Recipes

Healthy fruit & nut vegan flapjacks (GF, RSugarFree)

Sweet, filling, soft, crunchy, delicious, and healthy all in a square snack? That’s right, these fruit & nut flapjacks have become a weekend favourite in my kitchen thanks to how easy they are to make even if you’re craving a snack in the moment- who doesn’t love tasting some gooey oat mixture before baking it all up? 😉

I always regret not making these flapjacks more often every time I bake them because I remember how easy, cost effective, nutritious, and delicious they are! I used a thermomix to blend all my ingredients together because I love its high speed and heatable properties, but if you’re not ready to invest in one yet, there’s load of alternatives, such as the Kenwood cooking food processor. Ingredients such as oats (whose health benefits were listed in my pancake recipe), nuts, raisins, butter, and sweetener are usually lying around all of our cupboards, so these flapjacks really are just as convenient as assembling a granola bowl, or making your own trail mix- but better! They’re so compact, you can throw some into a zip lock back and just keep it in your handbag for when you get peckish on the train to work, or your walk to university/ college/ school/ or anywhere else!

Alot of recipe blog posts talk about busy lifestyles and the need for a ‘quick pick-me-up healthy treat,’ but let’s be honest- even when on your day off… who doesn’t like a tin full of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside nutty flapjacks?

The ingredients consist of simple whole foods, helping you stick to your health goals that will help make you feel good. They’re refined sugar free when using maple syrup as a sweetener and no added sugar grains, and also gluten free because oats are naturally free from gluten! Am I the only person who always crashes or feels lethargic and slugish after eating processed snacks for a prolonged period of time These flapjacks won’t only help you kickstart your day if used as a breakfast ‘on the go,’ but can also be used as an ideal snack between meals or to satisfy your late night sweet tooth, whilst also helping you maintain your physique through feeding your body plant based fuel!

The flapjacks were made using an oat base which is probably the only key ingredient that shouldn’t be replaced. However, the margarine (make sure the one you use is vegan as some brands may add some unnecessary whey in) used as a binding ingredient can be replaced with any other vegan butter or oil. As for the nuts, seeds, and flavourings, those can be replaced for others of your liking and preferred taste, however the measurements I’ve given below do contribute to a nice texture that’s both firm, but crunchy on the outside and softer on the inside!

If you only have one type of nut lying around the house, or if you don’t want to invest in several nuts, then you can use 1 cup of almonds instead of having a variety. However, I do suggest using at least a couple of brazil nuts in the mixture as they account for your daily dose of selenium, which is a vital mineral for regulating both your mood and bodily inflammation, whilst playing a key role in our body’s metabolism.

Ingredients:
• 1.5 cups oat  flour (~200g) (blended up jumbo oats)
• 2/3 cup margarine/ vegan butter (~130g)
• 1/2 cup maple s
yrup (~150g) (alternatively use other liquid sweetener e.g. golden syrup)
• 1 cup raisins (~140g)
• 1/3 cup desiccated cocon
ut (~40g)
• 1/2 cup medjool dates (~100g) (I used a combination of prunes and dates)
• 1 heaped tbsp. cinnamon
• 1 heaped tbsp. maca powder (optional)

Nuts and Seeds
• 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (~40g)
(benefits listed below)
• 2 tbsp chia seeds
• 1/4 cup walnuts (~40g)
• 1/4 cup almonds (~45g)
• 1/4 cup brazil nuts (~45g)

Method:
1. Pre-heat an oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper, or grease it with margarine/ vegan butter.
2. Add the oats, room temperature margarine, and maple syrup into a food processor or high speed blender.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except from the raisins, dates, and pumpkin seeds.
4. Once the nuts have been chopped up and combined with the rest of the mixture, stir in the raisins, pumpkin seeds, and cut up the dates and prunes into cubes to stir into the mixture.
5. If the consistency of the mixture is too thin, add more oats. alternatively if it’s too thick, add extra sweetener or margarine- adjust this according to your preferences.
6. Press the mixture into your pre- lined/ baking tray for 20-25′. You’ll know when they’re ready by poking the flapjacks with a fork that comes out clean.
7. Once they’re ready, turn them out of the tin by flipping it over onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for approximately an hour, before attempting to cut them up into squares or rectangles as preferred. If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can just let them cool down in the tin itself. 

8. This step is optional, but I spread home made jam on top of some flapjacks for added sweetness and fruity flavour!

Benefits of Pumpkin seeds 

  • Nutritionally high in magnesium, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Iron, Zink, Copper.
  • Naturally high in protein, dietary fibre and healthy fats.
  • pexels-photo-971080.jpgHigh magnesium content is important, especially when considering that approximately 79% of adults in the U.S have a magnesium intake below the daily recommended amount. Magnesium can help reduce the risk of heart disease, controls blood pressure levels, forms and maintains healthy bones, and regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Can help promote good digestive health due to high fibre- so long as the shell isn’t removed when purchasing.
  • Positive health benefits due to high naturally occurring antioxidants, such as carotenoids and vitamin E that help reduce inflammation.
  • Last but not least, pumpkin seeds can help aid your sleep, helping you to improve your life and routine both physically and mentally. They’re a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep. Additionally, the zinc in pumpkin seeds converts tryptophan to serotonin, which is then changed into melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
  • THEY’RE ALSO SUPER EASY TO SPRINKLE ONTOP OF MEALS: porridge/ cereal/ yoghurt/ trail mixes/ baking/ salads/ rice/ buddha bowls/ or just add them into your smoothies!

Hope you enjoy making these, free to tag me in any recreations on my instagram – nutritionalnatasa, or alternative, don’t hesitate to comment below or to email me (nutritionalnatasa@gmail.com) with any queries!

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