It's no secret that I'm an avid homebaker and many of my friends have tasted treats coming out of my kitchen at one point or another. Of course, they are called treats for very valid reasons and deservedly get tsk tsk'ed from the healthy eating police. Many of you wonder if I actually eat my own baking and how does it fit into my strict eating regiment ("Oh she's so totally lying about her diet"). Here is the real scoop.
My regular rotation of food includes a variety of seasonl fruit and vegetable which I adore. For example, since the harvest season began, I've been enjoying steamed kabocha squash every single day. Pomegranates and persimmons also appear frequently now because I can only get them at this time of year. To my palate, these fruit and vegetable are so yummy that I look forward to eating them everyday while they are in season. Another consideration is nutritional value. The more variety I include, the more likely I can fulfill my daily requirement for vitamins and minerals. Protein sources mainly consist of nuts, legumes, fish, tofu, cheese, and yogurt.
Interestingly enough, I recently come to the realization that "refined carbs" is the new dirty word. Obviously, baking is all about refined carbs with all those flour and sugar. My primary source of carbs come from fruits and vegetables, supplement with some whole grains. However, when I bake, I would take one or two servings for myself out of the whole batch. Not only do I want to evaluate the quality of my work, allowing some treats in my diet keeps me sane. You can say that I enjoy the process of baking more so than the act of consuming the treats. There are exceptions of course, a few things that I would bake for myself. Fruit crumble is one (I prepare and store them in the freezer for emergency cravings). Soft spicy molasses cookies is another (though that is a rare rare treat and I always share). For more everyday fare, a fruit-and-nut energy bar is perfect. They are good replacements for CLIF bar and Larabar, my choice for convenient pre-workout snack. My old stand-by recipe is heavier on oats. A couple of days ago, I tried a different recipe that uses a bare minimal amount of binding agents so the bar is essentially a convenient on-the-go version of dried fruit and nuts. You can check out the nutritional analysis here. I highly recommend both.