Homemade & FreeFrom Energy ‘Flapjacks’ (or ‘Bites’!) [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-16
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40mins
Cooling Time: 20mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega 3 & 6, phosphorus, zinc and per serving is low in salt and has a moderate quantity of added, sugar and fat!

We simply love oats! From a simple and tasty bowl of porridge to some delicious muffins or slightly more indulgent crumbles or flapjacks! With all of this cooler weather that has suddenly rolled in, we are definitely craving fuel, an oaty-based snack…which got us thinking; a while ago we tried a leading plant-based bar which had ‘peanut flour’- gorgeous to say the least but at 90p a bar you can forget it!

So last week we decided to prepare an ‘almost’ flapjack with two great food loves of ours (peanut butter and oats!). So, ‘almost’ because the texture is slightly spongy and not crispy and/or oily, simply because it does not contain a tonne of typical golden syrup and butter, in addition to the fact that ground peanuts and peanut butter do not make it very authentic either! 

As the bars are energy packed, we’d advise to halve them into ‘bites’ and enjoy them as a healthy snack on the go, for those colder winter days to come; whether you’re out Christmas shopping or enjoying a long wintery walk in the snow! However, enjoy them as an occasional bar and save yourself a few pennies!

Overall we were happy with the result! There is certainly a huge margin for adapting these lovelies- let the sky be your limit! In terms of alterations, there isn’t many. We have advised using a little more milk, a little less flax and that the dried cranberries are optional, but you could reduce the quantity and just keep a few for added texture! If you want to help reduce the fat, try using less peanut butter or adapting the recipe with almonds instead. We definitely recommend toasting the peanuts, or any nuts that you use before grinding them (we forgot to!); it’ll really help bring out their lovely nuttiness! 

We think that these bars were just sweet enough, but it you have a ‘sweeter tooth’ than us you could perhaps try:

  • using a sweetened protein powder or DF milk. 
  • adding some ripe and mashed banana (or your favourite fruit!). 
  • omitting some of the cranberries and/or dates for more fruit syrup or try using some fresh fruit juices (apple, pineapple etc.) instead! Of course you could always try omitting the syrup altogether and just use ripe bananas- they always make everything really (naturally) sweet!

Happy GF, DF and refined sugar free baking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

++++++++7                Pitted Dates (60g)
++++++++55g            Unsalted Peanuts (toasted)
++++++++2 tsp          Virgin Coconut Oil (20g)
++++++++¼ Cup       Natural Peanut Butter (80g)
++++++++30g           Soya Isolate Powder (unsweetened)
++++++++1¼ cup      Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
++++++++2 cups       Porridge Oats (GF if required) (180g)
++++++++1½ Tbsp    Ground Flax Seed (30g)
++++++++1-2             Pinches Table Salt
++++++++1 tsp          Ground Cinnamon (3g)
++++++++¼ Cup       Fruit Sweetener (Your favourite: agave, carob, date, etc!) (55g)
++++++++1/3 cup     Dried Cranberries (Naturally sweetened)*Optional (50g)

 

Nutrition:

 

Directions:

1. Place the dates into a bowl. Pour in some freshly boiled water, enough to cover them. Cover the bowl with a large plate. Allow to soak for 8-10 mins.

 

2. In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the peanuts. Dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer into a food processor. Pulse until a ‘fine-ish’ flour is achieved. Transfer the ground peanuts into a large mixing bowl. Tip: Fancy some added texture? Save some of the nuts, roughly chop and then add them into the raw flapjack mixture later on!

 

3. Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon. Transfer them into the food processor with 6-8 tbsp of its ‘soaking’ water. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the coconut oil and peanut butter. Pulse until smooth and combined.

 

4. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease (or line with a liner) an 8X8″ baking tin.

 

5. Place the protein powder into a shaker bottle (or just use a large bowl if you do not own one). Add the milk. Shake (or whisk if applicable) until all of the powder has dissolved.

 

6.  …Time to work those biceps! 🙂

NB: Add the milk and the date mixture into the ‘well’ at the same time and mix together. Do not mix the milk and the date mixture separately (as we have shown here); it’s easier to do it all in one simultaneous step…but the choice is yours! 🙂

  • Place the oats, ground flaxseed, salt and cinnamon into the same bowl as the ground peanuts. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Make a well in the centre of the oaty mixture.
  • Pour the milk and date mixture into the ‘well’.
  • Using a silicone spatula or large spoon mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the dried cranberries and/or chopped pieces of peanuts (if applicable). Stir through. Tip: The mixture will be a bit ‘tacky’, but this is OK!

 

7. Place the mixture into the greased tin. Use the back of your spatula or a piece of parchment paper to help press it evenly down into the tin, making it as flat and as even as possible.

 

8. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 16-19 mins or until just lightly browned and firm to touch. Remove and allow the mixture to cool in the tin for 20 mins before slicing (that’s just enough time to make and have a perfectly cooled cup of tea!).

Tip: Loosen the sides of the baked mixture with a dinner or palate knife before slicing. Also slice the mixture into rectangles/’bars’ and then remove and allow them to cool on a cooling rack before slicing into smaller ‘bites/squares’.

We baked ours for 18 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

Our ‘bites’ ready for the freezer!

Enjoy!

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Banana & Berry Soya Muffins

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 12
Prep & Cooking Time: 60-70 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium and is low in salt and saturated fats!

We went through a phase last year where we were making loads of these muffins! This is a recipe that we both enjoy and recommend! 

Ever since we began our vegan journey, our sweet tooth has slowly become a thing of the past! Which is why these muffins do not contain any added sugar. The ripe bananas and berries add a wholesome, natural sweetness; use fresh berries for an even sweeter taste! 

These muffins are gluten free (GF), but they are are not your typical GF product (you know what we mean!)… they are not dry, nor do they burst into a pile of crumbs as soon as you take a bite! They have a spongy texture (obviously less moist than a classic muffin- which contains butter, milk and sugar!) with plenty of flavour.

Feel free to experiment; try altering the fruit and flavourings as you see fit! We would also encourage you to use some wholemeal flour (if gluten is not a concern) instead- just make sure to omit the xanthan gum as it won’t necessary. 

 

Quick(ish) Foodie Facts:

  • Porridge oats are a versatile and low-GI food that also provide a good source of soluble fibre (in the form of beta-glucan); which has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels (*when consuming a minimum of 3g of beta-glucans/D as part of a healthy diet), e.g. a bowl of porridge containing 30g of oats and 2 tbsp. of oatbran sprinkled over some yoghurt, soup or stew would be suffice.  
  • Soya isolate is a versatile and high protein food source also containing iron, calcium and all of the essential amino acids- which includes tryptophan (which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin!); literature has shown that a drop in tryptophan can cause a corresponding drop in brain serotonin production, which therefore can cause mood swings and memory impairment.

Soya products have also been shown to actively lower cholesterol levels and therefore reduce your risk for heart disease (*when consuming 25g of soya protein/D as part of a healthy diet), e.g. a 250ml glass of soya milk and 75g of silken hard tofu or 85g of edamame beans would be plenty.

  • Ground flaxseed is a versatile, high fibre and low GI food containing omega three oils, polyunsaturated fats, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc; it makes a good ‘food fortifier’! 
  • Baking powder is high in calcium. Make sure you throw a little extra into your recipe the next time you bake; we did and it added an extra 347mg of calcium to our muffin batter! 

 

 

We didn’t use the sunflower seeds (they were going to be a ‘topping’)!

 

 

Ingredients:

++++++++++++++++++++140g      Frozen berries (or fresh)
++++++++++++++++++++100g      Porridge oats (Coeliac friendly if needed)
++++++++++++++++++++480ml   Soya milk (unsweetened and fortified)
++++++++++++++++++++40g        Soya isolate
++++++++++++++++++++               1 ‘Flaxegg’ (16g flaxseed mixed w/3 tbsp. water)
++++++++++++++++++++310g      Banana flesh (approximately 3 ripe bananas!)
++++++++++++++++++++60ml     Rapeseed oil
++++++++++++++++++++4g          Vanilla essence
++++++++++++++++++++220g     Plain GF flour (if needed)
++++++++++++++++++++8g          Baking powder (GF if needed)
++++++++++++++++++++5g          Baking soda
++++++++++++++++++++4g          Xanthan gum
++++++++++++++++++++8g          Ground cinnamon
++++++++++++++++++++               Salt (just a pinch!)
++++++++++++++++++++10g         Vegan spread (low fat)

 

 

Nutritional Info:

 

 

Directions:

Place the berries into a microwavable dish. Defrost in the microwave!

These are defrosted! NB: We used a ‘mixed berry’ pack, but we normally opt for just blueberries!

 

 

Meanwhile, place the oats into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Place the milk into a ‘shaker cup’. Add the isolate. Cover. Shake until mixed.

Alternatively, whisk the milk and isolate in a mixing bowl (add the milk first though).

 

 

Pour the milky isolate mixture into the oats. Whisk together. Leave the oats to soak for approximately 10 minutes.

 

 

Create the ‘flaxegg’. Place the flaxseed into a small dish. Add the water. Stir until combined. Leave for approximately 5 minutes.

 

 

Peel and place the banana into a separate mixing bowl. Mash.

 

 

Add the oil, ‘flaxegg’ and vanilla.

 

 

Mix together.

 

 

Place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt) into a separate, large mixing bowl. Mix together.

 

 

Grease the muffin tin with the spread using some parchment paper (or for a ‘0 calorie’ approach- line them with ‘paper muffin casings instead!).

We find this GF mixture sticks to paper casings…so we prefer to grease the tin! Perhaps a silicone muffin mould would work better all round?!

 

 

Add a little flour. Shake and tip the flour around to coat the sides of the tin.

NB: We used approx. 10g of flour for this step.This flour will give the mixture something to ‘climb’ when it’s baking (hopefully it stops them from collapsing!)

 

 

Heat the oven to 190°C/380°F.

 

 

Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the dry ingredients.

 

 

Add the banana mixture.

 

 

Stir and fold until combined.

NB: The mixture will be quite ‘tacky’.

 

 

Add the oat mixture.

 

 

Stir until combined.

NB: The mixture will be quite thick/dense at this stage- this is completely normal!

 

 

Add the berries.

 

 

Fold them into the batter.

NB: We haven’t squashed the berries! The batter has gone slightly purple from the ‘berry juices’ created in the microwave!

 

 

 

 

Spoon and distribute the mixture evenly among the muffin cases.

 

 

Top with some spare oats and a dash of spice, seeds, crushed  nuts, a berry or a slice of banana if desired.

We used another small banana (it weighed aprox. 80g without the skin). 🙂

 

 

Place into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

 

 

Reduce the heat to 180°C/360°F. Bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown/firm to the touch.

 

 

Remove. Allow them to cool/set in the tin for 5 minutes before removing.

They may not look perfect, but they are made with love 😀

 

 

Enjoy!

Juicy blueberries!  So delicious!

 

 

 Place in a resealable container; consume within 3-5 days (potentially sooner; temperature permitting). Alternatively, freezing them is a great option! They can be frozen for 1-2 months; just defrost before eating of course!

 

 

If preferred….

  • Add some grated orange or lemon zest.
  • Maybe try using a lemon, orange or almond extract instead of vanilla essence; using vanilla extract is also fine!
  • Add ground ginger instead of cinnamon.
  • If you prefer an even sweeter taste, add a little honey or agave syrup.