Not your average flapjack...
What comes to mind when you think of a healthy, tasty snack? Flapjacks of course! Sadly, most shop-brought flapjacks are laden with sugar, fat and preservatives, turning a healthy snack into an unhealthy one when there really is no need. The solution is simple: make your own!
If you live a busy life, then find just enough time to make a large batch and freeze some, so then you will have snacks to hand for weeks. Remember, choosing to eat healthily doesn’t just fall at your feet, you have to spend a bit of time in the kitchen preparing food, but you can easily learn to be savvy by keeping certain staples in the cupboard at all times and making things in large quantities to freeze.
The basis of most flapjacks is OATS. They are a great source of soluble fibre, carbohydrate and are virtually gluten-free (the reason I say virtually is because oats are often contaminated with gluten in the manufacturing process and thus can not be labelled gluten-free). Oats are steamed and heat treated which removes some of their nutritional content so if you’re on a 100% raw diet you can source raw oats online. Although I have used them in the past, I use regular, organic oats.
Other grains also work well as a base such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat, rice and spelt which all come in flake form. I often use half oats to half a different grain which gives a nice variation to a standard flapjack. Adding ground nuts/seeds or high quality protein powders such as hemp, rice or pea protein add vital protein and essential fatty acids which make flapjacks more sustaining.
Deciding what ingredients and flavours to add to your flapjacks is when the fun begins!
Fresh fruit or vegetables (yes, vegetables!), nuts, seeds, dried fruit, desiccated coconut, cinnamon, even green powders…the list goes on!
Adding grated apple, carrot or courgette will add moistness and take away the need for oil to stick them together (but don’t add much as it could end up looking like a veggie burger!); nuts and seeds add crunch; cinnamon, mixed spice, vanilla and carob/cacao powders add flavour!
Here is my super delicious ‘Almost Raw’ Vanilla Fudge Flapjack Recipe.
‘Almost’ raw as the oats aren’t raw, but virtually raw as it’s not baked!
~ These flapjacks are so simple to make, store and yummy to eat. Plus, kids love them, too – BONUS! ~
Ingredients ~ Makes 8 large flapjacks or 12 smaller ones
1 cup oats
1 cup oatmeal (milled oats)
1 cup dates
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup ground flax seeds
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tbsp vanilla powder
(All ingredients organic)
I decorated my flapjacks with cacao nibs, which you could also add to the recipe for choc chip flapjacks.
~ Start by soaking the dates in hot water for at least half an hour; ensure they are fully covered and the longer they soak the softer they turn
~ Once soaked, drain most of the water off and blend with the remaining water till you have a smooth puree
~ To make oatmeal simply put oats on their own in a blender or food processor and blitz until they are fully milled/ground up
~ To make the ground flaxseed, repeat as above or use a coffee grinder
~ In a large mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients; the oats, oatmeal, ground flax seeds, lucuma powder and vanilla powder
~ Gently heat the coconut oil in a pan and once melted, mix it in with the date puree
~ When fully mixed, you should have a dough-like consistency which you can shape any way you want. You could roll it out with a rolling pin and cut up into squares; use cookie cutters to make stars and moons or a silicone muffin mould and make perfect round flapjacks as I do. Allow to cool and set for an hour. They can be stored in an airtight container for several days or in the freeze for as long as you wish.
What are the benefits of the ingredients?
OATS provide carbohydrate, protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other important nutrients – they add delicious creaminess.
DATES are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – they add sweetness.
COCONUT OIL contains beneficial medium-chain fatty acids and is rich in vitamin C – this healthy fat combines the mixture together and once solidified, firms them up nicely.
FLAX SEEDS contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre – they add a nice nutty texture.
LUCUMA POWDER (from the whole Peruvian lucuma fruit) contains protein and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium – it has a delicious maple-like taste which adds the vital, fudge-like flavour.
VANILLA POWDER contains essential oils, vitamins and minerals – it adds a sweet, butterscotch tone which makes everything taste great!
Seasonal smoothies! Now it’s summer time, allotments and gardens are bursting with produce, so I’ll share some delicious, fresh, seasonal smoothies which are easy to make and don’t break the bank to make!
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