Cakes & Bakes: Fruit and nut flapjack

Slice of home-made fruit and nut flapjack | H is for Home

I made one of my regular batches of fruit and nut flapjack this week. Not only is it the perfect accompaniment to a mug of tea, it also has some distinct health benefits.

Justin and I were both born in the 1960s, which means we’re getting on a bit! It’s perhaps time to start considering our health and brain function into old age.

It seems like diet could be a very important factor. Oily fish is often cited as great ‘brain food’, but nuts are also a fantastic source of cerebral nourishment.

Here’s a selection of commonly found (and tasty!) nuts and some of their recognised health benefits.

Chopped mixed nuts | H is for Home

  • Almonds are very high in vitamin E (good for glowing skin). They’re also a good source of omega-6 and 9 (poly)unsaturated fatty acids
  • Un-roasted walnuts contain twice as many antioxidants as other nuts or seeds
  • Brazil nuts are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium (a mineral important for cognitive function and a maintaining a healthy immune system). Eating just 2 give you 100% of the recommended daily allowance
  • Cashew nuts contain a high concentration of essential minerals including magnesium (thought to counter age-related memory loss), phosphorus and zinc
  • Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of manganese and thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • Flaxseeds have one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Useful in maintaining healthy brain and visual functions). Especially important if you’re vegetarian or vegan as it is most commonly found in oily fish
  • Whole sesame seeds are a very good source of iron (again, important for vegetarians and vegans)

Home-made fruit and nut flapjack before going into the oven | H is for Home

This flapjack is quick and easy to make – and is so delicious, that the health benefits are an additional bonus… and we didn’t even get started on the goodness of dried fruit!

Home-made fruit and nut flapjack cooling on a wire rack | H is for Home

Click here to pin our recipe for future reference!

Fruit and nut flapjack
Yields 9
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g butter
  2. 125g honey
  3. 350g rolled oats
  4. 50g dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, blueberries, dates, figs, apricots or a mix of any/all of these)
  5. 50g seeds and/or nuts, roughly chopped (linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds or a mix of any/all of these)Earl Grey tea and lemon cake ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2
  2. Put the butter into a large saucepan on a low heat. When the butter has melted, add the honey and stir to combine
  3. Turn off the heat, add the oats, dried fruit and nuts/seeds and mix well
  4. Put the mixture into a 23cm/9-inch shallow square cake tin and flatten down firmly with the back of a serving spoon
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned
  6. Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into squares or finger-shaped portions
Notes
  1. You can store the flapjacks for up to 3 days in an airtight greaseproof paper-lined tin or plastic container
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Step up your healthy eating game

Selection of healthy foodcredit

Gone are the days where you can just look at food and know where it’s been. Now, you don’t even know what’s in your food or where it comes from unless you read the packaging. Although there’s an abundance of unhealthy foods around, you’re by no means limited in your selection of healthy and tasty foods. Before you throw all caution to the wind with your eating habits, take some time to adjust them so you can enjoy better health.

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You can’t judge food by its appearance

Often times, you may use the appearance of your foods to determine whether or not they’re suitable for you to purchase and eat. However, many foods, especially processed ones don’t spoil or show signs of being poor in quality right away. Sometimes the best way you can judge your food is to sniff and taste it. If it smells or tastes like something that turns your stomach, then you may want to avoid eating it.

Of course, there are some foods and dishes in other cultures that may not look like many of the foods you’re accustomed to eating. However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid them.

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Storage appliances

Depending on where you live, your local climate and other environmental factors, you need to be careful about how you store your food. Some items cannot be left out at room temperature for too long or they’ll begin to spoil. You don’t want to waste any food that you spent time and money to get. Invest into some good food storage appliances like a refrigerator. If you plan to keep certain food items for several months in the freezer, you should use a deep freezer instead of the one on your refrigerator.

Deep freezers are designed differently and are made for freezing and storing foods for long periods of time. Also, your frozen food is better protected because you won’t open and close the door to the appliance as much which helps to keep prevent the viscous cycle of thawing and re-thawing your foods.

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Read the package

Sometimes food, no matter how good it looks, isn’t healthy for you. Some foods have a lot of unhealthy things in them that can ultimately affect the way you feel and look and your health. It can be the case that foods are made using questionable practices and equipment that may pose a risk to your health. Play it safe by paying close attention to the information that is on the packaging of the foods you buy.

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Kitchen design matters

The way you prepare and cook your food matters. Many people who have small kitchens try to minimize the time they spend in them because the lack of space affects their moods. A great way to make the tasks of food preparation and cooking more enjoyable is to design or decorate your kitchen so that it uplifts your mood and makes you want to be in it. Certain colours and accents can improve lighting and create visual effects that give the illusion of more space. Strategic storage cabinets and utensil placement can add more space and comfort into your kitchen as well.

Hamptoncreek food products

Buy better foods

You may need to spend a little more money just so you can eat foods that are of good quality. Certain manufacturers like Hamptoncreek Foods have an impressive line of plant-based food products that you can use to transform your health and taste buds in a healthy way. There’s nothing wrong with spending a little more money for quality.

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Make cooking a priority

If you struggle to find time to cook and spend more of your time eating fast food and processed meals, then you may need to make some adjustment to your schedule so you can adapt healthier eating habits. Pick one day out of the week to prepare your meals. Use that day to plan out your dinner menu for the entire week and complete any preparation work so all you have to do is to select a meal and put it into the oven. You should also consider doing all of your grocery shopping for the week on a designated day.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires you to be committed. Start making better food choices now so you can enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.

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