributed post.

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recipe: apple berry breakfast bars

This is a recipe that you can really make your own. I will list what I used for our breakfast bars, but the berries, seeds, and butter are completely your choice! It is also a wholly vegan recipe, unless you choose butter or margarine that has dairy in it. Really, it’s just a delicious and quick alternative to a more traditional breakfast- perfect for those busy mornings when you need to grab something on the go.

Apple Berry Breakfast Bars

Makes 12 squares

Ingredients:

(For the filling:)
2 cups apples, any kind, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 cup berries, any kind (I used Saskatoon berries)

(For the bottom and topping:)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cup large flake oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp seeds, any kind (I used Super Seeds by Blue Menu which included sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter or margarine (I used vegan), more to grease
Pinch of salt

Steps:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until apples are soft and ingredients are well-combined, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl, add the brown sugar, oats, flour, seeds, remaining cinnamon, butter, and salt. Mix until it’s all blended together.

3. Pour half of the crumble into a well-greased, square baking dish. Press down until even and flat. Then add the filling, distributing evenly as well. Spread the berries on top. Finally, top evenly with the remaining crumble mixture. Place in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container. 

Emory

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carrot cake

1.jpgWell, my friends, the Hutterites did it again! Today I am presenting to you another fantastic recipe that I found within the same book as my previously posted dessert. This time, however, I’ll try to lay off the cursing.

I’ve tried a lot of Carrot Cakes in my day. Growing up, my mum often made it and so I came to really like only hers. Every other recipe that I had tried paled in comparison. The cake that my Baba would make was filled with nuts and was made without the icing on top. In my eyes, Carrot Cake just isn’t complete without that added sweetness. I also don’t care for nutty desserts. I’m not a chipmunk, people. Although, my cheeks are quite chubby.

4.jpgThat being said, I obviously made this Carrot Cake WITH icing and WITHOUT nuts. However, you can do the opposite, or just do one and not the other! Either way, these ingredients are going to be an utterly delicious, super duper scrumptious success! 

2.jpgCarrot Cake:

Cake:

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely grated carrots

Icing:

3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
splash of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

3.jpgSteps:

1. Sift dry ingredients together.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

3. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9x2 inch cake pan.

4. Place into oven. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Let cool.

5. Combine icing in medium bowl. Spread evenly over cake. 

6. Dive into your mouth-watering treat, and enjoy!

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Sorry mum, but I think that I might have just retired your recipe. This one is too amazing for words (or swears)!

<3

Emory

a damn good rhubarb dessert

01Hey guys. One quick question. Do you like rhubarb? I mean, really like it? Like it more than any other vegetable around? I do. I just cannot get enough of this tart treat. I actually tried rhubarb flavoured soda the other day at a vegan restaurant, and it was the best soda that I’ve ever had. Like, ever.

One thing that I look forward to every summer is adding rhubarb to all of my desserts. Whether it’s in pie, muffins, cake, crumble, or a sauce all by its lonesome, whichever foods are socially acceptable to combine it with, I will be doing it. I guaran-damn-tee it!

Sort of as a joke, but also out of curiosity, I picked up an old cookbook at the library called “The Hutterite Community Cookbook.” Old as in 2002. Which, in today’s standards, with the millions of new food fads and diets out there, that’s ancient. However, it is the 3rd expanded edition, so you know that whatever kick-ass recipes are in the book have been tried and perfected among the Hutterites. Maybe I shouldn’t have put kick-ass and Hutterite in the same sentence. Twice.

05FYI, the copyright page in this cookbook informs me that, “No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic or mechanical … without permission in writing from the publisher.” So I apologize in advance to any members of the Hutterite colony for using, albeit tweaking, one of their rhubarb recipes (not to mention swearing in this post). Feel free to contact me if you would like me to remove it. Until then, all is fair in love and war (and baking)!

03Rhubarb Cake:

Cake:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter

2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 tbsp cinnamon

Icing:

3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup butter

splash of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

07Steps:

1. Cream sugar, butter, and eggs together. Add remaining ingredients in order given; mix well. 

2. Pour into a large, greased cake pan. Spread evenly.

3. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Let cool.

4. Combine icing in medium bowl. Spread evenly over cake. 

5. Place in refrigerator until its ready to eat!

06This was honestly such an amazing dessert. If I were to change one thing, it would be to line the bottom of the cake pan with a crumble. Other than that, chalk up one major success to the Hutterites!

<3

Emory

a blogger’s dozen: susan’s gingerbread bunnies (y.i.a.h.)

1.0I am so honoured to have Susan Parry sharing her gingerbread cookie recipe on A Blogger’s Dozen. Susan joins us all the way from Australia. She is a wife, mother, baker, cook, blogger, and the heart, body, and soul of ‘Your Inspiration At Home’. This beautiful and delicious recipe today is not only tried and tested out to be scrumptious, but is also just in time to serve as an additional Easter treat. So whether you are reading this post on your android, computer, iPhone, tablet, or by any other electronic means, keep in mind that it is roughly a sixteen hour plane ride from Canada to Australia. Suffice it to say that this post has traveled half way across the world to come to you today, so it’s guaranteed to be a great one.

Emory

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Gingerbread Bunnies:

125 grams of butter

½ cup of sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 cups of plain flour

3 teaspoons of Gingerbread Spice

2 ½ tablespoons of golden syrup or honey

assorted decorations

Preheat oven to a 150°C or moderate oven. Cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolk and beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Warm golden syrup in microwave on low and add to the mixture and mix well. Knead mixture and roll out to about 3mm in thickness onto a floured table. You can cut shapes from cookie cutters or make your own shapes as we did. Place onto trays lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 – 15 mins approximately until golden brown. Decorate with buttons before they have cooled or use icing after they have cooled. Let cool before serving. Makes about 12 – 20 depending on the size of your cutters or shapes.

Have fun with this and I am sure it would be a winner. Please head on over to my blog if you would like to follow me and if you would like to check out my products head to my website which sends to the USA and Australia. Happy baking!

Susan – Your Inspiration at Home Consultant

A Blogger’s Dozen is a series that was launched in 2014. If you would like to be featured in a post, as well as have free advertisement for that month, please contact Emory at helloscarlettblog@outlook.com. Be sure to send any food-related ideas that you may have. Hello, awesomeness!

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