Baking flours, baking mixes and sugars are food commodities in the U.S. and although Americans spend more money eating out than they do on groceries, in recent weeks amidst the coronavirus outbreak, all that has changed. People are making homemade bread, cookies, and other desserts and wiping store shelves clean of ingredients. The reason? “Stress baking.”
According to research from NYC-based tech firm Chicory, stress baking is a new social phenomenon and people are searching for decadent dessert recipes like Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, Italian Cream Cheese Cake and Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
As of yesterday, the Instagram hashtags #stressbaking had more than 29,000 posts and #quarantinebaking more than 39,000.
WHY AMERICANS ARE STRESS BAKING
For beginner bakers and seasoned pros alike, stress baking is certainly one form of distraction we all need from the 24/7 barrage of news, social media posts and push notifications.
With nowhere else to go, some people are also baking up goodies as a good way to pass the time.
If you grew up in an Italian-American family like I did, or are already an emotional eater, stress baking can also be a way to self-soothe—albeit for a few minutes until the sugar high wears off.
Of course, baking is fun and creative and can make you feel accomplished. If you’re baking with healthy ingredients, you can also feel good about what you’re serving to your kids.
I’m an avid baker myself and love nothing more than to spend the weekend making bread, muffins and granola bars for my kids. Although it’s usually a bit hectic and always very messy, I also love baking with my kids because it has so many benefits.
9 STRESS BAKING IDEAS TO TRY
Whether you love to bake or have never used that stand mixer tucked away in your pantry, here are easy, stress baking ideas for meals, snacks and desserts—delish!
1. STRAWBERRY BAKED OATMEAL
I don’t know about you, but even though I’m homeschooling helping my kids with distance learning, mornings are still hectic.
I’m waking up at 5:30am for Bible reading/prayer/devotions, and maybe some meditation if I’m lucky. Then it’s off to the races with a workout, breakfast, showers, cleaning, etc. all before we even start learning.
I was so excited therefore, when I came across this recipe for Strawberry Baked Oatmeal.
With easy staples you probably already have in your pantry, and healthy ingredients including fresh or frozen strawberries and chia seeds, this will be your go-to breakfast recipe your kids will think is actually a treat.
2. CINNAMON CHICKPEA BLONDIES
It wouldn’t be a list of stress baking ideas without some yummy treats, and these Cinnamon Chickpea Blondies are the ultimate guilt-free dessert.
Gluten-free and vegan, these blondies are moist and fudgy and a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
3. MUSHROOM PUFF PASTRY APPETIZER
When my kids are feeling hangry around 5pm and dinner isn’t ready yet, I offer up an appetizer.
Serving a healthy appetizer like a piece of fruit or cut-up veggies is a great way to take advantage of your kids’ hunger and encourage them to make healthy choices.
That’s why I was thrilled to find this recipe for Mushroom Puff Pastry Appetizer.
With a perfect combination of veggies, protein, calcium rich-cheese, and kid-friendly puff pastry, this will be a guaranteed mom-win.
Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D and antioxidants and since these appetizers are small, they’re also a non-intimidating way to get your kids to eat vegetables.
4. NO JUNK APPLE AND STRAWBERRY MUFFINS
Whether it’s for breakfast or an afternoon snack, these No Junk Apple and Strawberry Muffins are the perfect option.
Sweetened only with apples, dried strawberries and a bit of maple syrup, this recipe also calls for only a small amount of oil.
Make a batch, pop them in the freezer and you’ll have a healthy choice on hand all week.
5. LEMON BLUEBERRY POUND CAKE
I made this Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake over the weekend and it was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it. Right now, it’s in snack-size pieces in my freezer so there will still be some left over for my kids.
Not only does the subtly sweet combination of lemon and blueberry scream Spring time, but with tons of antioxidants, whole grains and no refined sugars, this is the perfect guilt-free treat anytime of day.
6. ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND SPINACH QUICHE
Eggs are some of the healthiest foods you can feed your kids so if you’re looking for some new baking ideas, this Italian Sausage and Spinach Quiche is a good one to try.
Kids love breakfast for dinner and with spinach and tomatoes, you can feel good about serving up this dish. If there are leftovers, you can also serve it for breakfast.
7. HOMEMADE APPLE CINNAMON BREAD
When it comes to stress baking ideas, nothing feels more comforting than the flavors of real apples and cinnamon but this Homemade Apple Cinnamon Bread is not your ordinary bread recipe.
It’s a super-moist, apple cinnamon swirl bread you can serve for breakfast or a snack, make them into kid-friendly mini loaves and even freeze for later.
8. EGGLESS BANANA BREAD
Banana bread is a no-brainer, and one of the easiest stress baking ideas you can make.
If your kid has an egg allergy or you’re looking for an egg-free option however, try this Eggless Banana Bread which uses yogurt as an egg substitute.
Super-moist and super-easy to make, it’s also a great recipe to whip up with your kids.
9. EASY ROSEMARY GARLIC FOCACCIA
Aside from Italian bread with butter (one of my favorite foods since childhood), there’s nothing better than a piece of warm focaccia bread.
This Easy Rosemary Garlic Focaccia recipe is designed for beginner bakers, only has 5 main steps, and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Even better—you can customize it so many ways with different toppings like artichoke hearts, olives and bacon—the possibilities are endless.