Why I love baking with dairy

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I grew up in a house of homemade baking. My mom was the resident baker and she taught me how to measure, mix, experiment and have fun in the kitchen.

By Kristie Pryor, Collaborator Kristie Pryor

Kristie is the self-taught, home baker behind the blog, The Sweet & Simple Kitchen! She learned everything she knows about baking from her mother, someone who taught her early on that the kitchen should be a happy place, a place for creativity, dance, and laughter — and a place to lick the batter from the mixing bowls, too! Kristie has always been amazed by the power that homemade food has to bring people together. She is forever enchanted by the special moments shared over something as simple as a heartwarming meal.   

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Kristie Pryor

At the heart of her teachings was a simple principle: the best baking starts with the best ingredients. For her it was as simple as that, and to this day, I couldn't agree more. 

If you take a look at almost all of the recipes on my blog, you will find that they start with my favourite baking ingredient of all time: butter! 

For me, this is where excellent baking really begins — with butter and other dairy staples. I believe that ingredients like buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt are what take ordinary baking and turn it into extraordinary food

Want the softest, fluffiest cake of all time? Add a cup of buttermilk. Craving a moist, flavourful muffin with a sky high top? Mix in some sour cream. Want a downright irresistible cake frosting? Well then, you’ve got to add some cream cheese.

Today, good food is the spice of my life! There was a time though when my relationship with food was not so simple…

For years I lived with disordered eating habits based on deprivation and restriction. Not only did these habits take a toll on my mental health, but they also seriously put my body's health and well-being at great risk.

When the day came that I finally decided I wanted to get better, one of the first things I started doing was reintroducing dairy into my daily nutritional routine. This may seem insignificant to some, but for me, including dairy products in my daily life has been essential to helping me rebuild a healthy relationship with food. I am in a much healthier place today because of it.

I am a naturally active person, so making sure that I am nourishing my body with nutritious, whole foods is not only essential to fueling my healthy lifestyle, but it is also very important to me.

So whether it be with a cup of yogurt, a thick slice of cheese, or a cookie with a tall glass of milk, I find that when I consume these foods, I feel more energized, satiated and overall satisfied throughout the day. I no longer experience the intense cravings and subsequent anxiety associated with eating like I did when I was on a restrictive diet.

At the end of the day, I believe it’s all about balance. Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you have to deprive yourself. Nourishing your body should be a pleasure — so dunk that buttery cookie in a glass of milk and enjoy every last bite of it!