These didn’t stick around long enough to be captured on camera. To be fair, i didn’t intend for them to last; they were more a desperate quick fix for one. I was sitting on the sofa after sprinting 2 and a half miles for the village May Day ‘jog’ - (does it get more British than that?) When i got home i was craving flapjacks, so i scoured my parents’ cupboards and came up with a healthy, chewy flapjack recipe made with whatever i could find. I used a mixture of quinoa flakes and organic gluten free oats. I usually avoid grains, so very rarely eat oats, but for a true flapjack consistency they really helped. I used to hate flapjacks and am still not a massive fan of oats but i went through a phase of adoring the golden, buttery mini flapjacks from M&S. Having now given up sugar, gluten, grains and butter, a healthy (or fussy) flapjack seemed near impossible, as the fundamental ingredients are sugar, grains and butter. However, with a little bit of coconut, anything can happen. These flapjacks are made with coconut oil instead of butter, agave instead of sugar or golden syrup and a rather unlikely ingredient - tahini. Tahini (sesame seed paste) is an incredible source of calcium, contains essential minerals and is high in methionine which detoxifies the liver. It is easy to digest, helps to maintain healthy skin and is higher in protein than most nuts. In this recipe it adds a bitterness to the flapjacks so they aren’t too sweet. Really the only reason you need the agave is to help the ingredients combine and stick together. The tahini also helps to bind the ingredients, possessing a similar consistency to cashew or almond butter (both of which you could use if you don’t have or like tahini). The flavours in these flapjacks may also seem unconventional and it may be hard to imagine them working together. However, the lemon juice adds an intense, zesty flavour and also helps to combine the mixture, and the ginger gives the flapjacks a little kick, as well as adding a vibrant sweetness. The fresh ginger adds to the chewy texture of these flapjacks and once baked becomes even juicer. Overall, these flapjacks are chewy, but not too gooey, sweet, but not too sweet, creamy, flavoursome and, of course, nutritious. Lemon helps to alkalise the body, aids digestion and flushes out toxins, and ginger has unbelievable health properties, such as detoxifying the body and improving the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
3/4 Cup Organic Gluten Free Oats or Buckwheat Flakes
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flakes or Buckwheat Flakes
2 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
1 1/2 Tablespoons Smooth Tahini
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (can also use cacao butter to add a chocolatey flavour)
3 Tablespoons Agave or Natural Sweetener of Choice
1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1-2 Tablespoons Organic Ground Ginger, depending on how much of a kick you can handle
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, grated or diced
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1/2 Cup Goji Berries
1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries or Dates or Apricots
A few Handfuls of Nuts and Seeds of Choice
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs or Raw Chocolate Chunks
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Melt the oil, agave, vanilla, salt and tahini in a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the flakes, oats, fresh and grated ginger and desiccated coconut together. You could also add chia seeds at this point if you have them. Once the oil and tahini mixture has completely dissolved, remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of oats. Mix with a wooden spoon, making sure all of the oats and flakes are evenly and completely coated in the oil mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more agave or lemon juice. If the mixture is too wet, increase the amount of flakes or oats, until the mixture sticks together if you press it down with the back of the spoon. Grease or line a small baking tray or heat proof dish. I would double the mixture if you have guests to feed as this amount made enough for about four people, but we could have eaten more! Press the mixture into the tray or dish until compact and even. Smooth the top with the back of the spoon and bake for 10-15 mins. Leave to cool completely before attempting to remove from the tin or cut into pieces.
Enjoy with a hot drink, freshly made almond milk or dipped into cashew pudding or smoothies.