If you live in the UK, Ireland or thereabouts, then a ‘flapjack’ is a very popular bar made from oats. If you live in Australia, New Zealand or North America, then you might know them as muesli bars, granola bars or oat bars.
Here in England, flapjacks are typically baked using butter, golden syrup and brown sugar. But you might have already guessed – I’m not going to be using any of those ingredients here.
Yes, you’ve got it – I have developed a completely, delicious, ‘conscious kitchen’ version that is healthy and exceedingly delicious. I use oats, nutritious seeds, coconut oil (instead of butter) and dates to sweeten.
I’ve been making this version for quite some time now, serving it to friends, family and guests on retreats. Always goes down a real treat.
As well as a delightful flavour, these flapjacks have a sort of nurturing, filling thing happening. Perfect!
One of the main ingredients (and the star of the show today, is good ol’ oats). I use gluten-free oats. If you are watching your gluten intake, then evidence shows that those with a gluten-intollerance or gluten allergy are ‘normally’ OK with certified gluten-free oats.
The good news is that gluten-free oats are now available in good health food stores (and now many supermarkets) around the world. Note for those in Oz: In Australia they might be labelled ‘uncontaminated’ oats.
I used to find that regular oats made me sleepy, slow and swelled my belly. Then I noticed that gluten-free oats didn’t have any negative effects at all. Hurrah!
Pumpkin seed benefits
Pumpkin seed is a little treasure trove of goodness, so it’s lovely to add a few to this flapjack recipe.
They bring a welcomed dose of superfood minerals to your food. Pumpkin seeds are rich in many essential nutrients including…
- magnesium (essential for many functions of the body, such as the heart, bone formation and blood pressure)
- zinc (excellent for the immune system, male sexual health, eye and skin health and insulin regulation)
- omega 3 essential fats (essential for heart health and lowering risk of other diseases)
- tryptophan ( great for mood regulation and sleep regulation)
Hemp seed benefits
If you’ve been following my site for any time, you’ll probably know that hemp is one of my favourite seeds, featuring daily in my cuisine. I couldn’t help but feature it in my favourite superfood flapjack recipe here.
Hemp seeds have many amazing attributes including…
Protein Power Super Star – one of the most complete proteins in the plant food kingdom, containing ALL 21 known amino acids, including the 9 that humans are unable to produce themselves.
Perfect balance of omega essential fats – with nature’s perfect ratio (3:1) of omega 3 to omega 6 essentially fatty acids.
GLA (gamma linolenic acid) – a really special omega 6 fatty acid that has been shown to help people with skin disorders, PMS, menopause, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and has good anti-inflammatory benefits.
Hempseed is good for skin disorders – I found one study concluding that improvement in cholesterol levels and improved symptoms of atopic dermatitis were directly related to the dietary consumption of hempseed oil.
High in antioxidants – especially vitamin E. It has also been found to contain tocopherol, which benefits both Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis and phytol which has is known to have both antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Read all about hemp benefits here: Benefits of hemp seeds
Here’s the full flapjack recipe…
- 100g soft pitted dates (about 12 dates)
- 100ml coconut oil (1.42 cups)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 150g gluten-free oats (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons ground almonds
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- If your dates are not soft, then soak them ahead of time for at least a couple of hours (until you can easily press and compact them with your fingers).
- Melt the coconut oil and blend with the soft dates, ground flaxseeds, water and almond extract. This will form a smooth puree.
- Mix all ingredients together, with the blended puree from step 1. Combine thoroughly with a spoon. Use your hands if it helps.
- Line a small loaf tin with parchment paper and compact the mixture down really firmly into it.
- Bake on gas mark 6 (200C or 400F) for about 20 minutes (or until slightly tanned on top).
- Allow to cool.
- Slice with a sharp heavy knife and enjoy!
When cooled drizzle on some melted chocolate and let it quickly set - if you want to be fancy.