It’s not a diet.  

It’s not a diet because I’ve never been particularly good at restricting what I put on my plate, the amount of butter I put on my toast, or the incredible amount of popcorn I sometimes eat for dinner.  It’s not keto or paleo or a diet with any classification.  This is an exploration.  

With the new year coming into focus I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to play with in my kitchen, what I want my baking to taste like, and how I want to stretch myself and my ingredient list.  But the thing is… I’m always thinking about you and your pantry, your time and your wallets when I develop recipes.  I want this to be a place where the recipes feel both accessible and reliable – where you know what you’re getting yourself into.  

You know by now you’re getting yourself into a lot of butter – that remains the same.  

This year I’ll be experimenting more often with the following ingredients. All good, wholesome, delicious ingredients.  These might be ingredients already found in your pantry, or it might be an adventure for you.  Either way, I I hope you’ll bake along with me!

•  I’ve dabbled in Almond Flour and Maple Syrup in a handful of baking recipes in my own kitchen, but I’ve become absolutely SMITTEN since baking from the Sweet Laurel Cookbook.  The book uses almond flour and maple syrup (along with coconut oil) and I’ve found this Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake to be one of my favorite bites of last year. 

•  Flax Seeds are incredible little things that can simulate eggs, find their way into banana muffins, and add a nutty, healthy fat that translates very well in the oven. 

•  I sure did get a bag of Oatmeal for Christmas and I was genuinely stoked! Oatmeal is incredibly versatile.  It’s breakfast with caramelized bananas, obviously.  But I also like to whirl it into milk (I use it the same day so it doesn’t get gloopy), and add it to crumbles.  I love the rustic quality oatmeal adds to crumbles and the tenderness that oat flour adds to baked goods so… let’s play!   

•  While almond flour and oatmeal can be gluten-free options in the kitchen, I’m still a supporter of glorious gluten, especially if it’s super fresh and flavorful.  I’m fortunate enough to have a bakery that mills their own flour right here in New Orleans (Bellegarde!) so I’m going to be experimenting with Fresh Milled Flour in everyday baking.  The moisture absorption might be something to get used to, but the flavor and depth will be undeniable.  See about fresh milled flour in your area! 

•  Bless the sweet, raw Cashew for the nutty creaminess it adds to soups.  Cashews also make the most wonderful nut milk for baking, for golden milk, for hot chocolate. It’s one fine nut and totally worth stocking up on this year!

I hope you find a few things to add to your next grocery list!  

More from my kitchen soon!

xo Joy