Flapjacks used to be my go-to for a sugar hit when doing exercise, but the butter and syrup used traditionally can leave you feeling cheated out of the hard work you are putting in. This recipe tastes decadent, but uses whizzed dates, prune juice and oil to create an emulsion that binds the mix without syrup or eggs. The soft texture makes the flapjacks easy to eat on the run and, as well as giving you an energy hit, the dates are full of fibre, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
A date is not simply a date. This recipe uses medjool dates as they have a rich, chewy texture. Deglet noor (regular) dates are smaller and don’t provide that viscous binding needed to mimic the syrup. Medjool dates are also higher in fructose, which means they taste sweeter.
100g medjool dates
100ml prune juice
100ml rapeseed oil
70ml set honey
70g malt extract
20 drops of orange oil
30g sunflower seeds
20g pumpkin seeds
150g porridge oats
100g ground almonds
50g chopped apricots
50g candied peel
Extra seeds for decorating (optional)
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/gas mark 6.
Lightly grease a 12-hole mini-loaf tin (a muffin tin will also work).
Gently simmer the dates and prune juice for three minutes.
Blend with the rapeseed oil until smooth. Add the honey, malt extract, orange oil and cinnamon, and pulse until smooth.
Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan, then mix together in a bowl with the oats, almonds, apricots and candied peel.
Pour in the date mixture and stir until combined.
Divide between the holes in the prepared tin and decorate with seeds if you want them to look fancy.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn out once cooled.
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