Refined Sugar-free Apricot Orange & Almond flapjacks

Good morning!

I am off travelling again. I left the rest of the family sleeping early in the morning and headed to the airport to fly to New York. I have started this thing where I only travel with hand luggage and yes it is possible. I will do a blog post on travelling light soon. I love doing it this way as it means I can swiftly move through baggage claim and customs and jump into the car into the City. I like to travel with food, just in case I get too tempted by all the goodies such as crisps, chocolate and everything in between. These flapjacks are the perfect travel companion. Portable, quick to make and with a leaning towards being better for you. They are refined sugar-free but they do have sugar in. I do get frustrated when I see sugar free recipes which actually contain things like dates, honey, and agave… all which are types of or contain sugar!  The saving grace of these which use dates as a sweetener means that you get less of an insulin spike (due to their fibre content)  followed by a sugar crash like you would with say, honey, maple and caster sugar. This recipe is from my new book bake available here  Recipe below…

Last night I went for a stroll and purchased some food from Indikitch super healthy, very spicy (I underestimated just how spicy it would be). On the way back I walked through Madison Square Park which is home to the ubiquitous ShakeShack The place where good burgers and fries are made… the queue was off the scale, about 100 people deep all queuing up for a burger and a  sit down in the 91f/31c mini heat wave.

I took my salad with Goan fish back to the hotel and ate it in the quiet of my hotel room, swathed in hose glorious white bath robes they have in hotel rooms sometimes, whilst binge watching episodes of shark tank (the US version of The Dragons Den).

 

I am shooting an episode with Bobby Flay today which I am totally psyched about. Cannot wait. But first though I am going to go to the gym and pump a little bit of iron. Just a little. Where would I be without my cakes and weights?

Have a lovely day!

Lorraine xxx

And here is the recipe for you.

 

100g blanched almonds, finely chopped

175g pitted dates (Medjool or any sticky dates are good)

240ml water
250g porridge oats

100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped

zest of 1⁄2 orange
pinch of sea salt flakes

pinch of ground cinnamon

seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract

50g sesame seeds

50g sunflower seeds

50g toasted pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp melted extra- virgin coconut oil or 3 tbsp melted bu er

Equipment

20cm square cake tin

blender or food processor

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the baking tin with baking parchment. I make sure there is some extra baking parchment hanging over the edges – this makes it easier to pull out the flapjacks once they are ready.

Spread the almonds out in a small baking tray and cook in the oven for 3–4 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them as they do catch quickly. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool.

Put the dates in a blender (or you can use the smaller bowl of a food processor if you have that attachment) and add the water and blitz to a paste. Tip this into a large bowl along with the toasted almonds, oats, apricots, orange, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Mix to combine and then mix in the coconut oil or bu er.

Tip the mixture into the lined tin and squish down with a wooden spoon – spending a li le bit of time doing this will stop the flapjacks from falling apart when you cut them. I use my full body weight to really push down on it! Using a sharp knife, mark out sixteen squares and pop the flapjacks into the oven for 18–20 minutes.

When the flapjacks are baked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool a li le bit, then carefully remove from the tin using the overhanging baking parchment. Cut into the sixteen squares to serve.

Why not change the apricots to your favourite dried fruit and substitute the almonds with another nut – hazelnuts or pistachios would also be delicious.

makes 16

Big love xxx