Monday, 4 January 2016

Cranberry, Date & Walnut Healthy Flapjacks

Readers, it’s out with the old and in with the new again.  We’re into dreary Janauary – month of darkness and generally having no money.

I don’t buy into the “new year, new me” thing – but if it encourages people to go out and do something different, then who am I to stop them?!  My plans are to try and eat a bit healthier and increase the amount of exercise I do in 2016 – I’ll never be a skinny Minnie, but I could use getting back into shape again.  I’m not as young as I used to be!

Anyway, we’re back scratch cooking again, upping the amount of fruit and veg in the diet, getting stuck into lean proteins and trying hard to cut back the carbs. Not stop them… just cut back.

I’ve been looking into healthy treat ideas today – you know for that stage in the office between breakfast and lunch at 1 when you are completely ravenous and go into full on “T Rex at the vending machine” mode?  Yes, that stage.

I’ve created a baked flapjack recipe that uses no wheat flour, sugar, butter or eggs.  It’s sweetened naturally with dates, uses coconut oil instead of fat, uses oats for slow energy release and has ground up cashews – containing good fats to strengthen hair and nails.

It’s still a snack – a small piece should suffice (don’t eat the whole tin at once) – but it’s healthier than shop bought versions packed full of sugar, fats and nasties.

Anyway – Happy New Year, thanks for all your support and here’s to 2016!
healthy flapjacks

Healthy Flapjacks with Cranberry, Date & Walnut

Ingredients (makes 9 large squares)

200g rolled oats
60g cashews (finely ground or chopped)
60g dried cranberries
60g chopped dates
1 large, ripe, mashed banana
3 dessert spoons coconut oil (melted)
Melted dark chocolate to decorate

 


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan/Gas 6. Line an 8x8in baking pan.
  2. Weigh the oats and place in a baking bowl along with the cranberries, mix to combine.
    Woohoo! Healthy ingredients!
  3. Mill the cashews into a powder.  I used a Nutribullet to do this, but you could also just chop up very small with a knife and have larger pieces of nut in the mix. Add to the dry ingredients.
  4. De-stone and chop up the dates.  If they are slightly hard, place in 4 teaspoons of water to soften up.  Once softened, drain then add to cranberries and oats. Mix.
    Softening the dates.
  5. Mash the banana in a separate bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and mix into the mashed banana.
  6. Add the coconut and banana mix into the dry ingredients.  Mix until fully combined (use your hands if necessary!)
    Add the wet ingredients to the dry
  7. Transfer the mix to the prepared baking pan and smooth until flat in the pan & even.
    Flatten the mix to go in the oven
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, cover with tinfoil to prevent the top burning and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  10. Melt dark chocolate and drizzle over the top to finish. Once set, cut into 9 equal pieces.
    Drizzle dark chocolate over the top
  11. Store in an airtight container and consume within 3 days. 

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