What do you snack on in the day time? Fruit? Chocolate? Biscuits or cake?
We all need a little pick me up during a long day or sometimes to help make the hours stuck at the office desk go just that little bit faster.
Marc and I vary snacks for work, ranging from cherry tomatoes, "snack bars", homemade cakes to fruit. Or whatever might be lying around, but it can get a little boring and you never truly know what is in something unless you've made it yourself.
Our recent drive to get fit and healthy again got us rethinking our diet, a bit. We've both started running (much needed exercise in a house that's always thinking about food) now is the time to think over a few other things.
A few less wine and beer bottles a week, but we need something that excites and challenges us, food.
We are taking time out again to meal plan at the weekend, surrounding ourselves in cookbooks and Delicious magazines to choose what we want to eat. Having a varied diet is so important for your gut health and I think for your metal health. Knowing everyday you have something new and delicious to cook is my idea of fun! Maybe some people's nightmare, but give it a go, open a few of those neat and tidy cookbooks, choose some dishes that excite you and cook...
My love of baking isn't always that conducive to low sugar, nourishing items, so one of my challenges has been to bake smart and healthy.
Falling quickly in love with a new cookbook, Good Good Food by Sarah Raven has made this a lot easier and this is where the healthy flapjack recipe has come from. I changed a couple of ingredients to suit what I like and they have come out a dream. Sweet from dates and filling from nuts and oats they are delicious. Thumbs up from us at No 12.
Sarah Raven's Healthy Flapjacks
For 12 bars:
60g almonds, roughly chopped
(I put the nuts together in a processor and lightly pulsed until broken up slightly)
40g walnuts, roughly chopped
( I used a mixture of hazelnuts and cashew nuts because we didn't have walnuts in)
140g stoned dates
100ml boiling water
160g rolled oats
80g desiccated coconut
20g sesame seeds
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
20g dried goji berries
1 medium egg, beaten
good pinch sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 heaped tbsp set coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 180C
Dry fry or toast the almonds and walnuts until just starting to colour. Then allow to cool.
Put three-quarters of the dates into a jug with the boiling water and leave to cool. Finely slice the remaining dates. When the dates are cool, pour them and the water into a food processor and blitz to a paste.
Put all the remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including the nuts. Add the date paste and mix well to combine.
Line a 24x18 cm tray with baking paper and spoon in the mixture. Pressing down firmly and evenly so you get an even thickness. Score the tray into the number of bars you want to make.
Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the top is golden. Leave to cool in the baking tray. The bars set as they cool.
Once cool, cut the slabs into bars along the lines you scored before baking. Store in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks or freeze.