I have had a lot of fun working on a recipe for something between a flapjack and a cereal bar trying to make it the ultimate pre-swimming session energy booster while keeping it healthy and appealing to a young person's taste buds. Starting from a Good Housekeeping recipe, I have made several changes: butter has partly given way to coconut oil, the amount of sugar has been considerably reduced and completely substituted with light muscovado while the golden syrup, necessary as glueing agent, has been halved using low GI agave syrup and unpasteurised honey.
A teaspoon of anti inflammatory ground ginger, chia seeds for extra energy and Omega 3, pumpkin or sunflower seeds for essential minerals (Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and Iron among others) and some dried fruit (currants and sour cranberries or barberries) complete the bulk of dry ingredients added to the huge amount of Flahavans organic porridge oats. Even the selection of the oats has not been left to chance as I find the average porridge oats to be too dusty to produce a flapjack that doesn't break up, especially with the reduced amount of golden syrup.
This flapjack is great for bridging the 30 minutes gap required by the body to start processing liver stored glycogen from and earlier meal rather than tucking into the body proteins, thus impairing performance and muscle building.
200g unsalted butter
50g coconut oil
150g caster sugar – light muscovado
70g golden syrup
30g agave syrup (or honey, no need to buy a bottle just for this)
425g porridge oats (I find Flahavans work best as they are not dusty)
50g sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
2-3tbsp chia seeds
1tbsp ground ginger
30g cranberries (chopped, optional)
20g chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C. Grease or line with baking parchment a baking tin measuring 25x25cm or use a tin of similar dimensions. Place the butter, sugar, honey and syrups into a heavy based saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the butter has melted.
In a large bowl mix the fruit, nuts and seeds to the porridge oats, then add the ginger and chia seeds. Once the butter has melted remove from the heat and incorporate to the porridge oats until evenly coated insyrup. then turn the mixture into the prepared tin levelling the surface.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until deep golden around the edges. After 5-10 minutes outline with a sharp knife the slices or it might prove too hard to cut once completely cold. Leave in the tin until nearly cold before attempting to remove it or it will break up.
If you decide to use barberries, like in the pictures, it is best to soak them in water before adding them or the ones on the surface simply burn to oblivion.