Now we’re in January and a lot of us are trying to lose that Christmas and New Year excess, I wanted to try and make something that’s a little more healthy than the usual vegetable & fresh fruit cakes I had been making before Christmas. Something that is healthy, but you think you’re being a bit naughty too! Flapjacks are one of my favourites things to make as well as eat and the flavourings you can add to the basic mix is endless, they always go down well at the markets with people of all ages. They taste so good because of the flavours you add, but also becuase of the butter, sugar and golden sytrup that goes into them as well. So although the oats are good for you for that slow release of energy, it’s not always the best thing to have if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
I needed something to go with oats at the same time staying away from adding butter, sugar and syrup. Dried fruit without the flavourings and additives, gives you the natural sweetness and also the same with runny honey. Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds all go well for a crunch and are naturally good for you. Nuts also go well in a flapjack – again without the extra salt, additives or flavourings, just the natural nut. Cashew nuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds & peanuts. Now for something extra to help bind it all together, nut butters are readily available and there is a lot of choice too. The organic ones with nothing added – peanut, almond, hazelnut.
So, I chose a few ingredients I had in the cupboards and started putting them together. I blitzed some dates and dried apricots with some runny honey and peanut butter to get a sticky pulp. I added oats to a bowl along with sesame, pumpkin & sunflower seeds and some chopped up cashew nuts, sultanas & raisins. A little extra moisture came from a grated eating apple and thats all the ingredients – nothing else added. All mixed together by hand, pressed into a baking tin and left for a couple of hours in the fridge you have got a filling, healthy & energy boosting snack. Good for the morning or afternoon munchies or for lunch boxes. As with the other flapjacks, you can add and takeaway different ingredients of your choice or what you have available. These are delicious, and they are not just for January!