All Natural Baking Tips for the Holidays
Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 9:11 am
For many, baking cookies and pastries is as big of a part of the holiday tradition as decorating a Christmas tree. If you’re like me and find yourself hovering over a mixing bowl several times in December, you know the importance of quality ingredients. After all, making sure you have the right butter, flour, etc. can make the difference between a good cookie and a great one! Using organic or all-natural ingredients is one way you can be sure you’re using the best stuff for your recipes!
Greasing the Pan
When greasing a cookie sheet, pie pan, or muffin tin, the easiest solution is to grab that non-stick spray and do a quick once over before adding your freshly mixed dough. Unfortunately, most commercial non-stick sprays include artificial ingredients and flavors that may actually be hazardous to your health. There are plenty of ways to grease a pan using natural ingredients. Butter is an obvious alternative. You can also use all-natural shortening. Spectrum Organics makes a shortening made with coconut oil. You can also try putting olive oil in a traditional spray bottle and misting your tools like you would with cooking spray. You can also find some cooking sprays made by natural or organic companies.
When shopping for ingredients, look for products that feature “all-natural” or “organic” on the label. When it comes to sugar or cocoa products, look for Fair Trade Certified products. This ensures that your goods were grown and produced by a company that offers fair and humane working conditions for their farmers and growers. For eggs, look for organic free-range varieties. This will ensure the chickens consumed an all-natural, pesticide free diet.
For the holidays, it’s always fun to bake up some bright red dough or mix up some festive green frosting. Food coloring makes it easy to achieve the colors you want. Unfortunately, they’re packed with artificial colors and ingredients. Instead, consider using all natural ingredients to make your own dye. For bright reds, you can use beet juice, and for deep greens, you can use spinach. Check out Bonzai Aphrodite’s blog for great tips on making your own food dyes.
The Extra Mile
Baked goods make a great gift during the holidays. Once you’ve baked your delicious treats, consider gifting the cookies in a re-usable container. A glass food container is an obvious choice. You can also wrap them in a beautiful cloth and place them in a decorative basket. These are both things the recipient can easily re-use. Avoid using re-sealable bags or paper plates, which can be harmful to the environment