Laura set up Mindful Bakes as she has a passion for baking and creating. After a bout of depression Laura found baking to be her saviour, a way to channel her energies into feeding her family and doing something productive. Baking had a clear end-product and a methodical approach to creating. Using your hands to knead and cut is very therapeutic. Laura uses her friends and family and testers and hasn’t had a complaint yet!
Through baking and creating together Laura has found that her daughters will chat to her about all things related to school and friendship problems,
so they’re are able to tap into mental health and talking about it in a safe and less intimidating environment.
Her young daughters have developed a growing interest in her hobby turned career and Laura has found it to be hugely beneficial in teaching mathematical skills, reading, patience, creativity and enhancing the bond between parents and child without the need for television or smart phones. Laura teaches her children to budget for ingredients whilst shopping, they learn whereabouts their food has come from, be it home grown, organically produced or reared locally. Laura tried to recycle packaging where appropriate thus reducing the impact on the environment and teaches her children to reduce waste.
Baking can teach children the importance of hygiene and health and safety and the fundamental importance of eating a healthy balanced diet.
Laura’s eldest child is now a very eager cook and likes to create her own recipes and help with dinner parties!
Mindful Bakes aims to use freshly grown local produce. Our apples came from across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and even east Sussex! Mindful Bakes tries to reduce waste by using people’s unwanted damsons, sloe berries, apples, pears, pumpkins and plums. In the winter Mindful Bakes produced game pies from pheasant, partridge and venison from local farms.
Mindful Bakes brewed their own cider and bottled their own apple juice with the apples they collected. Sloe gin, damson gin and limoncello also proved to be a popular Christmas gift!
Mindful Bakes are all too aware of healthy eating and have whipped up culinary delights such as chocolate cauliflower cake with tahini and sesame crunch and honey parsnip cake with lemon ricotta frosting which use vegetables as the staple ingredient. Children often don’t notice the difference, but the bakes are healthier and lower in fat! At Christmas, Mindful Bakes were busy with Christmas cake orders and this summer will be working on a wedding cake. The sky is the limit.
At the launch of Mindful Bakes in July 2017 we raised more than £380 for Mind the mental health charity.
Mindful bakes aim to bring people together via cake and inadvertently people start chatting and hopefully this may involve discussions surrounding mental health.
We host regular ‘crumbs and chatter’ open days in the village. #oneconversationatatime #onecrumbatatime. Such events have increased Laura’s confidence in her social skills as well as enabling her to meet new people in a rural location. We also deliver cakes and bakes to local businesses who may not be able to access the local shops easily such as retirement homes and businesses in rural locations. Mindful Bakes endeavours to meet every client’s needs. We accept commissions and can provide gluten free, vegan, sugar free and dairy free cakes and bakes.
Laura studied Occupational Therapy so knows only too well about the importance of baking as a form of therapy. She has worked with special needs children and young adults for over fifteen years in various settings. Laura is keen to take Mindful Bakes into local primary schools as part of their Emotional Literacy and Social Support programme (ELSA) and to enable children to enable children to feel supported and listened to whilst undertaking a fun, therapeutic and educational activity.
ELSA helped Laura’s eldest daughter aged six when she had a mental breakdown by reducing her anxiety and allowing her some ‘time out’ of the structured curriculum to immerse herself in something fun and relaxing as well as learning a new skill.
She was able to understand that it is ‘okay to not be okay’ and that there will always be people to listen to her, support her and share their experiences.
Many children are exposed to the stresses of modern day life and are not equipped with the coping mechanisms at such a young age on how to deal with them. It is important to start discussing mental health in a positive light before not becomes destructive at a later age. Mental health need not be scary and intimidating and Mindful Bakes wishes to herald the importance of incorporating baking into the education system as a way of discussing mental health.
Mindful Bakes Cookery school sessions will last up to one hour including preparation time. All ingredients and materials will be provided, and children get to take home their creations! Laura will also be offering these sessions after school and during the school holidays in her own home for a maximum of five children at a time. Laura has a certificate in food hygiene and the relevant insurance. Please get in touch for times, dates and prices.
See our next blog post for the benefits of baking and why I love it so!