Every Thursday, I usually treat myself to a coffee and pastry from the cafe at London Fields Lido after my morning swim. Lately though, I have been making my own. Mainly tasty cinnamon buns that have been made in a large batch and frozen, but also on one occasion, croissants. These were not so great and definitely need working on…
I hadn’t had the time the last couple of weeks to make anything in advance, so bought a flapjack from the cafe after my swim last week. It was the first time I’d had one there; I normally go for the chocolate brioche, mmmm…. anyway, back to the flapjack! It was soft and chewy, but also crunchy at the edges where it had been slightly burnt. I’m not always a fan of seeds and dried fruit, but this flapjack with its apricots, pumpkin and sesame seeds was just what I needed post swim. Along with the oats, they made me feel human again.
Oats are thought to be quite healthy. They contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan which allows slower digestion, and apparently helps reduce cholesterol. There are loads of other benefits too, but you can probably find these for yourselves online. As my boyfriend and I commute by bike, our weekday (except Thursdays!) breakfast is usually a bowl of hot porridge that has been flavoured with cardamom, and topped with a few crushed, roasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey. This normally keeps me going until lunch time, so there must be something in the slow digestion theory. Flapjacks are obviously less healthy, but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of badness every now and then.
I don’t know why I hadn’t thought to make these before. They are perfect for after swimming and during long bike rides when you need to top up on protein and carbs. They’re also pretty good with your afternoon cup of tea. I reckon that’s probably the best time.
Fruity Seeded Flapjacks (makes 8)
65g demerera sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
200g porridge oats (don’t use jumbo oats – your flapjacks won’t set)
50g dried apricots, roughly chopped
50g sour cherries
50g shelled walnuts, roughly chopped (I used walnuts in their shell as I’d spotted them in the greengrocer, but ready shelled is more than fine)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC, and line a baking tray (mine was approx. 26cm x 20cm) with greaseproof paper.
Melt the butter in a pan with the sugar and golden syrup.
Add the rest of ingredients and mix well. Feel free to play around with and add different fruit, nuts and seeds – keep the total weight the same, otherwise the flapjacks will turn out too dry/wet.
Pour the mixture into the baking tray and pat down so it’s even.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cut into 8 equal size pieces once out of the oven but still in the tray. Allow the flapjacks to cool in the tray and set.