So far 2020 has been a bit of a shambles but we at HealthPharm are trying to remain positive, so here are three good things happening right now:
- This week we celebrated National Chocolate Cupcake day. A (categorically not made-up) day on the 19th October that gives us a great excuse to eat large quantities of cake.
- The Great British Bake off is back on the TV. We can enjoy plenty of innuendos and swoon over Paul Hollywood (for his pastry skills obviously - not just those glorious blue eyes).
- It’s almost Halloween, so even if we lose a finger during pumpkin carving, we can still try new baking recipes using all the pumpkin guts.
It seems the common link of all things good is baking, so that’s where we’re heading today. Some people find baking easy and relaxing; they know their shortcrust from their sourdough and can whip up some cookies with their eyes closed. The rest of us spend a stressful few hours in the kitchen and the only thing that we succeed in is creating a mess.
It doesn’t have to be difficult! We’ve sourced some baking mixes that make baking a calming and enjoyable experience without any compromise on taste or quality. We focused on a variety of mixes that cater to certain food intolerances and are vegan friendly but are so delicious that everyone will enjoy them.
Half-term is fast approaching and some of us are back in lockdown, so a chilled-out baking session is the perfect way to spend a drizzly Autumn day. Our full range baking mixes can be found here, but these are five of our favourites that deserve a special mention:
- Vegan Friendly
- Nut Safe
- No sweeteners or refined sugars
We’re starting with a classic. Everyone loves a warm chocolate brownie, crunchy on the outside, gooey in the middle and ideal with a cup of tea (or to bribe your children with). Chocolate brownies are pretty easy to make unless you attempt gluten-free or vegan varieties which case they're almost impossible. That’s not the case with Creative Nature Chia and Cacao Brownie mix. Simply add eggs and butter, or flaxseed and dairy-free spread if you're vegan, and they’re perfect every time!
Not that anyone needs an excuse to eat a chocolate brownie, but these are high in magnesium thanks to the chia seeds so they’re actually healthy…ish.
2: Amisa Organic Gluten-Free Seeded Bread
- Yeast Free
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread drifting from the kitchen. Equally, nothing is more depressing than lovingly preparing your dough only for it to bake with the consistency of a brick. Anyone who watches Great British Bake Off will know that bread week is always carnage and there’s always at least one case of 'soggy bottom'.
Amisa has taken the stress out of bread making with this fail proof mix that doesn’t require kneading. Simply add water, mix it together and pop in it the oven and you’ll have a light, wholesome loaf within an hour.
Working with gluten-free flour is tricky at the best of times but with bread, there’s no room for error as the dough texture is key. The fact that Amisa allows you to bake consistently good loaves every time, without gluten or yeast, is nothing short of a miracle.
- Vegan Friendly
- No refined sugar
Banana bread is usually a spur of the moment bake. You notice that your bananas are past their best and you have a choice - banana bread or bin? That’s why Superfood Bakery Organic Rise and Shine mix is a cupboard essential. Instead of having to check for ingredients and dig out a recipe, you can get started straight away and you'll have this family favourite ready in no time.
Superfood Bakery uses cinnamon and chicory powder to give this recipe a special twist. These spices enhance the banana flavour and give it a comforting, wintery feel so it’s perfect toasted on a chilly morning.
4: Free and Easy Sponge Cake Mix
- Vegan Friendly
- No refined sugar
If you want a versatile and idiot-proof sponge mix, then the Free and Easy Sponge Cake Mix wins hands down. It’s ideal for cupcakes, loaves and sponges and you can enjoy it plain or use it as a base to add some creative flair. Add whipped cream and jam for a classic Victoria sponge or sprinkle in some chocolate chips for something a bit different.
Free and Easy Sponge Cake Mix is great for baking with children. The measuring is already done so they can focus on mixing, decorating and licking the spoon!
5: Be Mindfuel Chia Pudding Mix
- Wheat free
You better not skip past this one just because chia seeds sound too healthy to be delicious. Or because you haven’t got a clue what chia pudding is. If we’re honest we had no idea either until we tried it and now we're in love with this superfood. Chia pudding is a sweet, high fibre and omega-rich treat you can enjoy any time of the day by simply adding water or milk.
The Be Mindfuel mix comes in a variety of flavours and the consistency is rich and creamy like tapioca or rice pudding. This snack can be enjoyed on its own or with yoghurt, fruit, granola or anything else you fancy.
Take a look at our entire baking mixes collection here, and treat yourself to a hassle-free bake off. We don’t even need to wish you good luck because with these mixes you can't go wrong. Enjoy!
- Kim Wilson