The Joy of Baking: Therapy for the Soul

Photo by Los Muertos Crew

Baking has many benefits for the baker. It offers an opportunity to showcase an individual’s creativity and has the added benefit of engaging and boosting mental health. Baking is an excellent avenue for strengthening relationship bonds, recreating, and making new memories.

Something magical happens when you bring out hot, freshly baked cookies from the oven. When you catch the whiff of the sweet cookie aroma, you’re transported into a different world where the only thing you’re aware of is to sink your teeth onto those soft and chewy textured cookies. And when you see people happily munching away on your baked goodies, there is that sense of satisfaction and contentment, telling you, “hey, this was all worth it!”

This is the magic baking does to you and the people with whom you baked those mouthwatering goodies. To some people, baking is a stress-relieving hobby. To others, it is a craft, an outlet for creative talent. Then to some other people, baking is life! This means baking is an essential skill needed to make families or loved ones happy.

Successful baking needs the right baking companion, which is a good cookbook! Generations of Good Food is the perfect baking companion for types of cooks, whether novice or seasoned cooks. The delicious dish recipes in Eleanor Gaccetta’s book are enough to bring out the chef in you. With nearly 200 recipes of main dishes, bread, cakes, pies, cookies, and candies, of homecooked and Italian recipes, Generations of Good Food is a must-have in every home’s kitchen!

For the Love of Baking

Why do people try to go the extra mile and spend their time baking away in the kitchen?

Cooking is an art, but baking is a science. Baking is probably one of the most intricate cooking skills because one wrong move can break the baked product apart. Every recipe, every ingredient, and every measurement should be accurate. The baker should fine-tune every procedure and every technique to almost perfect smoothness. 

Sounds a bit daunting? But apparently, this isn’t enough to hinder people from pursuing baking. And for those who could produce a fantastic cake, the perfect cookie, the most luscious bread, the self-rewards are phenomenal.

Bakers from all walks of life are after these so-called “self-rewards.” More than just the recognition of doing a successful job at baking, here are some of baking’s rewarding payoffs.

Boosts Mental Health

The science of baking has an interesting effect on a person’s mental health. This cooking skill apparently can help ease a person’s stress and anxiety or even be used as a therapy against depression. Why is that so?

For one thing, when you’re baking or cooking, you are utilizing all of your senses. Your sight, hearing, taste, smell, and feel are focused on creating a perfect dish creation that they can appreciate. Baking keeps you grounded and present on the task at hand. This activity is also shown to help lower stress hormones, such as epinephrine and cortisol.

And guess what? If people start getting the hang of baking and become good at it, they’ll feel good about themselves and become more engaged and enthusiastic with the craft! That’s a plus for overall excellent and healthy mental health.

Enhances Creativity

Baking brings out the artist in you. That’s one good thing about baking – it has no limits to how far you want to go! You can get as colorful as you like, as fun, and as trendy; creativity has no boundaries. Being creative is also a stress-relieving stimulating exercise.

Studies have shown that an average person has more than 6000 thoughts daily. So, if a person is stressed out, anxious, or overwhelmed, stimulating them to bake creatively will give them an outlet to help them let out and let go of their stress.

Meditative and Nostalgic

Baking is a cooking skill that leverages precision. Since every move has to be explicit and accurate, the baker must put all of their attention to what they’re doing so that they wouldn’t miss out on any detail, less the cookie crumbles! (no pun intended) And since this activity is meditative, it produces a calming effect on the baker that eases and reduces negative thoughts.

This cooking process is also nostalgic. A freshly baked cake, tarts, or any pastries can stimulate and bring back warm memories from the past. A daughter could fondly remember how her mom or grandma would the hustle and bustle around the kitchen, preparing her favorite chocolate chip cookies. A son could easily conjure happy memories of his family digging into strawberry tarts his mother made.

Studies have also shown that baking is beneficial for older people with dementia since baked goods can help bring back memories and improve their appetite by stimulating their senses during the baking process. Plus, it helps give their brains excellent mental exercise.

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