Hobby Hunting: Pick Up Baking!

By Amanda Roland
pick up baking

Need help finding a new hobby during quarantine? Welcome to Hobby Hunting, where we help you find a hobby that you’ll love to get your through quarantine. This time, we look at why you should pick up baking as a new hobby!

Culinary arts therapy is becoming a more common form of therapy. Julie Ohana is a licensed clinical social worker who also has a culinary arts therapy practice in Michigan. She touts the many benefits of culinary arts therapy such as time management, enhanced communication skills, patience, mindfulness and building self-esteem—all of which can improve mental health.

Baking for others is a form of behavioral activation therapy which works to decrease depression symptoms such as avoidance and isolation by engaging in activities that can improve mood. For those who are interested in using baking as a therapeutic tool, Ohana suggests starting slowly and not expecting expert results.

“A good basic tip is not to over reach. If you are a beginner—do not aim for Julia Child 4-star recipes. Start simple and build up. Use basic skills and recipes. Start slow, be patient with yourself and keep working at it. Just like any other skill, mastering anything takes time and effort. When you choose who should be the guests that receive your dishes, pick people you feel safe with and who have your best interest at heart,” Ohana said.

So, pick up baking while you are practicing social distancing! For an easy recipe that you can make for yourself, your family or your house mates during quarantine, make these healthy blondies!

Healthy Blondies


  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
  • ½ cup
  • ⅓ cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

Optional: chocolate chips, nuts or coconut flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º and spray an 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  3. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until the batter is smooth.
  4. Using a spoon or spatula sprayed with cooking spray, spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  6. Cool for 1 hour on a wire rack and cut into squares.
  7. Blondies may be stored in the fridge for up to 6 days or frozen for up to two months in an airtight container.

by Tracy Write and Camille Graham


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