Updated: Sep 27, 2021
A healthy product is one which has a balance of nutrients. Baked goods usually use refined raw ingredients which mostly have high added sugar or salt content. These refined ingredients make baking easier and cheaper and also adds more flavour to the products. Additionally, baked goods are feared to have high amounts of trans fats, which increase the bad cholesterol in the body.
Being fond of baked goods ourselves, we decided to change the dynamics of a regular bakery. In the year 2020 amidst the pandemic we started eliminating refined products from our diets on at a time. Our kitchen became a battleground between natural, organic ingredients, the oven and us. Developing recipes to appease the taste buds which were accustomed to relish refined products was a tedious task.
The raw material had to be selected carefully, so we did an in depth study about identifying the right raw materials, reading nutrition labels, understanding the ingredients and substitutes. We tried products from different companies and picked those with best quality. With the raw ingredients like, whole grains, cold compressed oils (containing no trans fats), organic and brown sugar, dates, one hundred percent cocoa powder, vanilla extract and several others, our inventory was ready.
Other than the ingredients, portion size was also essential. Chief concerns amongst people who enjoy baked goods seemed to be a fear of weight gain, which is definitely unhealthy if not controlled. This led us to our next essential step towards healthy baking- deciding the portion size. Portion size is the amount of food just enough for oneself. Depending on one’s physical workout, mental exertion, lifestyle, the portion size varies. Even in healthy baking, fats cannot be avoided. However substituting, margarine and shortening with healthier fats makes them better. To limit consumption, we decided to produce smaller versions of all products, cookies, cakes, savoury, breads, croissants. And it did work. Believe me when I say, I’ve been consuming baked goods for over a year now without having put on any weight.
With our basics done, we started experimenting different recipes. We put together random ingredients to develop unique, healthy and delicious goods. At several occasions we outsmarted ourselves but, at some others the flavours just didn’t click. Eventually, over a period of three months we launched ourselves with the brand name ‘Baked Goodness by Arora Sisters’.
The deal with healthy baking is that sometimes you just have to believe your gut, mix up the ingredients and let the oven do it’s magic. It’s a mystery we are still unveiling.
Another mystery is whether or not to go gluten-free. Well that is your choice to make, but before you make one you must finish reading.
A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
So why switch to gluten-free? Wheat is considered to be a common allergen. Gluten can be inflammatory, especially if you are gluten sensitive, which may result in causing thyroid problems. Celiac or gluten sensitive people may develop a Leaky Gut syndrome due to which they might not be able to absorb nutrients from their diet. There are other problems too like depression, fatigue, upset stomach, headaches, skin problems and others. If you are experiencing any of these, then it's best to do some experiment on your self and try changing your diet a little bit by going gluten-free.
Gluten-free flours like chickpea flour, oat flour, ragi, jowar, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, teff, millet, corn and rice flours, are no less nutritious than rye, or wheat flour. Gluten free flours are good natural sources of folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron, as well as protein and fiber . It’s best to know what you are eating and what suits your body.
It's very difficult to replicate the taste and texture of products containing gluten in those made from gluten-free raw materials because these are a dense and heavy. But, in the light of the benefits it has, it is recommended to give it a try. When we bake, we enjoy mixing different gluten-free flours to get the best possible outcome keeping the nutritional values high. We avoid adding excessive sugar and no chemicals, additives or preservatives are infused so as to maintain the authenticity and nutrient values of the products.
Though gluten is not harmful in general, but, in cases of wheat allergy, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consumption of gluten can be very harmful. To ensure that the products are pure and absolutely gluten free we clean our workspace before preparing them.
We believe that change is always difficult but, never impossible.
‘Nourish and nurture’, our moto keeps us motivated to present healthier options for all people, be it, vegan, gluten free or no sugar. From constantly changing our techniques to finalizing our recipes, we grew up. Every single day we strive to innovate and improvise to provide chemical free nutritious products.
Blog post by
Shweta Arora and Stuti Arora