As promised, I am here with the first of my healthy festive food ideas for sharing and keeping. Today’s little recipe is so tasty you will probably make it but end up keeping it for yourself. No shame in that. Even so, this more-ish, healthy treat is extremely easy to put together; a second batch to pop into decorated cellophane bags or cute jars will not be a chore. If you have a reasonably well-stocked wholefood kitchen you probably won’t even need to brave a trip to the shops. As a gift idea perhaps pair this Munch Mix with a batch of my Lower-fat Granola (add some dark chocolate chunks or chips to amp it up), or you could put it in a large Kilner-type jar with a vintage spoon. We are using a traditional Chinese spoon to self-serve out of our nearly depleted jar. Note to self: make a fresh batch soon.
And speaking of giving homemade presents. Some of you may be thinking it seems a bit cheap, that spending a bit of dosh is expected. Well, my feeling is that it shows that you care enough about the recipient to spend time and creative effort. I won’t give homemade gifts to everyone (I would if I had more time), and my family at least will get a few bought things too, but it feels good to put together an array of ingredients and produce something to share. Unfortunately I am no cop at decorating and packaging things, but I hope my modest culinary efforts will gloss over the lack of visual finesse. I don’t want it to look too slick and production-line, now do I?
Over the next few posts I will offer you my rhubarb and cranberry chutney, a Middle Eastern twist on chocolate bark, a fool-proof funky mayonnaise with accompanying wholegrain mustard, my favourite brownie recipe, and a few ideas on packaging up herbal tea and cocoa. I also hope to give you ideas for cookbooks to buy for yourself or a foodie friend, and fun but functional kitchen gift paraphernalia recommendations, including an exclusive peek at a very good friend’s great new textile range. But for now, here’s my take on an idea I got years ago from the American Institute for Cancer Research website. It was a keeper. I hope this one is too.
Before I get started I would like to share something my wonderful sister sent through from the Huffington Post. It’s not particularly festive but I found it hugely inspiring and motivating. The gist is that it is a collection of life lessons collated by a US gerontologist through the course of his work. He spoke with many elders over his career and found that some interesting and thought-provoking themes emerged. I rate all of the lessons but perhaps this one is the most applicable to my foodtoglow blog.“Act like you will need your body for one hundred years: Stop using ‘I don’t care how long I live’ as an excuse for bad health habits. Behaviors like smoking, poor eating habits and inactivity are less likely to kill you than to sentence you to years or decades of chronic disease. The elders have seen the devastation that a bad lifestyle causes in the last decades of life — act now to prevent it.” Here’s the rest, titled “Top Ten Lessons for Living from the Wisest Americans.” My sister and I were lucky enough to receive a beautiful letter from our Dad adding his own wise words. That will be my favourite gift this year. Thanks, Poppy.