Are Flapjacks Healthy For Me?
How many times do we grab chocolate biscuits, a piece of cake or even crisps when we are in a rush and hungry? When it’s one of those quick fix sugar craving moments, especially at the office, you can find that your concentration is lagging and you need a quick edible pick me up to muster some strength. Forget all those additives, artificial colors and flavorings from the junk food in the vending machines, you can make flapjacks instead at home and there are many reasons why. Not only are they quick and simple to prepare and bake, you will also have the added advantage for your health of knowing all the ingredients that have gone into them. In addition, it could also help you to stop being ripped off financially by all the overpriced energy bars out there too. Fresh is best and that goes for most foods for a healthier lifestyle.
Flapjacks are a fantastic alternative to breakfast, or great as a snack on the go. You can freeze them for up to a month or keep them fresh in an airtight container for at least a week. Porridge oats are a slow-release energy carbohydrate food and this means that it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Hopefully this then translates that you shouldn’t need to snack in between your meal times. Also, oats are an excellent source of protein and B vitamins so as if we couldn’t find enough good reasons to try oats already, they also happen to be high in fibre and so are great for reliving constipation.
But back to our recipe, and this one couldn’t be more simple! There is barely any cooking or baking involved besides mixing the ingredients into a pan and heating it up. So there are no excuses if you aren’t very good at cooking or baking of any sort! You should be able to give this recipe a go and you won’t go too far wrong in the taste of the resulting flapjacks! So let’s look at these 4 simple ingredients that you will need; you probably already have them all lying around your kitchen, so go and check those cupboards for them now and we can start baking!
- 225g Porridge Oats
- 150g Butter
- 75g Caster Sugar
- 2 tbsps honey or golden syrup (either)
- (Own choice of dried fruits and/or nuts)
*Before we get started, preheat your oven to 180 C /350 F/ Gas 4
Add all the ingredients to a medium sized pan on a low to medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, gradually bring the mixture together. It will be easier to add all the dry ingredients first and then to add either your golden syrup or honey last to the mixture. The mixture will get sticky and more difficult to work with as you go but try to be patient and as it heats up, it should all come together nicely.
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Now that you have made the flapjacks all that is left to do is essentially to bake them! So lightly grease a baking tin with butter and spoon your flapjack mixture into the tin. Be sure to evenly distribute the mixture to the bottom of the baking tin so that your flapjacks will be nice and even in their shape. I find pressing another baking tin, or a flat plate over the top can help give a nice, smooth and even texture to the top surface of the flapjacks. Be careful doing this especially if your mixture is still slightly hot. If you have any additional berries such as dried cranberries or some flaked almonds or raisins for example, you can either add them all into the mix as you go or decorate the top of the flapjacks with them so that the flavor is packed more on the surface. An additional way to cram in flavor into your flapjacks would be to add a touch of lemon juice or even some ginger if you are feeling more adventurous.
Now place your flapjacks in the oven at 180 C / 350 F/ Gas 4 for 25 minutes or until the top of the mixture is a nice, golden brown color. Leave them to cool before you tuck in or remove them from the tin! Once cooled, serve with fresh fruit such as strawberries, frozen yogurt or even just on their own as a delicious, wholesome snack! Flapjacks are great either on the go or equally as part of a picnic. So even if you really aren’t very good in the kitchen, flapjacks could be the way to go for you to get started baking. Enjoy!
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If you are into athletics or someone who is very much into fitness, exercise and healthy living generally then you may enjoy the flapjack option for its slow release energy properties. However, did you know that you could also mix in a protein powder to this recipe for added health benefits?
Adding this combined with nuts and berries will be extremely good for you and on the plus side, you can know all the ingredients that went into making it. Simple, quick and easy to prepare, flapjacks have got to be up there on my top healthy snacks list! So get baking and give making flapjacks a try today!
Check out the video below from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s as one of their family recipe writers called Holly Bell makes flapjacks with a difference as they include a jammy layer in the middle, a tasty alternative to try out at home.