Food Challenge Recipe 13: Flapjacks!

The week I made these flapjacks it was my other half’s birthday and I had a week off. And he happened to request I made them – he loves flapjacks and I’d never made them before, but they looked pretty easy so I said yes!

For my American readers (you probably already know this, but….) flapjacks in the UK are not pancakes, but a baked sweet rolled oat-based square.

Happily, these flapjacks ended up being Vegan!

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I started with 175g of Vitalite (vegan sunflower spread) which I melted slowly on a low/medium heat.

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Then I added 175g of soft brown sugar, and 175ml of golden syrup.

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You’ve got to heat and stir this until all the sugar grains are dissolved.

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Then you take this off the heat and stir in 350g of porridge oats.

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I stirred half the oats in to coat and then the other half, just to ensure everything was coated properly.

I then pressed the mixture into a 20×20 cm pan which has been lined and greased, and pop into an oven at 150c for 25-30 mins.

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The top will be turning golden brown. I left the bake inside the tray until it was completely cool. At which point lifted the whole thing out using the sides of the paper, and I cut it into squares. I made about 16 squares.

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These flapjacks passed my husband’s taste test, and he even took some into work for his vegan workmates to enjoy! Being dairy-free I know what’s like to have to pass on all the goodies people bring into work, so it’s always nice to be able to say yes to a sweet treat now and then!

I give this recipe 10/10!

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Overnight Oats

I’m a little late to the party when it comes to overnight oats. I am aware that I seem to jump on the food bandwagon quite some time after everyone else. I hear kale is all the rage so I’ll probably start meddling with that in the autumn….

I decided it would be cool to try overnight oats after spotting a bag of Quaker rolled oats for 99p in my local Asda. For that price if I hated the result it wasn’t a huge loss. I’d seen a load of recipes on Pinterest and knew I had the ingredients to give it a go.

The first one I tried was oats, coconut milk, maple syrup and I topped it with blueberries the next day. It was immense. I made everything in about 3 mins the day before and the next morning I had a loose, cold, porridge like substance that was delicious and fresh and just what I needed.

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Since that day I have tried loads of different alternative mixes, using a basic 2/3 cup of oats, 2/3 cup of milk/coconut milk and 1 tbsp of something flavourful. So that might be maple syrup, nutella (delicious!) or pumpkin. I have also chucked in some chia seeds when I’ve fancied it for a little texture and additional protein. I tried my oats with greek yogurt and honey once, but I’m not sure I got the quantities right and it was a little thick. I’ve used different toppings too; blueberries, bananas and strawberries (these on the nutella oats were amazing!) I want to try some pecans on top soon.

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I also tried my basic mix with some lovely Drink Me Chai spiced chai latte powder and vanilla chai powder. I varied the amounts to get the right level of flavour for me, but they were a mellow and really tasty addition.

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The one I’ve made the most has been pumpkin spice, since I had a whole can of pumpkin to use once I’d opened it. This mixture consisted of the normal amounts of oats, coconut milk, maple syrup, a tbsp of pumpkin puree (or however much you want and how thick you want it to end up), half tbsp of chia seeds and 1/8 tsp of pumpkin spice (dependent on how strong you like it.)

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It tastes amazing. The oats take on the spice flavour and the pumpkin adds flavour and thickness. I can imagine adding pumpkin to hot porridge would be amazing too. I love porridge but as the weather turns for the better I prefer a cold breakfast. I’ve started making these oats just before bed and mixing it in a Sistema Breakfast To Go box, then just grabbing it out of the fridge in the morning to take to work and eat there.

 

I take out the part that sits on top because the level of the oats is too high to keep it in, but if I put less in I would be able to add the topping I want the night before and it would be kept separate and then just toss it on top before I eat it. It also has an in-built spoon! Perfect.

I’ve been a bit of an overnight oats bore to my friends and twitter followers of late so it was only a matter of time before I wrote a post about it. I really recommend it as a quick, easy, healthy and so versatile breakfast. It fills me up and I could never get bored with it since there are so many possible variations. I really want to try it with jam next!

Have you tried overnight oats? What are your favourite variations?

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