This recipe evolved out of a need to have a nut free snack bar for my daughters’ lunch boxes. Both schools they attend have a nut free policy to protect those children with allergies, which for us can be quite limiting. Being vegetarian and dairy free we often rely on nut products for protein, good fats and lots of fab micronutrients. This policy, wipes out nut butter sandwiches, whole nuts as snacks and snack bars containing nuts or nut butters. So I wanted to develop something which was nut free, not full of refined sugar and brilliantly tasty too.
The flapjack recipe replaces the usual butter and sugar with coconut oil, honey (or a vegan alternative) and dates. The dates in the flapjack are reduced down to a pulp and act as a natural sweetener, while the figs create a moist filling, a lot like a fig roll! This recipe is so packed with good things, it’s perfect for an energy boost to little active bodies.
makes 12 bars
For the flapjack
- 75g of dates (65p)
- 100ml of water
- 50g of honey / agave / maple syrup (48p)
- 100g of coconut oil (£1.30)
- 25g of seeds – sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, linseed – optional.
- 170g of rolled oats* (34p)
For the filling
- 150g of dried figs – stalks removed and chopped (£1.55)
- 50ml of hot water
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (12p)
Heat the oven to 180 degrees c.
Either in a food processor, or with a knife, finely chop the dates and put them in a medium sized pan with 100ml of water, bring the dates to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until the dates have broken down and formed a lumpy paste, turn the heat down low and add the honey (or alternative) and coconut oil, once the ingredients have warmed through and dissolved into each other, add the oats and seeds if you are using them.
Meanwhile, in the food processor (no need to wash it after processing the dates) combine the ingredients for the filling. Process them until they form a thick paste.
Prepare a 25 cm square (or similar size) baking tin or dish with oiled parchment paper. Layer half the flapjack, then the fig paste and the the second half of the flapjack mixture, pressing each layer to the corners and smoothing it out with a palette knife. It may look a bit thin to start with, don’t worry, if your baking dish is the right size, it will come together just fine.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, the finished flap jack should be firm and lightly golden on top.
Using the parchment paper, lift the flapjack very carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely before cutting it into 12 pieces with a large, sharp knife.
These little dairy and nut free bars, packed full of coconut oil, seeds, organic dried fruit and chewy oats come in at 37p each.
* This could be substituted with 100g of rolled oats and 50g of quinoa flakes if you have such things to hand. They are quite expensive, and can be found in whole food stores, but they are an excellent way of getting more of this protein packed grain into your diet. I buy them in bulk to spread the cost and use them in porridge, baking and even pizza dough.