I’ve been looking at flapjack recipes for a while, trying to find a variation that isn’t full of sugar or dripping with butter. They’re a lovely filling snack and you can easily add nutritious ingredients such as seeds or dried fruit, but also adding heaps of sugar cancels out the goodness for me.
I couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I thought I’d experiment with one of my favourite natural sugar substitutes – ripe bananas. Those horrid looking brown, maybe even black, bananas that often lurk in our fruit bowls are super sweet. I actually have quite a few in my freezer as I always seem to have them at the end of the week and don’t always have the time to use them in something. So instead, I peel them, break them in half, shove them into ziploc bags and throw them in the freezer.
The sweetness in my flapjacks comes not only from ripe bananas, but also from some honey and dates. If you want to experiment with different flavoured sugar-free flapjacks, make sure you include some sweet dried fruit. Flapjacks are great as they can be very simple or full of different flavours and textures. You can experiment with different seeds or different nuts, and you can also add some spice like cinnamon or ground ginger. For me, next time I make these I’ll leave out the walnuts, as the seeds were enough for me with the fruit and coconut.
Flapjacks are a filling snack, especially if they’re soft inside like these are. Hubby, who’s not familiar with flapjacks and their dense texture, suggested having them as a dessert with custard to lighten the taste. And why not?!
Nicholas had a great time helping me make these. He seemed to be excited by how many little bowls of ingredients there were to be mixed into the oats. He’s getting better at stirring (not a lot went on the floor) and is also understanding the importance of tasting as you go 🙂
SUGAR-FREE FLAPJACKS (OAT BARS)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 16 squares
200g porridge oats
100g dried stoned dates, chopped
30g desiccated coconut
50g walnuts, chopped
30g pumpkin seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
30g sunflower seeds, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 175C and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
Gently melt the butter and honey either in a saucepan or in the microwave. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, dates, coconut, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds together.
Add the vanilla and mashed bananas to the melted butter and honey, and then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Press the mixture firmly into your tin and sprinkle over the extra seeds.
Bake for 15-20 mins until golden on top and it’s coming away from the sides of the tin.
Take out of the oven and, while it’s still warm, use a knife to score where you will cut. Leave in the tin to cool before cutting.
- For simpler flapjacks, leave out the seeds, coconut and walnuts
- Add some warming spice like cinnamon or ground ginger
- Substitute the dates with another sweet dried fruit such as apricots or cherries
- Make dairy-free flapjacks by replacing the butter with a dairy-free margarine
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