Lets be honest, we all love a treat. And just because we are trying to eat more healthy and cut out refined sugars from our diets, doesn't mean we can't enjoy something a little sweeter from time to time. Too much refined sugar in our diet leads to low grade inflammation within our bodies and can also lead to insulin resistance and eventually Diabetes Type II. So by ditching the sugar and replacing it with the occasional treat using natural sweeteners such as dried fruit or raw honey we are helping our bodies keep the inflammatory pathways in check.
I have used dates as my sweetener in this recipe and it is true to say that these are still sugars which get broken down in the body the same way as a more traditional baking sugar. However, when combined with the nutrient dense and protein packed nuts and seeds, this slows down the release of energy, stopping the blood sugar spikes.
These handy little flapjack squares are perfect snacks for little and big people, or can be used as a breakfast bar if you are on the run. Using buckwheat or quinoa flakes plus pumpkin, flax and chia seeds make them protein dense, whilst also providing omega 3 fats from the chia and flax. We’ve even managed to sneak in a vegetable in the form of beta-carotene packed carrots, which are essential for your immune system.
I would encourage you to just use the dates as the sweetener without the need for the raw honey, as these are supposed to be spicy and fragrant tasting. But for those with a sweeter tooth, you can add in some additional honey.
Ingredients. Makes 16
75g coconut oil
100g buckwheat or quinoa flakes
100g soft dates pitted
1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 medium carrot
1-2 apples (depending on size)
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
50g pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees C/170 degrees fan. Line 20 x 20cm baking tray or cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the coconut oil over a low heat and set aside.
Put the buckwheat/quinoa flakes into a food processor and blitz until you have a scruffy flour. Tip into a mixing bowl and add in the oats, desiccated coconut pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and ginger.
Put the dates into the food processor with 1 tablespoons of raw honey (you can leave this out if you think the dates will be sweet enough) and 4 tablespoons of water. Combine until you have a thick lumpy syrup. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
Peel and grate the carrot and the apple(s) and add these to the bowl, along with the melted coconut oil and the vanilla.
Mix really well until thoroughly combined and spoon into the lined baking tray. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon and push the mixture right to the edges. Smooth over with the spoon so the mixture is flat.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the mixture is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tray before removing to a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice into squares.
Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week but they are unlikely to last that long.....