No Sugar? No Problem.

how My baking obsession is thriving despite the lack of the white stuff.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved baking. The process of creating a beautiful, edible masterpiece from humble ingredients like flour and butter has always filled me with great joy. The delicious end result was always a bonus!

My favourite creations to make were oatmeal-raisin cookies (I tried and tested many recipes to land upon the perfect one with the ideal result: chewy and golden) and apple coffee cake, although I would gladly whip up anything from cinnamon buns to cheesecake. I even took to the stovetop one weekend afternoon when our oven was broken as a youngster to make fried cookies (which everyone ate with delight, whether they were tasty or not!)

Vanilla-coconut Easter cupcakes
Vanilla-coconut Easter cupcakes
I still have a treasured Mrs. Field’s “Best Ever Cookie” cookbook and baking sheets I got for my birthday many, many years ago.
I took my baking passion to another level two years ago after enrolling in a cookie baking course at Le Cordon Bleu, where we learned skills like the creaming method and modern glazing and decorating techniques.
 cordon bleu
And despite this cookie craze, I have not had one in over a year since quitting refined sugar.

I should rephrase: I have not had a traditional cookie — one made from a batch with a cup of white sugar, or 1/2 brown, 1/2 white in the case of my aforementioned oatmeal-raisin gems — in over a year. I have made healthy varieties, like this tangy breakfast version packed with white beans and orange zest.

Breakfast cookies (recipe: My New Roots)
Breakfast cookies (recipe: My New Roots)
As I’ve written before, going sugar-free has led me to a whole new world of baking, where I can continue to create delicious delights but not feel the guilt that often goes along with consuming them. My creativity and curiosity have been piqued by this revelation that you can still make scrumptious sweets without refined sugar — it’s intrigued me to test new versions of old classics when it comes to snacks and desserts.

One of the best parts about them? Given that many are protein-rich and relatively nutritious, you don’t have to eat them just after dinnertime!

In light of St. Patrick’s Day this week and my newfound love of matcha, I made Matcha Green Tea Muffins inspired by One Ingredient Chef. I added the suggested mashed banana and a bit of extra coconut oil to give them the moist texture I love about these baked goods, and tossed in some raisins for some extra natural sweetness. Next time, I plan to use almond milk instead of soy and blueberries rather than raisins, but these little morning pick-me-ups are wonderful!

Matcha muffins (recipe: One Ingredient Chef)
Matcha muffins (recipe: One Ingredient Chef)

So as we move into warmer weather when there’s often a renewed focus on health, consider what little swaps could be made in your baking. And as always, send recipes over my way! Always looking for new and delicious inspiration.

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