Dec 15, 2012

I Used to Be a Baker

Christmas Biscotti ~ Circa 2010

You may be wondering why I haven’t been posting holiday dessert recipes when it’s so close to Christmas. Here is a little history…

When my son was a baby, I stayed home with him in those formative years. After having been on the workplace battleground for 25 plus years I was bored out of my mind as a stay at home mom. So I watched a lot of Food Network TV while he napped (and while he was awake) and learned how to cook. Yeah, I was a late bloomer in the kitchen. But I began my adventures with food and baking became my obsession. I got really good at it. I even started a home-based baking business. My specialties: cheesecakes and gourmet cookies. The orders became so large and so frequent that I had to quit. My neighbors got tired of me knocking on their doors asking if they had room in their refrigerators for my overflowing cheesecakes.

But my love of all things culinary never quit and I continued to hone my skills at the stove. Now it’s the holiday season and that traditionally means… BAKING. I’ve been procrastinating. Searching, scouring, pleading with the web for ideas from other vegan blogs. Nothing seems to be happening… my oven is staring at me with disdain. My mixer is unrecognizably dusty, sitting in apathy on a shelf in my garage.

Birthday cheesecake with handmade marzipan flowers

Thing is, I’m a Nutritarian. On top of that, I don’t do wheat. I don’t do oil and I don’t do sugar. And what are the main ingredients in cakes and cookies? Wheat, oil (butter) and sugar. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget eggs. Ugh.

So now I must summon the courage to create anew. I have lots of almond flour in my freezer. I have flax, which is a perfect egg substitute. I also have Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour, which is a long-titled, strange, white powdery mixture that I’m a little afraid of. I guess it’s just that when you’ve done something so well and have to change the way you go about it, it’s daunting to say the least. It’s like asking Rembrandt to switch from oils to acrylics. Or giving Mozart an electric guitar. I don’t mean to elevate myself to the level of these masters but, damn, I was good with a mixer. Anyway, you get the point.

You may be saying to yourself, gee whiz, Helyn. It’s Christmas! Just make something traditional. You can always go back to your healthy ways after the holidays! Nope. Not gonna do it. Food can be VERY addicting and food cravings take a long time to overcome. I’ve been there, done that, thank you. Cakes, cookies, bagels, breads, pasta… it’s all the same. Dr. Fuhrman calls it “the cake diet.” LOW-nutrient, disease-promoting junk.

Spritz Butter Cookies and Nesselrode Pie (our family Christmas traditions)

So here I go. Today is the day I try my hand at some nutrient-dense baking and establishing some new and healthful holiday traditions. Hopefully, I’ll be back in full steam baking mode soon with some healthy desserts to share with you. Wish me luck.

6 responses to “I Used to Be a Baker”

  1. Kimmie says:

    It is more important you stay healthy than bow to "traditions."

  2. Kimmie says:

    http://pinterest.com/vegnews/

    There are some desserts on this page.

  3. Good luck, Helyn! If anyone can do it, YOU CAN!

  4. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Dave! I'm working on it!

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