When I visited my friend Alison in the UK, we bought ourselves some flapjacks from ASDA and had them for breakfast when we took a trip to Llandudno. I absolutely loved them and when I got home I tried finding a recipe immediately. Traditional flapjacks are made with oats, golden syrup and butter. I decided that that was a bit too much for an easy, yet healthy snack. So I decided to keep the butter, but replaced the golden syrup (which is no more than liquid sugar) by some refined sugar free alternatives. Stay tuned, if you’d like to know how to make a healthier version of this guilty pleasure staple food.
The trick to flapjacks it seems is to make them gooey and slightly sticky. In the traditional recipe this is of course achieved by adding the syrup. I decided that using dates and a banana would also make for some sticky sweetness. So all in all, you just need 4 ingredients for this recipe and it is so quick and easy to make, while delicious at the same time. I find that these really do not differ that much from the traditional: they are less sweet, but still yummy nonetheless. I would love to try them with coconut oil some time, which would make a lovely vegan version, which may also be slightly healthier than full fat butter.
Total time: 30 minutes (excl. soaking). Prep time: overnight soaking + 10 minutes. Baking time: 20 minutes. Makes 12 squares.
- 200 grams unsalted butter (I use organic full fat)
- 2 cups of gluten free oats (I used Lieke is Vrij)
- 1/3 cup Medjoul dates (roughly 4)
- 1 small ripe banana
Step 1: Soak dates overnight (you can skip this step if you have a blender powerful enough to blend dates straight away)
Step 2: Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Blend dates into a paste, add banana and blend again.
Step 4: Weigh butter and melt in a pan.
Step 5: Stir in banana date mixture until evenly spread out, then add oats and keep stirring
Step 6: Put into over tray. (I had some left over shredded coconut and walnuts from an earlier cooking endeavor that day, so I sprinkled that on top)
Step 7: Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 8: Let it cool and cut into 12 squares.
What you should end up with is a golden brown, bubbly yummyness that smells amazing.
Now, I called these better-for-you flapjacks as they are gluten and sugar free. However, they still contain a sweetener and lots of butter, so these still aren’t something I would make on a weekly basis. It makes for a nice sweet treat though that can be enjoyed occasionally with less of a guilty feeling than the traditional version.
These keep well for a few days in an airtight container and I used these as a late afternoon snack on the train home. They were a great solution for satisfying my end-of-the-day sweet tooth while not being as bad for me as a Twix or other candy bar that I usually crave that time of day. Yes, this is definitely a good alternative that I will keep in my arsenal of baked goodies that I can snack on from time to time.
What is your ideal afternoon snack?