It’s been one of the side effects of more time at home, that kitchens across the nation have transformed into hives of baking activity, creating some scenes of floury devastation that wouldn’t look out of place on Bake Off.
Such has been the urge to bake and create, that flour and eggs have become like gold dust, and the ultimate win if you’re lucky enough for your online shopping to arrive without these as missing items.
Difficulties in procuring the wherewithal for homemade cakes aside, there is a good reason why so many of us are taking to baking during this time of isolation.
Firstly, there is the incentive of the end results, which of course never fails to hep brighten a dull day. Then, there is the process itself, the alchemy of mixing flour, eggs and sugar, which for many people proves extremely therapeutic.
"If you're feeling a little bit down, a bit of kneading helps," Mary Berry once said, and she wasn’t far wrong.
The connection between baking and good mental health comes not only from the sense of achievement, which can help to counterbalance self-critical thoughts, but also from the meditative aspect of mixing, kneading and rolling, all of which can help to cultivate positive psychological functioning and refocus your brain’s energy away from worries and concerns.
For those, in particular, where anxiety stems from a feeling of being out of control, or where it manifests as an inability to concentrate, there is something to be said for an activity such as baking, which cultivates focus and allows us to exercise our affinity for things being ‘just so.’
So much is this the case, that according to a new survey by Dr. Oetker, two-thirds of people said that baking usually improves their mood.
If all this has you spurred into the kitchen, why not take the #victoriaspongechallenge with Streamline Foods this World Baking Day.
Streamline Foods jam recipes contain 30% less sugar - and 40% more fruit - than standard jams, and by slow cooking the fruit pieces, they help to retain their natural sweet flavour.
As we all know, health is more than just cutting down on sugar, so Streamline Foods have also taken care not to use any artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners or colours in their recipes. This includes artificial sweeteners, which as we know, are known to negatively impact both appetite and metabolism regulation.
At a time when indulging in a little of what you fancy has become all the more important, this small difference, can make all the difference in minimising the conflict between what we want....and what we don’t need.
Sponsored by Streamline Foods
For real life stories on the transformational effect of baking on mental health, click here and here.