Apple and date flapjacks that are deliciously free from refined sugar. A great choice for anyone trying to reduce their sugar intake and/or eat more fruit. Brilliant for toddlers, babies, older kids and grown ups alike.
It's well known that oat-based snacks are a good healthy, energy giving snack. That's true for both adults and kids.
But a classic flapjack is packed full of sugar as well - they're usually made with both sugar and golden syrup. Making them a less than healthy choice.
These date flapjacks are different. They're sweetened naturally - no golden syrup in sight.
How are these date flapjacks sweetened?
These date flapjacks are free from refined sugar. They're sweetened with dates, apples and some syrup.
Ideally this will be date syrup too but agave or maple syrup are also good choices that are healthier options than regular sugar.
Because of this they do taste a lot less sweet than ordinary flapjacks.
However, they are really delicious nonetheless and my kids and husband devoured them.
Are these flapjacks suitable for babies?
Yes. Because they're lower in sugar than regular flapjacks they're a great choice for slightly older babies.
Many healthier flapjack recipes are sweetened with honey. This recipe uses date syrup, which is a great alternative to honey.
However, honey is unsuitable for under-ones. Using date syrup, and fruit, to sweeten these, means that you can give these flapjacks to a baby.
Not using honey also means they're suitable for vegans.
What other syrups could be used?
If you don't have any date syrup you could use:
- maple syrup
- agave syrup
- or leave it out completely for an even healthier bake.
What are flapjacks?
Flapjacks are bars or squares that are usually made with oats, butter, sugar and golden syrup. They often contain raisins or other dried fruit.
They are similar to what is known as granola bars or cereal bars in other parts of the world.
However, here in the UK a flapjack is quite distinct from a cereal bar. Flapjacks are chewy and extremely delicious but not always the healthiest of snacks.
This recipe for apple and date flapjacks is much healthier. It's free from refined sugar and is a great choice for a snack for kids.
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How to make apple and date flapjacks:
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Apple and date flapjacks
- 10 Medjool* dates around 130g once pitted
- 150 g dairy free butter or coconut oil
- 30 g pumpkin seeds or a mixture of seeds eg sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia
- 200 g oats
- 2 medium apples** 250g once cooked
- 5 tablespoons date syrup or agave syrup or maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
- First prepare your ingredients. Soak your dates if necessary* and cook your apple until you have a rough purée.
- If you are not using medjool dates you will need to soak your dates in hot water for 20 minutes before starting. You'll need 130g pitted dates.
- Peel and chop your apple - it'll need to be a large apple so use two if they're on the small side. Place in a small saucepan with a dash of water and cook over a low heat with the lid on until soft. Stir occasionally. Once cooked mash to a rough purée.
- Chop your seeds. A small food processor or spice grinder will make this easier.
- Drain your dates if soaking them. Chop your dates up into small pieces.
- Melt 150g melted dairy free butter (or coconut oil) in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave. If using the microwave melt for 20 seconds (or less at a time) then stir.
- Mix the melted butter with 200g oats, 30g chopped seeds, your chopped dates, cooked apple and 5 tbsp date syrup or alternative.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Use your hands to push it down very firmly. You may wish to cover it with a sheet of baking paper to do this or even roll a glass or jar over it to press it down. This is to help it hold together.
- Bake for 35 minutes until lightly golden but still soft. Remove from the oven and cut into squares while still warm.
- Leaving these flapjacks in the tin until cool will help them to stick together but they are delicious warm as well so wait as long as you can.