This week I was set a challenge… to come up with a healthier version of the humble flapjack. At first I thought to myself it would be pretty impossible to get anything close to resembling a ‘traditional’ flapjack… however with perseverance and lots of experimenting, I think I may have cracked it!
Now, don’t be under any illusion that these are ‘like for like’ flapjack swaps, as you’re never going to get a healthier version to taste like the buttery golden syrup stodge that we all know and love – that’s just crazy talk! However, I’ve developed a recipe that is sweet, sticky and doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up (key boxes ticked off) and they will make a delicious afternoon snack or if you’re in a hurry before work or school, grab a couple of slices and have for your breakfast.
To make these flapjacks lovely and sweet, I’ve used ripe bananas in the mix. I’ve tried a few recipes before that use mashed banana and they have always turned out a little bit hit and miss, sometimes too ‘banana-ry’ and have a strange chewy taste which I’m definitely not keen on. So as I’m aware of this issue with some healthier alternatives, I’ve made sure the banana isn’t the overpowering ingredient by adding honey, sultanas and coconut to equal out the taste.
Bananas can be overpowering, but this recipe is just right!
Another little tip is to use porridge oats instead of chunky steel cut oats, they tend to absorb the wet ingredients better and keep the flapjacks soft and held together. Also after baking turn out them out onto wire rack with the bottom facing up and this will help them to be more crispy – because nobody likes a soggy bottom!
Feel free to swap the sultanas for other dried fruit or even nuts, seeds or chocolate chips.
You will need:
- 200g porridge oats
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 100g sultanas
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
- 200g ripe banana (approx 2 medium)
- 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
- 40g of coconut oil
- 40g of honey or maple syrup
- Optional – 2 tbsp of milled linseed
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 170°c and line a square tray with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and sultanas (or other dried fruit) and stir together.
- Peel and mash the banana in another bowl until puréed.
- Add the coconut oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla extract to a pan and gently heat until melted.
- Pour the melted ingredients in with the oat mixture, and add the mashed banana. Stir together until completely mixed and a sticky texture starts to form.
- Tip the mixture into the square tray and using the back of a spoon, squash it down to about 1cm in depth and smooth over the top making sure the flapjack is compact.
- Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack with the bottom facing up, this helps to make the flapjack more firm while it cools. Cut into 12 slices and store in an airtight container.