Not only are these no bake flapjacks super easy to make and deliciously moist, they are dairy-free, wheat-free and packed full of phytosterols and phytoestrogens. Eating phytoestrogenic foods (grains, edible seeds & their oils, beans, leafy greens, fruits & berries, olives & oil, roots vegetables, garlic and pomegranate) can help boost the health of both men and women tremendously. Rewarding all of us with renewed vigour and improved concentration levels, whilst having a positive impact on how we feel generally.
The biochemistry of food-bound phytosterols and phytoestrogens is an area of intense research. They compete with cholesterol for absorption so help keep cholesterols levels healthy. They nourish the endocrine glands. According to some of the research and alternative approaches to health, phytosterols and phytoestrogens can also help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, arthritis, osteoporsis and menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes (or power surges as I like to call them) in women.
My other half takes two to work each day and they provide him with enough sustenance until he comes home … that pretty amazing as he has a very physical job which is also mentally demanding!
Whether you make and eat these flapjacks for their health benefits or because they just make a great breakfast / brunch or lunch bar for all ages. They taste great, leave you feeling fuller for longer and require no cooking. What’s not to love?
This recipe is based on an unbaked rivercottage flapjacks recipe by Alice Meller, wife of Gill, Group Head Chef at River Cottage. I like to rely on the natural sweetness of the fruit, so I substitute the honey in Alice’s recipe with two eating apples. I have also played around with the seed and dried fruit mix.
Just blitz the dates, prunes, bananas, apples and coconut oil to a thick, fruit-flecked purée. Mix the oats, mixed dried berries & raisins, apricots and seeds in a large bowl, combine the dry and purée ingredients together, press into a prepared tin (20 x 20cm) refrigerate 3+ hrs (pref. overnight), before cutting into yummilicous bars. Voilà
Give them a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Why not vary the dried fruit and seeds mixes to your favourites …. variety is the spice of life.
Here’s what you need:
50g pitted dates, roughly chopped
50g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
2 ripe or slightly over-ripe medium bananas, peeled and roughly sliced
2 medium eating apples cores removed & chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
200g medium porridge oats, or jumbo oats
50g mixed dried berries & raisins *
50g unsulphured ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped
25g chia seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
* I buy packets of mixed berries from my local health food shop, containing cranberries (24%), flame raisins (24%), golden raisins (20%), golden berries (16%), gojiberries (12%) & blueberries (4%)
Here’s what you do:
Line a shallow baking tray (about 20 x 20cm) with cling film (or greaseproof if you prefer)
Put the chopped dates, prunes, bananas, apples in a food processor with the coconut oil and blitz to a thick fruit-flecked purée.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, raisins, chopped apricots and seeds.
Add the purée to the bowl of mixed dried ingredients. Stir in the purée, mixing well with metal spoon until all the dry ingredients are coated and everything is nicely combined.
Tip the fruity, seedy, oaty mixture into your prepared tin and gently but firmly press it into down … don’t forget the corners. I find it easier to start with about half the mixture and press it level in the tin before adding the rest to finish off.
Get it as even and level as you can.
Put the tray in the fridge for at least 3 hours to allow the flapjack to set. The bars are even better if left over night in the fridge to allow the dried fruit, chia seeds and oats to soften. Turn out on to a board and slice into bars.
Transfer to a plastic container between layers of baking parchment and store in in the fridge. Best eaten within a week or so.