Last year, I was asked to teach a baking workshop at the Osgoode Youth Association. It was for a special joint event with ROSSS (Rural Ottawa South Support Services) called Generations. It was probably my best experience teaching at OYA. The day joined teens and seniors for a day of baking (hosted by me), art and social time. It was such a great day!
I had just started on my healthy living transformation, so I had packed a kale salad for the day and didn’t sample any of the baked goods we had made (that was TOUGH!) We made 5 different desserts- all baked in Mason Jars. The desserts were beautiful and tasted (so I’m told) amazing!
Everything must have been good since they asked me back again this year. I started planning the menu back in the fall but I really struggled on what we should bake. I knew it would be tough to top those Mason Jars! But mostly, I personally bake so differently than I did last year- my “clean eating” had become such a part of my life, that I have become incredibly disinterested in “traditional baking” with traditional ingredients. I decided to go with “what I know” and went with the “Clean Eating” theme. I thought the teens would be interested since healthy eating is trendy right now and I thought the seniors would find the different ingredients interesting.
I picked the recipes and shopped for the ingredients. I was ready!
But I was nervous. Really nervous. For the first time before teaching a baking workshop I was filled with nerves.
“What if they don’t like the recipes?”
My confidence hit an all time low. I was afraid that this whole Clean Eating thing wouldn’t translate to a special event. I was afraid the participants wouldn’t like these healthy desserts. I wasn’t confident. I didn’t think “healthy” could be a treat.
When I introduced the baking concept for the evening- I think I might have even apologized for the lack of sugar and white flour in the recipes.
So we baked! We baked 5 different recipes in about an hour. I mixed the group up into 5 teams (a mixture of teens and seniors). The hour was magical. Watching the seniors and teens work together and laugh, getting to know each other while baking something together- it was so amazing to be a part of it!
1. Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars
2. Paleo Coconut Cream Pie
3. Clean Eating Lemon Squares
4. Chai Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream
5. Chia Pudding with Blueberry Banana Purée
Everything turned out awesome!
All the desserts tasted amazing. Simply amazing. Not amazing considering they were “healthy”. No asterisk. Just yummy. Not yummy in spite of no refined sugar…
I taught the participants a little about Clean Eating, a little about baking but I learned that I don’t have to apologize about the fact that I make healthy food. Just because the food is healthy, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t taste great! I learned confidence in Clean Eating! These recipes stand on their own- they are just great desserts- healthy or not!
Now here are the recipes. The Granola Bars and the Coconut Cream Pie have been featured on my blog before and you can click on the links above to get to the recipes.
The Lemon Squares were great! Tasted like normal lemon squares!
You can find the recipe here!
The Chai Cupcakes have the most traditional ingredients. You will find sugar and white flour in this recipe but I modified some of the ingredients to suit my food preferences.
You will need:
1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
1/2 cup Tazo Chai Concentrate
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (we used Braggs)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Progressive)
Follow the instructions here for the Chai Cupcakes.
For the frosting- chill the canned coconut milk over night. Carefully scoop out the hardened coconut fat and leave the coconut water (use it in a smoothie). Whip the coconut fat with the protein powder and the maple syrup. Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
I thought the Chia Pudding was going to be a tough sell. It was probably the most “healthy” of all the recipes. I think the banana blueberry purée really gave it that dessert feel I was looking for! You can find the pudding recipe here and I have featured the Blueberry Banana Purée here.
Choose happy 🙂