Though healthier than your average slice of cake, most flapjacks (also known as granola bars for any Americans out there) still contain a hefty amount of butter and sugar. This sometimes feels a little devious, since we seem to inextricably link oats with being almost obnoxiously healthy. Though you’ll not remain svelt on four slices of these Sunflower Seed Flapjacks per day, it is a recipe that contains half the fat and considerably less sugar than my previous flapjack recipes.
My chocolate and hazelnut flapjack recipe, for instance, contains a somewhat indulgent 200g of butter and more refined sugar than you could shake a cane at (resulting in damn fine granola bars, I must say). Whereas, these wondrously flavoursome sunflower seed flapjacks eschew much of the melt-in-your-mouth decadence and overriding sweetness of such devilish ingredients. As such, you really get to savour the nuttiness of the seeds (which also contain a handy amount of protein) and the almost caramel quality of the finely chopped fruit.
Of course, these flapjacks may not fit in as a showpiece bake, used to show off at a party or to friends. However, as a delicious every day snack – perfect for those New Year fads – they really take the biscuit.
Sunflower Seed Flapjacks
Makes 15-20 bars
• 300g jumbo oats
• 100g butter
• 3 tbsp golden syrup
• 2 tbsp set honey
• 25g dried cranberries
• 25g golden raisins
• 50g raisins
• 50g sultanas
• 150g sunflower seeds
• a pinch of salt
1. Grease and line a square cake tin roughly 30cmx30cm and preheat the oven to 170C. Gently melt together the butter, syrup and honey.
2. Meanwhile, very finely chop the dried fruit in a food processor until it starts to ball. Add the fruit to the pan and stir until fully incorporated.
3. Add the oats, seeds and salt to the pan and mix until uniform. Press the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool before cutting into 15-20 slices.
Cost: Though ingredients like dried cranberries, golden raisins and sunflower seeds may sound a little on the expensive side, they can be bought relatively cheaply if you shop around a little. Indeed, the dried fruit in particular is often found as part of a fruit mix, which is a perfectly acceptable ingredient. As such, these sunflower seed flapjacks should set you back no more than around £3.50.