Homemade Flapjacks

A friend recently told me that I had really arrived in London now that I was making homemade flapjacks. I have to admit that when I first arrived here I wasn’t sure what a flapjack was–but if you are like me and love oatmeal cookies, cinnamon, dried fruits, and tasty treats, this will soon become a new favorite of yours. It also provides a great snack that doesn’t have any refined sugar. It is definitely a pregnancy must for me. So mix up, eat up and enjoy!

flapjack

The basis for this recipe I found in Deliciously Ella (a great new cookbook that I highly recommend). I have doctored it up and come up with the following:

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup finely hopped nuts (I like a mixture of cashews, almonds and macadamia)
  • 8 medjool dates, chopped in small pieces
  • 6 dried figs or 1/4 cup dried apples, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup crushed corn flakes
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 tbs maple syrup
  • 6 tbs nut butter (my favorites are raw almond butter or hazelnut/raisin butter)
  • 4 tbs coconut oil (and more for greasing the pan)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 356 F
  2. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan with coconut butter
  3. Place oats in a mixing bowl with crushed corn flakes, nuts, chopped fruit and cinnamon. Mix together.
  4. In a large frying pan heat the mashed ripe bananas, maple syrup, nut butter and coconut oil over low heat until it forms a thick liquid like substance.
  5. Mix the heated mixture into the oat mixture. Mix until there is an even-ish consistency.
  6. Place mixture into the greased pan and smooth into the pan with a spatula to create an even, pressed layer of flapjack.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is just starting to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool before slicing up the flapjack squares. If the flapjacks look overdone pour a little bit of juice or water on top to moisten the mixture.
  9. Eat up!

Note: You can use any dried fruits you have on hand if you don’t have (or want to by the recommended fruits). For example, you could also try raisins, cranberries and/or apricots.

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Black Bean Brownies

Yes, you read correctly, black bean brownies. Here is a gluten-free, flour-less, low fat brownie that won’t spike your blood sugar. Corey says he can taste the black beans (in a good way) but most of my testers couldn’t guess the secret ingredient. In fact, I just attended a picnic and these brownies were the first to go–kids were drooling. The initial recipe comes from the blog Skinnytaste. I stayed fairly true to their recipe but added in some coconut yogurt to make the texture a bit more moist. It is nice to have brownies you can feel really good about eating, right?

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Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 14 oz can of low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained (a little less than 2 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened soy milk (or dairy, skim, almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (or regular yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or a chocolate bar chopped into small pieces

1.Turn oven to 175 C or 375 F. Grease a 9″x 5″ (or 9″ x 9″) baking pan.

2. Place rinsed beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, soy milk, yogurt, balsamic vinegar, baking powder, baking soda and ground coffee into a bowl. Blend until smooth.

3. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar).

4. Pour mixture into greased pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until just cooked through.

Banana Kate

This recipe has been a staple for me for years. I make it for everyone. My friends love it and I hope you will too!

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Banana Kate

  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 egg (hopefully from happy chickens or local farmers)
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, sunflower or canola oil)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar (preferably brown)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs yogurt (coconut or plain)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325 f/ 160 c

2. Grease and flower 9″x5″ baking pan

3. Mash peeled bananas and combine with egg. Mix in flour and sugar, then add the oil and yogurt. Stir to combine.

4. Add spices, vanilla and baking soda.

5. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes (check around one hour to see if it is cooked through–different ovens have different timings).

Serve hot with more yogurt, nut butter, applesauce or butter…

Easy Banana Ice Cream

This is one of our favorite desserts during the summer. It is crazy simple and always pleases our guests (and you feel good eating it because there is no added anything). Smother it in chocolate, add some berries or peanut butter, or just eat plain. Everything works.

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Easy Banana Ice Cream

  • 4 ripe bananas (1 banana per serving)
  • whatever toppings you desire

1. Peel bananas and break into 3rds (this helps with the blending later on).

2. Place bananas into a freezer safe container and freeze (a few hours will do the trick).

3. Remove and let thaw for about 15 minutes (you can play around with this time to get desired consistency). Blend the frozen bananas.

4. Add whatever toppings you like and eat up!

TOPPING IDEAS:

  • Add in a tbs of peanut butter or almond butter and honey
  • Cover in chocolate sauce or add chocolate chips/shavings
  • Add berries (frozen berries also work)
  • Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg on top

Vegan Zucchini Pasta

This recipe goes out to Annie K. for her birthday on the 6th. She introduced me to the “veggetti” spiral vegetable cutter. (You can find various versions of it on Amazon: click here.) It basically makes veggies into spaghetti like noodles with a twist of the hand. I am not totally convinced yet as you are not really able to spiral the veggies onto a fork. But It does open up a whole new way to cut and eat vegetables. This dish I created from a vegan pasta dish I found on The Simple Veganista. Below is an image of her recipe.

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I spiced it up a bit (with Corey’s help) and added in a few extra veggies I needed to use up in the fridge. We are leaving to go on our honeymoon shortly (yes, almost a year after we got married; but hey, at least we are going) so we have to clean out the fresh produce. I am doing my best to use things up but our veggie box from the local London CSA arrived last Thursday and we are only about half way through as of now. Anyway, here is an image of the dish I put together.

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Corey took the photo as I have yet to get my photographic energy up to snuff. Maybe while we are eating tons of fresh food on our honeymoon? Anyway, below is the basic recipe. NOTE: you don’t have to use the cauliflower and tahini, you can substitute other root veggies or whatever you have in your fridge (including snow peas, asparagus, etc).

Vegan Zucchini Pasta (for Annie a day or two before her birthday)

Serves 4

  • 4 zucchini (basically use 1 zucchini per person), spiraled
  • 3-4 tbs coconut oil (or olive oil) for flash frying zucchini noodles
  • 1 carton of grape, cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved or sliced small
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 bunch of rocket/arugula
  • 2 carrots, spiraled
  • 1 head cauliflower, sliced into small florets
  • 1/4 cup tahini (for roasted cauliflower–don’t need if you’re not using)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado for garnish

Dressing

  • 1 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves (or 3/4 tbs dried basil)
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews or almonds
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tbs sweet white miso
  • 1 tbs olive oil (or flax oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 pepper

1. Preheat oven to 360 F or about 170 C if using cauliflower.

2. Prepare your zucchini and carrot noodles julienne style or spiraled.

3. Place all the ingredients for the dressing into a food processor/blender and process until creamy. Taste for flavor and add extra to taste.

4. Chop cauliflower head into small florets. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toasty brown, turning once or twice. Remove from oven and over with tahini paste and mix.

5. Chop tomatoes in small pieces (or in half if using mini or cherry tomatoes). Chop 1/2 red onion into small pieces. Mix together and cover with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (If you have sumac, add a pinch but it isn’t necessary).

6. Place 1/2 coconut oil into a frying pan and medium/low heat. Once the oil has melted, place two zucchinis worth of noodles into the pan and stir to cover oil. Heat for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally. If the noodles start to become mushy remove from heat. You want them to keep their noodle texture. Place the other 2 tbs of coconut oil into the pan and flash heat the rest of the zucchini (if you are making for four people). In a large bowl mix the zucchini with the sauce, toss lightly.

7. Place a handful of arugula onto four bowls or plates (two if only making for two people). Divide and place the zucchini and sauce on each place, add a small handful of spiraled carrots, a spoonful or two of the tomato mixture, a few sliced pieces of avocado, and a spoonful of the tahini cauliflower. Place another dollop of sauce on top of the plate and a piece or two of basil for garnish.

NOTE: you can also skip tossing the zucchini with the dressing and just add it to the top at the end.