‘You bake a lot for someone with diabetes.’ These words came out of the mouth of someone not all that bright who may read this blog, but has clearly not taken on board anything I’ve ever written.
It wasn’t the first time that I have had people express surprise at my love of baking and baked goods considering that I have diabetes. I’ve even had other people with diabetes say they were told baking was an absolute no-no for the pancreatically-challenged when they were diagnosed and, as such, have never baked anything in their lives.
I do bake a lot – regardless of my diabetes state! I bake several times a week. On days when I don’t bake, I read cookbooks and plan what I’ll bake next. I bake when I am happy, sad, anxious, excited, content, angry. And I bake a lot when I am stressed because I find it to be calming, peaceful and satisfying.
My neighbours know when I am feeling particularly stressed because those periods involve baking EVERY SINGLE day which equals home-deliveries around 7pm of whatever is still warm out of the oven. I think the neighbours sneakily like it when I am stressed.
I love baking because it is reliable, predictable and practical. Mix the right quantities of the right ingredients for the right amount of time at the right temperature and you will, inevitably, end up with something beautiful and delicious. And as you get better and know how certain ingredients work with other ingredients, you can mix things up and be creative.
Plus, baking gives me an excuse to make a mess.
Baking is reliable. Except for the rare complete balls-up, the results are exactly what you expect. The end product almost always looks more or less like the picture. If you start out making a cake, you will end up with a cake at the end of the process.
Baking is the exact opposite of diabetes! Diabetes is unpredictable and unreliable and most of the time, you have no idea how you ended up with whatever it is you ended up with. (Case in point: lunch of poached chicken salad containing zero carbs and a dressing of nothing more than olive oil and lemon juice, pre-prandial BGL – 7.8mmol/l; 2 hour post-prandial BGL – 18.9mmol/l.)
The unpredictability of baking only ever comes to the fore when bolusing for whatever it is that I’ve baked. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I don’t. It can be a little hit and miss. Correction boluses were invented for this exact thing! If you don’t like baking, that’s fine. But don’t let diabetes be the reason you don’t bake.
It’s ANZAC day this Saturday and I did a trial run the other day of my tried and true ANZAC biscuit recipe that I scribbled out in my recipe notebook a number of years ago. This is a fail-safe recipe and takes no more than ten minutes to throw together and then only a short time to bake. For those of you who don’t know what an ANZAC biscuit is, have a go! They are absolutely delicious and because they have oats in them, you can fool yourself into thinking they are a health food. Each biscuit (cookie) for those in the US has about 12 grams of carbs.