Nothing Says Lovin’ Like Something from the Oven

– By Nushin Kormi –

First it was cupcake shops, then macaroon boutiques got in on the mix–and lately, it seems like each week there’s a new bread shop or farmer’s market stand turning out everything from deliciously chewy bialys to authentic Finnish bread loaves. In short, there’s no doubt it’s been a great time for high-quality, mouthwatering baked goods in New York and beyond. But there’s one element even the most pitch perfect of these items can’t deliver–that warm and comforting smell of something freshly-made coming out of your very own kitchen. So why don’t more of us bake? Is it the carbs? The time it takes? The effort? If you’ve ever been tempted to channel your inner baker, but haven’t quite been ready to commit, read on. It’s easier (and better for you) than you might think:

Carbohydrates Don’t Make You Fat

Not only that, but they may, in fact, help you look a little younger. According to a recent study in last month’s Journal of the American Medical Association, the weight gain we attribute to carbs has to do with water retention–not fat production. More water in your body also means having a healthier, and more youthful, appearance. For more nitty gritty on those findings, check out the New York Times’s excellent write-up.  Also to keep in mind, a recent study by the American Dietetic Association found that people who eat carbs actually tend to weigh less than those who avoid them. Sound crazy? The key, experts say, is to avoid the highly processed kinds, and (as with everything) make them part of a balanced diet.

Baking Can Be a Breeze

I confess: For years I was convinced baking wasn’t for me–not because I didn’t love it, but because I hardly had time to breathe, let alone fire up my oven. Then, I stumbled across the Sullivan Street Bakery No-Knead Bread Recipe in the New York Times. I’d prepare the dough the night before I wanted to serve it, and make sure I left some time to get it ready. My dinner parties were transformed. I learned firsthand that there’s no better way to impress your guests and prepare them for an inviting evening than to greet them with your own home-baked goods.

Today, my meals have a new addition, an even simpler homemade bread. Understanding how pressed many of us are for time, and knowing that most of us enjoy the pleasures of fresh food, last year I co-founded Baked Better with a selection of organic bread mixes that take only 30 minutes to rise, and less than an hour to bake. Our goal? To marry old-world artisan bread making with our modern lifestyles. Our mixes are made with organic ingredients because we want to share with others what we ourselves love to eat.

And Here’s Why It’s Truly Worth It

One word: Empowerment. Are you trying to cut back on salt or sugar? Do you want your food to be preservative-free? The only way to really know what you’re eating is to make it yourself. We have friends who use their ovens as storage. Don’t let that be you! You can be the baker others aspire to be. You can get creative and give your home-baked goods as housewarming presents or dinner party treats. Let your oven do what it was born to do: bake.

We’d love to hear about your experiences in the kitchen. Tell us what you’ve got baking!

Nushin Kormi is a co-founder of Baked Better, an organic baking goods company. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy, as well as an MBA, from Harvard University. Nushin in a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Advisory Board of the James Blake Foundation, which supports Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. You can follow Baked Better on Twitter and Facebook, and find recipes and tips on Baked Better’s blog

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