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BETHARTEMIS SparkPoints: (18,560)
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10/6/12 10:22 A

I love baking and those tips are all great! I especially love the idea of keeping a towel in my apron to clean off my hands. Once I start on the batter, it usually leads to a downhill spiral.

Something else that has helped me continue with my hobby and stay on track is to bake/prepare breakfast for the week. Making granola bars or breakfast cookies gives me a healthy, inexpensive and easy breakfast for the week. If possible, I try to bake in the morning and I'll eat something small beforehand (a banana, a yogurt, some almonds...) and plan to eat a serving of the finished product for breakfast that day.

EMERALDWARE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 134
10/5/12 11:36 A

Yeah, I forgot to mention that I am now very excited about learning some more healthy baking recipes (well, healthier than others). They are out there, and they don't have to taste like cardboard! If I do end up having my own bakery in the future, it would behoove me to know some low-cal baked goods recipes that actually taste good since I'm sure that's an under-tapped market in the bakeries I've been to.

WHEELS54 Posts: 492
10/5/12 11:28 A

I bake something that my husband and son like and then I take some to my MIL. I try to make something mostly healthy like fruit desserts; last week I made pumpkin scones. It is better to have a homemade treat than Ben and Jerry's!!

MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (212,763)
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Posts: 9,443
10/5/12 11:23 A

I seldom bake any more because the finished product is too tempting. If I bake when we have company, I try. To send the left-overs home itch the company.

EMERALDWARE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 134
10/5/12 9:52 A

I love this question! It's difficult to balance my efforts to lose weight with my career aspirations to become a professional pastry chef. Some amount of tasting is inevitable for me, but with your tips as well as some things I already do, I feel like my health choices and my career choices aren't a complete contradiction.

*I LOVE the idea of brushing your teeth or generally keeping you mouth minty during the baking process. I do this to quell snacking urges, so I'll have to do it before baking as well.

*I try to remind myself of all the people getting sick and dying of salmonella these days. I'm not sure if it's being contracting through raw eggs, but even if it's not it's probably a bad idea for me to lick raw batter. So, I'll have to follow my Grandma's advice (which she's been saying since I was a toddler helping her make chocolate chip cookies) to not eat raw batter. Not only will I not expose myself to illness, but I'll also spare myself the calories.

*I tend to do all of my baking on Sunday so I can sample some of my baking, and then send most of it to my husband's office the next day (I'm not as fond of my coworkers to send them baked goods, but sometimes I do). Not only can I spread my baking goodness out to the world, but I can also relieve myself of the temptation. This really helped when I made my husband and I a huge birthday cake that neither of us could responsibly eat, but his coworkers had at it!

IMLENORE SparkPoints: (12,092)
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Posts: 21
10/5/12 3:12 A

How about chewing on sugarfree gum? Extra makes dessert gums like Chocolate Mint, Rootbeer Float, and Rainbow Sherbert. emoticon

HISPIRIT1 Posts: 375
10/4/12 6:15 P

there is a lot of good ideas thrown out on this subject of Mindful Baking. I really can't think of anything to add to this list. And an excellent time to be thinking about this with the Holidays emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon coming up. emoticon everyone for your input.

TASHA_DALIMORE SparkPoints: (1,711)
Fitness Minutes: (909)
Posts: 11
10/4/12 4:26 P

Such a great idea! Nibbling on frozen grapes instead of shovelling handfuls of chocolate chips in my mouth while baking. What else do you use (in case I don't have any grapes).

TASHA_DALIMORE SparkPoints: (1,711)
Fitness Minutes: (909)
Posts: 11
10/4/12 4:25 P

I really liked your response, the last piece in the pan will taste the same as the first tiny piece.

I'm going to have to remind myself of that. I just baked a ten inch skillet cookie that serves probably 12 people. No one in my family ate it and I already ate 3 pieces. One at 6 am for breakfast!

JOANIE142 Posts: 81
10/4/12 4:20 P

I want to bake for thanksgiving and take something wonderful to family and friends. I also want to look my best. Since I started SparkPeople I have found myself tracking everything I put in my mouth. I put recipes into the little recipes maker to figure out what are the calories and carbs etc. in that particular recipe. What a handy tool.

On SparkPeople I have not made ANY food off limits because this has always fit into feelings of denial. I can't have something has triggered me in the past.

What I have done differently is equate food to money. What, that's 700 dollars of calories for one slice. I don't want to pay that much in money calories. That sort of control seems to work. If I can't have, per me, like you don't need that, it makes me crave it even more. It's a head game. Ok, you can have it and you will put it in your food chart. If you can't afford it - find a way you can afford it. I'm looking at the calories and the amounts and make a decision if it is worth 700 dollars in calories etc. Sometimes I have figured out that a cookie is 100 calories and 45 carbs, I can eat half and then I'm at 50 calories and half the carbs. I still taste the food. But the more denial the more my compulsion can get away from me. It is not the taste of the food to be worried about but what am I feeling at the time I want to eat. I need to pay attention to that.

If my family makes me anxious, I wouldn't bake anything for them. I would just go buy something, like a pie or something like a cake. A whole thing I can't take a bite out of. I can put that receipt into my recipe calculator and figure out how many servings it offers. Then, in case I want some- what would half a serving cost in money calories . Am I ever satisfied with one taste or am I satisfied eating the whole thing myself. I know I could do that. It goes down so easy, I'm in a stupor and I only feel horrible after it is all gone. I must stay conscious about food at all times, because once I'm being compulsive, I just want to be compulsive. I will always be a compulsive overeater. I must respect that. emoticon

MELISSAP08 Posts: 13
10/4/12 1:16 P

i couldnt have said it better myself. I love this "You work too hard to undo it all over a batch of brownies. The last one in the pan will still taste the same as the first (tiny) piece. Once I became comfortable with that, and the fact that my "goodies" were no longer forbidden, I no longer felt the need to binge." This is some of the most fantastic advice!!

One thing that i have found is i just dont bake if i am feeling deprived. I will go buy a single serving of what ever it is that i feel like i really want and then wait a day or two before i go back to baking. I also take all my baked goods to work and am a hero for the day at work and i leave a small amount of them at home for the kids and hubby. After hearing how good the treat is and feeling good about sharing i rarely want to have one myself. I also avoid baking with my trigger foods like peanut keeps me from overindulging.

10/4/12 12:50 P

Sounds like you've tried most of my tricks. I would add 2.
1. Nibble on frozen grapes while baking.
2. PRE-track how much of the baked item you are going to eat. Once everything else is packaged and put away, I get to eat my portion. Yay!

We are on a tight budget. One dinner meal each week is homemade whole wheat bread, fruit and vegetables. While my children LOVE this dinner, it is a conundrum for me. It's a pretty high carb dinner and so easy to go overboard on piping hot, fresh bread. Good luck to us all!

GOING-STRONG Posts: 7,020
10/4/12 12:28 A

Baking is fun when I'm in the right mood for it... but I really can't afford those types of calories on a regular basis and when I get sugar in my system.... well it ain't pretty. I do appreciate the work and talent that goes into cooking good food and my hat is off to those that can do it.

GARDENGIRL54 Posts: 803
10/3/12 12:08 P

Tons of good suggestions here. Many I have tried - like nibbling on carrots and listening to music while I bake. Some I have not tried, but intend to.

One that I have not seen is that sometimes I make myself a little treat to drink while I'm in the kitchen. Bonus is the hydration. Make this something low calorie but something that seems like a liquid "treat" to you. Mine is fat free, sugar free chai. Yummo! And it keeps my mind of taste-testing too much......


RANNADANNA Posts: 2,026
10/3/12 10:31 A

I'm a pastry chef by trade, so I don't tend to make low fat substitutions at all. Butter, good European butter, is pretty sacred stuff to me!

The reason I enjoy cooking and baking is because I love love love to make something, with my hands and from my heart, to please, treat, and nurture others. I do taste and sample as I go along. Having worked in professional kitchens of tyrannical French chefs have conditioned me to do that, lol.

I love everything about baking: the scents, the textures, watching a batter come together under the careful movement of my whisk. The elasticity of a dough. The balance between creativity and precision. It's meditative for me sometimes, and a real pleasure to share with others.

Mindfulness for me is about enjoying the entire process, which I do, even more than the final product. I have a cake I made for my tennis team in the oven right now, that I did not taste, as I've made it hundreds of times, but I can't help but think about how pleased they'll be to eat it and how happy I'll be that I made it for them.

MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (212,763)
Fitness Minutes: (120,501)
Posts: 9,443
10/3/12 7:10 A

I usually only bake now hen we have company or at Christmas.

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
10/3/12 6:13 A

I use to love to bake, nowadays I do not do it anymore. It is too much of a temptation. I do occassionally make a loaf of bread or my local store has bread sticks that are semibaked and I will throw one of those in the oven with some fish.

10/2/12 6:34 P

I absolutely love to bake! Nowadays, I'll do substitutions like pureed prunes, applesauce, or yogurt in place of oil in some recipes----depending on the recipe. When it comes to special occasion baking, though (when I'm making something fancy like a torte, puff pastry, etc), I'll go all out and use butter, chocolate, sugar...the works. I tend to only do the rich baking though, when I have a gathering of people who are going to eat it up right away and I'll have a small splurge as well. I won't deprive myself since this IS a lifestyle change and I have to learn to use moderation, not deprivation to lose weight.

LIZILIZI1 SparkPoints: (5,758)
Fitness Minutes: (2,969)
Posts: 9
10/2/12 2:32 P

Totally going to try that this weekend.

UGAKATE85 Posts: 2,630
10/2/12 2:21 P

There's lots of substitutions you can make for the eggs, oil, sugar, etc. Although if you use real eggs, you can (hopefully!) avoid eating the batter to avoid getting sick!

10/2/12 2:20 P

I love to bake and tend to do it almost every other weekend in the winter months. This will be my first year baking while taking my diet seriously. I'm lucky I have adult children that don't live with me so I can send the treats home with them. Also I track everything that goes in my mouth so if I take a bite of cookie dough I record it in my food journal. Finally I plan for baking events by altering what I eat so i have a few extra calories and carbs left over for a small treat.

10/2/12 12:14 P

1 box angel food cake and 1 20oz can of cherry pie filling. Bake at 350 for about 25 min. Only around 60 cals per serving!

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
10/2/12 12:12 P

I love to bake but rarely do it unless I have somewhere to take it, like work or a party. If I'm baking just for my husband & I, I never make a full batch, but will at least cut it in half. I don't substitute anything really besides egg whites for eggs as I'm often trying new recipes. I drink a lot of water while I bake and find that helps me not eat so much dough.

10/2/12 12:01 P

I also cut down on the sugar and butter. I typically reduce the butter by almost half which gives cakier cookies.

I also roll my cookie dough up in wax paper into a tube shape, then in a gallon freezer bag, and stick it in the freezer. Then, when we want some, I cut off a few slices and bake them. If it works for the store bought stuff why not for homemade?! Then you don't have a huge batch sitting around.

MSOMAMA2 Posts: 44
10/2/12 12:00 P

I don't have any willpower when it comes to sweets. I don't make any changes in my baking other than using apple sauce in place of oil and using whole wheat flour. When I do my fall/winter baking every year I always make sure I put aside one or two goodies for myself so I don't overdo it and make sure that the rest get packed up and taken away right away! I seriously sometimes have my husband hide the goodies from me, that's how little willpower I have. I love to bake and do quite a bit to bring to my kiddo's school or work. emoticon

ZBMORGAN Posts: 782
10/2/12 11:55 A

GREAT ideas everyone! I'm of the 'rare but full fat camp" but cannot wait to put out some celery or cauliflower for the next time I'm whipping something up.

DIANAHALLOCK SparkPoints: (32,137)
Fitness Minutes: (21,534)
Posts: 1,248
10/2/12 11:47 A

I bake once a week, decadent and full of the best ingrediants. My family enjoys one weekend treat and I send the rest to my children's school. Our underpaid hard-working teachers deserve all the thanks and support our families can give. Those baked goodies sure make staff meetings go sweeter!

SMANISMELL SparkPoints: (76,799)
Fitness Minutes: (39,952)
Posts: 725
10/2/12 11:06 A

I bake once a week. I cook a meal for a CR group and bake them something for dessert. I usually do not eat what I bake, but every once in a while I do try some of it. Looking for some recipes that are lower in carbs or calories without using artificial sweeteners such as Splenda.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
10/2/12 8:23 A

I only bake when I have a reason to, but when I bake I use full-on butter and dark chocolate, and all the trimmings, BUT, I eat one of whatever it is, and then it leaves my house. Luckily for me, I have a 28-year-old, soccer-playing neighbor who can eat all of the left-overs, and who does all sorts of helpful things for me--like hang pictures and repair things--it's win, win; I get stuff I need done, AND get the extra food out of my house, and he gets all sorts of yummy treats.

PJANTO Posts: 79
10/2/12 7:33 A

I replace them with the same quantities. Applesauce works great for oil, and I've "creamed" pumpkin with sugar in a chocolate chip cookie recipie and it worked out well.

CELESTE_B Posts: 806
10/2/12 6:12 A

I'm not a big baker but I love to bake breads for the holidays to give as gifts. I'm not much on buying presents and such and every year I look for something new to make.

I usually keep gum on hand during baking though because some of the things I make for giving is so yummy and well....easy to over indulge.

Now is the time when I start thinking about what I'm making because I like to purchase the ingredients when they're on sale.

ZENNITH SparkPoints: (40,281)
Fitness Minutes: (46,260)
Posts: 644
10/2/12 4:42 A

Does anyone have any recipes I can try with the yoghurt/applesauce substitutes or do I just replace them with the same quantities?

ILOVEMALI Posts: 1,538
10/2/12 3:04 A

I started baking bread this year. I love baking! If I make 2 loaves, I give one away -- bread isn't a trigger for me. I'll eat a piece when it comes out of the oven, and another piece or 2 over the next couple of days.

LOPTR27 SparkPoints: (15,951)
Fitness Minutes: (30,091)
Posts: 67
10/2/12 2:33 A

I used to do a lot of baking, although I've cut back a bit. I usually only bake now if I'm taking it somewhere where I'll be giving it away or I can leave it with someone instead of wanting a cookie and making an entire batch. My number one way to make cakes and breads better is to use fruit puree instead of oil. Usually I use applesauce, but if it's pumpkin cake, I just use extra pumpkin, or extra banana for banana bread. I always cut back on the sugar too. I think the banana bread recipe I have calls for a cup, but it's great with a half cup. I've completely cut the sugar out in some pies too. I don't think peaches, apricots, apples, pears, or strawberries usually need the added sugar.

I also recently got some baking powder made with potassium bicarbonate rather than sodium bicarbonate. Used it for a cookie recipe and they came out perfect. That particular recipe called for baking soda as well, and I couldn't find any plain potassium bicarbonate, but eventually, I hope to be able to do sodium-free baking.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,585
10/2/12 12:27 A

i have done the applesauce for shortening with my baking, but as i've gotten older, i find i don't bake like i once did. the cat doesn't eat baked goods, and i don't really need them.

IOWADEB SparkPoints: (38,001)
Fitness Minutes: (24,183)
Posts: 1,188
10/1/12 9:43 P

I love the ideas you all have shared! I forgot about teeth brushing, Altoids and gum.

I also really liked the ... prepare a small raw salad or baby carrots to eat while baking
* Listen to music while you bake, it’ll give you something to focus on other than the food
* Throw out any extra batter or ingredients right away and soak the bowls
* For the final product: gift wrap away. Put it away in the fridge/cupboards and don’t look at it again until it is time to gift it emoticon
*making scones and using the miniature cutter fro me and everyone else
Great Idea --- bake when I am full?? THIS IS GREAT
I like the towel and apron idea, too --- very professional chef like

You sparkers are the best emoticon

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
10/1/12 8:32 P

I can only bake if I make a deal that I can have one and then take the rest to work. They just sit on the bench with a sign saying what I have made, and that people can help themselves. Happy workmates, happy me.

PJANTO Posts: 79
10/1/12 8:17 P

Mindfulness...great word! I love to bake and cook, and am able to incorporate what I make (not everyday, though; a few times a week) into my 1200-1500 calorie meal plan. I reduce sugar by about half, and use a half whole wheat or oat flour/ white flour blend. I substitute applesauce, pumpkin puree, or greek yogurt (whatever's on hand) for oil/shortening.

I make small cookies using a teaspoon size cookie scoop, or make bars that I cut small. I freeze everything that I'm not putting out for dessert that evening, and parcel it out in lunch boxes throughout the week (it helps to have three kids who enjoy an occasional treat) and enjoy some myself on days the calories will fit into my range.

What really keeps me from overeating baked goods is using the recipe calculator to see exactly how I can fit them into my meal plans. Armed with great information, I have power! Nothing is forbidden. Although I might only eat half a piece of cake on a certain day; rather than feeling deprived, I feel great for letting myself enjoy something I like and still staying on track. You work too hard to undo it all over a batch of brownies. The last one in the pan will still taste the same as the first (tiny) piece. Once I became comfortable with that, and the fact that my "goodies" were no longer forbidden, I no longer felt the need to binge.

KSCHRAUT SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 2,353
10/1/12 8:07 P

I often substitute applesauce and bananas for oil and sugar, depending on the recipe.

DANAEBOYCE1 SparkPoints: (16,481)
Fitness Minutes: (16,008)
Posts: 224
10/1/12 6:36 P

I try to use unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar. I have also replaced oil and butter with it as well. I am going to try the yogurt idea soon. That sounds good. Maybe I will do that with my pumpkin bread.

ZENNITH SparkPoints: (40,281)
Fitness Minutes: (46,260)
Posts: 644
10/1/12 4:40 P

LCRUMLEY81, do you use the same quantity of yoghurt/oil? Can you use yoghurt to replace butter/margarine in some recipes? I really like that idea and I will experiment with it next time I bake.

LCRUMLEY81 SparkPoints: (98,859)
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Posts: 871
10/1/12 1:43 P

Replace the oil in cake with yogurt. I have found that greek yogurt is really good at making the cake moist.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
10/1/12 1:08 P

Boy have I done a lot less baking since starting this low-carb thing two years ago.

But, what I do while doing the little baking I still do is...

1. If it is a trusted recipe that doesn't need sampling by the chef, I simply do not have any. Oftentimes none works a lot better for me than a little.

2. If it is an old recipe, I cut the sugar and salt in half. It boggles me how those old 1950-1970 recipes can call for that much sugar. This rarely hurts the flavor. Cookies are an exception since sugar is typically part of the 'structure' of the cookie.

3. I make a lowER carb version along side the regular version. This might mean using Splenda or avoiding the crust, but it gives me some, too! Pumpkin pie becomes pumpkin custard. Apple crisp uses flax seed meal or bran instead of flour...that sort of thing. This works for dinners, too. I make a moderately healthy pizza for the kids while my wife and I have what is essentially turkey or beef parmesan (think using meat instead of bread for the pizza crust. Lasagna is darn good if you replace the noodles with zucchini slices and broccoli!

4. I pick my battles. If we make cookies, I have one or two with a little milk.....instead of the old way of having several scoops of dough followed by many cookies washed down with a large glass of milk.

5. As others have said....I eat something healthy before or during cooking so that I am less tempted by the baked good.

MEGH0209 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,333)
Posts: 44
10/1/12 12:55 P

I tend to follow the package it up right away rule. I stopped baking unless I had someplace to take it and then I only keep enough for 1 serving for each family member in the house. Then I feel bad if I eat more than my share because I know it belongs to someone else. I was horrible about binge eating on baked goods and this has helped.

I like the altoids idea too. I will have to use that the next time I bake. I try very hard to not lick my fingers or taste test, but I have been doing it for 30 years, so I don't think I will break the habit in a day! Maybe this will help!

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (197,332)
Fitness Minutes: (256,557)
Posts: 2,243
10/1/12 12:34 P

I don't have a lot of willpower when it comes to homemade baked I just don't bake much anymore. And when I do I substitute ingredients to make them healthier & lower in fat & calories.

GETULLY SparkPoints: (141,881)
Fitness Minutes: (35,546)
Posts: 7,507
10/1/12 11:08 A

Last winter I baked up a storm for gifts. What got me through was looping a towel through the ties on my apron. Every time something got on my hands, my hands went instantly to the towel. I kept telling myself these were gifts so there could not be fewer cookies, smaller loaf sizes, etc. which kept me from sampling anything. it is a lot easier to have nothing than to tell myself I will just eat one "to taste".

I still bake a lot and keep the towel handy!

N16351D Posts: 2,349
10/1/12 10:09 A

If possible, I try to start the baking right after a meal when I feel satiated.

SP has some recipes for some great baked goods with healthful fruit and vegetables in them. Presently, I don't recall any specific ones, but look around in the SP recipes for ideas. One is a an oatmeal bar with spinach in it. Not one child I have given the taste test knew the spinach was in there!

SOXFANNH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,233)
Posts: 20
10/1/12 9:18 A

Good question! I make cookies for my husband every week and often make some other treat, as well. I usually make things he likes that I am not that crazy for. Also, I track it (even the raw dough) to be sure I account for it. I think your ideas are great, although I still taste stuff and/or lick the bowl. Yum! Some weeks are better than others with keeping portions moderate, but tracking is good tool to help with that. Working out a bit more also helps when I do overdo it. Good luck!

ZENNITH SparkPoints: (40,281)
Fitness Minutes: (46,260)
Posts: 644
10/1/12 9:14 A

When I make scones I use normal size cookie cutters for most and then I use a miniature sized one to cut some just for me, I can choose how many I want and look forward to the treat once they've finished cooking.

I also reduce the sugar in my recipes by half or cut it out completely, it means they are healthier by my standards but I also find it easier to stop picking and nibbling the finished product. I don't like eating the doughs etc.. while I'm baking but maybe that would make a bit of a difference for you too?

MAD-RUNNER-CHIC SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,671)
Posts: 127
10/1/12 3:55 A

Hey there,

Any of my fellow fitness buffs enjoy baking on occasion? I'm looking to brainstorm some tips on how to be mindful while baking. That is, mindful not to sample ingredients, eat dough, or eat much of the final product! Anyone have ideas on how to be mindful while baking? I love baking but it can be binge triggering whenever I bake... I'm not very good with moderation just yet (trying to work on that).

Here are some of mine so far:
* Beforehand, brush your teeth really well and drink water or tea
* Chew gum or take Altoids while baking
* Or prepare a small raw salad or baby carrots to eat while baking
* Listen to music while you bake, it’ll give you something to focus on other than the food
* Throw out any extra batter or ingredients right away and soak the bowls
* For the final product: gift wrap it in nice packaging right away. Put it away in the fridge/cupboards and don’t look at it again until it is time to gift it

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