I really liked the premise and appreciated the author’s take on viewing baking not as a chore or a task to be done, but something you can do mindfully as a comforting activity for yourself.
Thank you to Netgalley for this book.
I loved this cookbook and found it very interesting. What Jack Hazan wrote helped me a lot.
Many years ago I read an article about how baking for others has a psychological benefit for those who do the baking, Mind over Batter by Jack Hazan takes this idea a step further. We have the terms procrastibaking to describe times when someone bakes to avoid a task, stress baking to describe someone who delays dealing with something by baking and now Hazan present a series of recipes that can be used as baking for therapeutic practice. One of the aspects of this cookbook that immediately caught my eye was how Hazan broke down baking into categories of purpose: self-care, letting go of frustration, finding joy, etc. I love to bake and the idea that I could try to cater what I am baking to help my mental well-being is delightful. Hazan takes it up a notch with the sections that are interspersed throughout to get the reader to go deeper on a topic in what is referred to as "quick sessions". I found the "Nine ways to find mindfulness in baking" particularly useful as a means to reframe how I bake, which is often thoughtless and hurried. Did I mention the beautiful photos or decadent recipes yet? If you are a fan of baking this is a must pick up cookbook! A very well deserved five stars, happy baking!
I really enjoyed this premise. I've told myself that when I have the time I will treat this as therapy once or twice a week.
Thanks to NetGalley / Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for a review.
*received for free from netgalley for honest review* This was a really great read, i wouldn't mind buying it and taking some more time reading and cooking with it!
Yummy photos and recipes. Will recommend to my customers, and hopefully I'll try some myself! The gentle writing is also nice.
MIND OVER BATTER by Jack Hazan is subtitled "75 Recipes for Baking as Therapy." Hazan writes quite a bit about his Syrian Jewish family members and obviously shares numerous favorite recipes, including his own experience making and selling challah. It all sounds delicious, and frankly, I think if I had more patience and somewhat different expectations that I would like this book more. I was honestly hoping for less stress through easier recipes. Pictures are quite colorful and have me thinking about giving Pesto Pull-Apart Bread or Choose-Your-Own-Scone a try. Since these are baked goods, they tend to be on the sweet side and nutritional information is not included. Hazan, a licensed psychotherapist, also includes information on self-care, mindfulness, and healing exercises. MIND OVER BATTER is a unique cookbook, especially if you enjoy baking.
As a therapist I LOVED this book. I love baking even though it is hard sometimes for me and this was so good to see it reinforced as a form of therapy. Will definitely recommend!
I have struggled with my mental health ever since I was young and naturally gravitated towards baking as self-care. When I saw this book, I immediately grabbed it! The author has a background in both therapy and baking and infused their therapy practice with their baking hobby. The connections between the two are immense. I did not realize how similar therapy and baking were until he laid it out in the book. The recipes are easy to peruse and follow all while incorporating self-care and reflection practices. It has more narration that a traditional cookbook because of the therapy aspect and there are parts that seem slightly cheesy.
However, I highly recommend this book!
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for the honest review.
*Mind Over Batter covers both mental health issues and baking. The general idea is that through baking (by yourself or with others) you can work out your problems and at the very least, have something good to eat. (Honestly, having a great cookie or brownie can make most people’s day.)
*When Covid started, many people baked (or made bread) because we were all stuck at home. This was a form of therapy and so it makes sense that a cookbook could be combined with a therapy book. The advice focused on mental health is generally sound and might help some people.
*The cookbook is really for novice bakers with recipes that range from very standard to recipes with minor twists. The recipes that I tried worked and were generally fine. One portion of a recipe was worth making – the crumb for the coffee cake. Also, there’s a one page “Quick Session” where Hazen gives tips for baking; you will find this worthwhile, especially if you don’t bake often.
A wonderful compilation of recipes that were easy to understand and follow. Baking helps me relieve stress, it's something that I've always enjoyed doing. This book addressed those stresses I feel by giving me some wonderful recipes to dive into. I always like to try a recipe or two when I get a cookbook and this one was no different. I needed some self-care and had a craving for chocolate so I made the Devil's Food Mug Cake. It was an easy recipe to make and a delicious treat awaited me in the end. It was definitely a hug in a mug which was much needed. I now have a go to book when stresses arise to help me relieve those and get a tasty treat in the end!
Mind Over Batter - 75 Baking Recipes as Therapy speaks to me on every level. This is written by a licensed therapist and is genuinely intended to help heal - the beginning dives into the psychology behind why which is rather fascinating. The author is of Middle Eastern descent and the recipes have some nods to that. Overall, though, this book is more about therapy than baking and will not be the best fit for those looking for unique recipes to make from scratch.
Love the concept! Thank you Netgalley and Chronicle Books for the ARC - Mind over Batter is out now!
I appreciate the topic of baking as therapy. I found many of the recipes interesting although not necessarily my style.
Mind Over Batter is part cookbook, part self-care. Jack Hazan is a licensed therapist and master baker. He expertly weaves these two together. Most of the recipes are inspired by the Syrian and Middle Eastern baked goods he enjoyed while growing up. He divides the recipes into moments when we need them most, such as self-care, dealing with stress & anxiety, and finding joy, among others.
I love this quote:
“Baking is therapy…..Creates an outlet for nervous energy, quiet frustrations, and even racing thoughts.”
Here are the delicious recipes I tested:
✨Jack’s Famous Challah - Finding Comfort chapter
✨Pick-Me-Up Granola - Dealing with Stress & Anxiety chapter
✨Jack’s Chocolate Chip Cookies - Letting Go of Frustration chapter
✨I Crumb forYou Coffee Cake - Connecting With Others chapter
I highly recommend this book as a way to explore your feelings through baking. With this book, you can disconnect from your social media life and connect with your inner self! All while enjoying the fruits of your labor.
After 3+ years of pandemic living, self care and connection are much needed to be happy and healthy. Jack Hazan uses his education in psychotherapy and baking to marry the two together beautifully. Inspired by his Middle Eastern background, the recipes are unique and tasty! Baking truly is a comforting way to rid yourself of stress with yummy results to enjoy in the end. Each chapter tackles one topic regarding self help including anxiety, mindfulness, and finding joy. I loved this unique approach to baking so much and would recommend adding this one to any cookbook collection.
**Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to receive an Advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!** This book was just phenomenal! I thought the title was interesting so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. This cookbook is quite large and has tons of great recipes, There are so many delicious things that you can make. I also really enjoyed the introductions to each section where the author talked about his work as a therapist. This was such an interesting concept for a cookbook, and it turned out so well!
I recently picked up Mind over Batter by Jack Hazan and was immediately impressed by the stunning photography and mouth-watering recipes. As someone who loves to bake, I found myself devouring this book from cover to cover.
I've tried several recipes from the book with my kids and they loved them. I requested this book because baking has always been my hobbie, but it became more than that when the country went into lockdown. It was what kept me busy and my mind on task to fight the anxiety the pandemic brought.
I like that the author put in little sections on how steps to center yourself when feeling anxiety and even information about mental health.
This is an amazing book for people who enjoy baking and are also struggling with mental health. But if both of those things don't apply to you, there's a lot of discussion of feelings amongst these recipes, so if you're looking for a standard baking cookbook, this isn't it.
Recipes are split into chapters based on how you're feeling at that particular time. Each chapter intro gives a few pages of helpful background, written almost like a chat with a friend. The recipes in each chapter are supposed to help you with that feeling, either through the actions you take in preparing the recipe, or some characteristic of the finished treat. From the intro to the last chapter, Finding Joy, the author says, "Mindfulness allows you to center yourself and tune out distractions. Finding Comfort helps you experience solace when life seems overwhelming. Dealing with Stress and Anxiety lets you focus on the good things in your life. Letting Go of Frustration allows you to relax into the present moment. And Connecting with Others in an authentic way
creates deeper and stronger bonds. The
secret? Baking is a joyful experience. Good
food = happiness."
I loved that each chapter included a Quick Session brief page or two with some therapeutic ideas, and each recipe had a Baking Affirmation or Food For Thought. The recipes in this book sound delicious also, and each has a beautiful full color photo. There are brief intros to the recipes, explaining their relation to the chapter, their origin, and/or any family history - some in here are from the author's mother or other relatives.
I absolutely loved this book, and how it wove baking into mental health, because I've often said that baking is stress relieving for me.
Baking being the best form of therapy is 100% correct. Mind over Batter 75 Recipes for Baking as Therapy by Jack Hazan is a great recipe book.
Easy to use instruction. The images are bright and beautiful