I couldn’t place more emphasis on the importance of eating fresh, unprocessed food. Having an awareness of the origins and make-up of the ingredients that we cook with is a very important step in the cooking process and one that shouldn’t be underestimated. Avoiding processed foods and instead starting with fresh, unprocessed ingredients when cooking means we know exactly what we are putting into our precious bodies. I remember reading somewhere to avoid eating anything containing ingredients which your grandmother wouldn’t recognise – I think that is pretty sound advice.
Sadly there is a whole generation of young people out there who struggle to identify their cucumbers from their zucchini’s let alone recognise the ingredients in what they are eating. However, I must admit that I feel comfort in the knowledge that there is a hugely popular movement which is seeing people, among many other things, return to their gardens to grow their own vegetables, return to their kitchens to boil, bake and bottle, and once again sit down in front of their sewing machines or their knitting needles to connect with the past and feel a sense of achievement and reward in crafting things for themselves.
I think this recipe epitomises all of the above. It is made up almost entirely of dried fruit and nuts and is flavoured with vanilla and cocoa. It contains no sugar or oil and can be tweaked to suit your own taste. Try swapping out the dates for dried apricots or the cashews for almonds. The combinations are endless.