Fruity and nutty. Sweet and super easy. Just the way we want them!
This is my alter ego flapjack, with a festive twist and even healthy. Lower in sugar and using cold-pressed oil, packed with seeds, nuts and cranberries. Also gluten-free!
Something sweet and simple for festive time! The kitchen is a busy place at this time of year and we all need a quick flapjack recipe up our Xmas sleeves. Last minute party call, these are a great go-to tray baker. The ingredients are easy to find, you’ve probably got them tucked away in the kitchen already. Two bowls, one tray, hot oven…job done.
Blending up the oats, nuts and seeds here makes for a rich and very nutritious flour. The chia seeds help to bind things together nicely and add a little texture and crunch. These flapjacks are nice with almonds, and a touch of almond extract, you can use any mix of nuts and seeds you like really. Flapjacks forgive.
One thing we Brits know our way around is a flapjack. Is that right? My childhood was built around their sturdy sweet sustenance. They seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid, every relative made their own brand/ ballast, every school fair would see tents filled with them, golden syrup sales were through the roof in the 80’s. Sugar was on a high! You needed a strong jaw and commitment back then to get through most baked goods.
I admit to being sick of the sight of them by age 12. I find your average joe flapjacks way too sweet and regularly, boring (like a brick). So I thought I’d revisit this sweet spot. These are lighter. I’ve added much less sugar than normal. They get their sweetness from the cranberries and a touch of cranberry sauce, which gives them a little extra fruitiness. They are rich, with the oat and nut flour and cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
Wintertime in Wales is a precarious time for foodie photos. It’s dark in mid-afternoon and there are some fiesty winds and driving rain outdoors. What to do?! These flapjacks nearly ended up in Dawn’s garden (neighbour), the wind whipped the bread board out of my hand. I managed to get some decent light by the kitchen window. I’ve also got this new I-phone thing that has some pretty cool settings, makes everything look good!! It’s not easy being a caveman in a modern world.
Let’s face the cake facts. You can’t just have one at Christmas time, you need a long and healthy line of varieties, a cake for each time of day. I’d tuck into this at ‘elevenses’ (or ‘merienda’, I was raised in the Philippines you see, it means a snack between meals. It also means the same in Italy, Latin America and Croatia. I love the world. We all love cake.)
This would be an excellent kid diversion, when they’re needing something to keep from running wild. You can’t really go wrong with them. Flapjacks are a bit of fun really!! Served warm with custard or ice cream and it even ventures into the realm of dessert.
Most of us have cranberry sauce kicking about the kitchen at this time of year, if not, use another jam or preserve.
Baking in a tin, as opposed to a tray, means that your flapjack gets a good bake and the top doesn’t burn (which happens). If you’re using a tray, just keep your eye on it.
These flapjacks freeze very well. Make a double batch. Emergency ‘jacks!
Add 1 heaped teaspoon of orange zest to take these onto another level.
Vegan Festive Flapjacks – Cranberry, Walnuts and Oats (Gluten-free)
The Bits – For 6 large slices, 12 small
150g jumbo oats (gluten-free or normal is fine)
50g sunflower seeds
25g chia seeds
1 teas ground cinnamon
75g brown sugar
50ml plant-based milk
100ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil (or other cold-pressed oil)
2 tbs cranberry sauce
75g dried cranberries
Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.
In a bowl, mix together your dry bits, crushing the walnuts up in your hands, making smaller pieces.
Measure your wet bits in a measuring jug, mixing them together.
Place 75g of your dry mix into a blender and blitz until it’s broken down, looking like flour. Add back to your bowl.
Mix the wet into the dry, until all is nicely combined. Then add the dried cranberries.
Line a large loaf tin with baking parchment, scoop in your mix and pack it into the corners, smooth off the top. Nice and neatly does it.
Place in the oven for 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges are nice and crispy.
Leave to cool a little in the tin. Ideally served warm with custard or ice cream, also nice cool with a cuppa.
Chia seeds are outrageously healthy! We add them to many dishes. Part of the mint family, these little blockbuster seeds are packed with protein (good balance of amino acids), fibre, omega-3 fats and are loaded up with anti-oxidants and minerals.
They were celebrated by many ancient cultures, the Mayan word for strength is actually ‘chia’!!