Tahini Fudge and the Calcium Question
This mineral rich recipe is really easy; it has only three ingredients! The tahini (sesame seed paste) is a good source of calcium which is key for anyone who doesn't consume dairy products if only to answer the 'Where do you get your calcium from?' question. Of course, calcium isn't the only important mineral, not even for bone health, despite what we've been hearing for decades, so using dates in this recipe really is a sweet proposition as they are loaded with nutrients, especially minerals and several B group vitamins and fibre.
Here's how we make it:
1 C tahini (works with raw or roasted tahini)
1 C dates
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt (optional)
Blend everything and pour the mixture into a lined (with greaseproof paper) container. Add any toppings eg sesame seeds, goji berries, cover and place in the fridge for a few hours to set. Remove from the container to slice into individual pieces ready for serving.
This is a Hemsley & Hemsley recipe. Hemsley & Hemsley are a bit like Henry & Henry but younger, both female, (sisters in fact) and live in the south of England .... so maybe not quite so similar after all 😄
A few more words about calcium and dairy
The calcium question referred to above whilst often well-meant, can be a cause for concern especially for anyone who's recently given up dairy, so it's worth having a little bit of information at the ready. Firstly, don't panic, you are definitely not in the minority, not if you look to the global population. Around 70% of the world's population have little or no dairy in their diets due to an inability to break down the lactose (milk sugar) that it contains. This is most prevalent in Asian countries. If you're wondering if they suffer from the bone weakening disease osteoporosis well, that's where it gets really interesting: the highest rates of osteoporosis are found in industrialised nations such as the United States and European countries, especially those in the north, so precisely in the countries where dairy consumption is highest! If you have a lactose intolerance in one of these countries you may feel as though you're bucking the trend but maybe it's the milk drinkers and cheese eaters who are a little unusual; to be able to consume these dairy products, they have a mutation which makes it possible for them to do so. Bear in mind that drinking milk after weaning isn't really natural, we're the only species to do it and we don't stop there .. we consume the milk of another species, and consider it normal. Cow's milk is the most perfect food .... for a calf! Apart from an array of fabulous nutirents, it contains growth factors that enable the calf to progress from baby to adult cow in a very short space of time; you won't have seen a teenage cow, they just don't spend that long growing up. So it's worth questioning whether the balance of calf-friendly nutrients and growth factors is even suitable for adult humans. But there's certainly something we can learn from these beautiful bovine creatures; where do they get their calcium from? They eat grass! We could probably eat grass too, but we have a more diverse range of green options and some of them are really great sources of calcium (and other nutrients): kale, cabbage, pak choi, watercress, broccoli, lettuce and, if you fancy a glimpse into the world of the grass-eating cow, you get close enough with dandelion leaves and you'd struggle to find many better sources of calcium than dandelions! So eat your greens in large quantities and maybe enjoy some tahini fudge now and then or some figs, almonds or oranges.