Tips for Mindful Baking

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Baking is a perfect way to practice mindfulness. To successfully bake a cake, some biscuits or a loaf of bread, we need to pay close attention to the recipe. If we measure out too much flour or don’t include enough butter, if we don’t mix the ingredients in the correct order or don’t knead the dough for long enough, we’ll end up with poor results. This need for focus can help quieten our internal chatter, and can therefore be very therapeutic.

A Party for the Senses

We can involve all of our senses in the process of baking. Paying close attention to how the ingredients look, smell, taste, feel, and even how they sound, can provide a wonderful self-soothing affect. Next time you bake, why not take some time to really look at the ingredients as you measure them out and add them to the mixing bowl. Notice the texture of the sugar: is it fine and white, or coarse and golden brown? How does it fall as you sprinkle it into the mixture? Notice the colour of the butter, and the texture as you cut through it. Take time to smell the individual ingredients, and then notice how they smell as they become combined. If you’re mixing anything by hand, notice how it feels on your skin. You can even notice how the mixture sounds as you stir it or whisk it. The sounds of cake batter or bread dough as it is kneaded might bring back warm memories and comforting sensations from our childhood.

Gratitude

Paying more attention to the process of baking also gives us the opportunity to feel gratitude. When we slow down, and stop doing things on auto-pilot, we become more aware of how special things are. We can take a moment to feel grateful for the ingredients we have, for the farmers and workers which have grown and produced them so that we are able to use them in our baking. We can feel grateful for our senses, and for our ability to bake. If we’re self-taught bakers, we can feel gratitude for the recipe books we have read, or perhaps our school teachers, parents, grandparents, friends or spouses taught us how to bake, and so we can feel grateful for their presence in our lives. There’s really no limit to what we can feel grateful for, and appreciating the act of baking can make our final products even tastier than if we take everything for granted.

Mindful Eating

Once we’ve measured, mixed, and baked, we can then finish our mindful baking experience with some mindful eating. After all, if we’ve taken the time to bake with mindfulness, it would be a shame to just wolf down what we have created!

Just as with baking, we can make use of all of our senses when we eat. Noticing how our food looks, smells, feels and sounds before we take a bite helps our minds focus less on our mental chatter and more on our present experience. Fully enjoying how our baking tastes can give us an enriching feeling of accomplishment. What might have once just been seen as a simple slice of cake can now provide a full and rich sensory experience, which helps ground us firmly in the sweet present moment.

To learn more about mindful eating, why not sign up for our online Introduction to Mindful Eating workshop on Tuesday 12th May!

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