No refined sugar flapjacks

A long overdue post! I’m sure I did say I’m terrible at sticking to things, but nevermind, here I am again.

I have  little recipe for some yummy and healthy flapjacks today, I made them modifying a version of no added sugar flapjacks I’ve found on another blog and thought I’d share it! I had been looking for a while for the perfect recipe as my kids love the Goodies oat bars but they can be expensive to buy regularly and anyway I prefer to have homemade food, I think it’s good for them too to not get too used to eating things that come in fancy packaging.

Making flapjacks    Making flapjacks

My daughter loves giving a hand to make them and we all love eating them, in fact they rarely last more than a day in this house.

Without further ado, here’s how to make them!

INGREDIENTS
150g stoned dates, chopped
5 tbsp apple juice or fresh orange juice
150g unsalted butter (I may try them with coconut oil to make them vegan soon)
100g sultanas
200g porridge oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice

 

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 170C (fan) slightly higher for non fan assisted.

Put the apple juice and the dates in a blender and blend, it will become a bit of a paste and may not be fully blended but that’s ok! Meanwhile, gently melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat.

Chocolate!

Put the oats and spices in a large bowl, then add the sultanas, apple and dates mix and melted butter and mix well. Turn the mix into a lined deep square or rectangular baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned on top.  Cut into 16 squares and leave until fully cooled in the dish (they break apart otherwise, as you can see from my picture!).

I also like to make them a little naughty every now and then and add a little bit of dark chocolate, chopped in little chips. I use about 1/3 of a bar and that seems enough for us 🙂

Flapjacks

 

Sorry about the poor picture, I will try to take better ones next time! They were a great snack to pack up and take with us at the kids’ first time playing bowling.

Playing bowling

Spelt bread and raw strawberry jam

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about my diet and how far I’ve come in the past few months. I changed the way I eat a lot but more for health purposes, of course I was hoping that eating better would also mean losing a bit of weight but I didn’t really expect to.

The biggest change was that I cut out all processed/refine sugar, as I’ve already mentioned, and that has benefited me in many ways. First of all, I feel more in control of what I eat, both in terms of portion sizes and cravings, my mood are better and I have more energy. I’ve also almost entirely cut out meat, this wasn’t intentional but it just happened, though I still tend to eat fish once or twice a week and dairy and eggs fairly often. I made a conscious effort to substitute all these things with vegetables, so I’m eating a bit less grains (pasta, bread, rice etc) too.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to be gluten free for a couple of weeks or so to see if I could notice any difference and yesterday, while at a health food store, I had a spur of the moment decision to buy some spelt flour and have a go at making spelt bread. One tiny little detail: spelt isn’t gluten free (I only realised this many hours after buying it).

Nevermind! I shall blame this on the extended sleep deprivation and all that. I gave it a go anyway and used the recipe that was on the packet. It was quite quick and fairly mess free and didn’t need as much work as wheat bread; unfortunately I don’t own a bread tin yet (must get one!) so the poor thing went all flat instead of rising in a lovely loaf shape, but let me tell you, it’s actually rather nice! It will be quite amazing with some soup once the weather goes colder again.

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I wanted something to put on it and couldn’t quite think of something that was a bit special, just like the bread itself, until I remembered about this easy recipe for raw strawberry chia jam.

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It’s all pretty straight forward: mix 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, 3 tablespoons of honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup) and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (one large lemon should be enough) together in a little bowl – as you can see in the photo, it’s that odd brownish mess!

Mash the strawberries – 1lb according to the recipe, I used a 400g pack – with a fork or pulse in the food processor, combine with the chia seeds mixture and pour in a container (you may want to use one that is big enough…) then simply put in the fridge and leave it to set for at least half an hour. Done!

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You can now enjoy your lovely super healthy jam on your not-gluten-free spelt bread 😉

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I’m fighting with all my might not to go and eat the rest of the bread and jam right now. Must…. resist…. temptation…..