Super Gooey Flapjack

I have a few people visiting in the next couple of days and was trying to think of something quick and easy to bake. I haven’t baked since before baby and it felt like time to get my bake on. But what to make?

I fancied something oaty and was originally toying with the idea of some no bake peanut butter oat balls but one of my guests doesn’t like peanut butter (I know, I know – I  didn’t know that was a real thing either!) and I couldn’t be bothered getting sticky hands from rolling gooey balls out. 

I settled on the idea of flapjack. My mum makes amazing flapjack. I have always been envious of her flapjack making skill. I am a slightly* competitive person and needed to win the flapjack battle. I’ve tried for years to make a decent vegan flapjack. The results have ranged from break your teeth hard to flaky crumbly sawdust and finally to soggy oats in treacle. At last though, I have perfected the winningest winner of a recipe. It’s the best. So good that I may** have eaten half the tray all by myself. 

Super Gooey Flapjack

Ingredients

10 Tbsp dairy free margarine

1 and 1/4cups brown sugar

7 Tbsp golden syrup

 3 and 3/4 cups oats

Instructions 

  1. Line a deep baking tray with grease proof paper. 
  2. Melt syrup , sugar and margarine in the microwave. Stir well. 
  3. Pour this mixture over the oats and mix thoroughly. Try to eat less than half of the mixture. Good luck. 
  4. Press into the baking tray. 
  5.  Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 28-30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool partially and then cut into pieces. 

*I am the most competitive person. Ever. 

** I did. 

Clean Vs Healthy Eating

I don’t think I had heard the term ‘clean eating’ this time two years ago. I had definitely heard of healthy eating though. Like many other food fads, ‘clean eating’ seems to come with many problems. 

You can keep your juice cleanses, your 5-2 diets and your raw before 4. However, I do choose to eat vegan. A friend of mine shared an interesting article from The Independent this morning, where Olivia Petter talks about clean eating as a form of disordered eating. It reminded me of my dad’s reaction when I first went vegan, almost 20 years ago. (That’s right kids, I was vegan before it was mainstream.) He said that it was an eating disorder. Is this the case? Is it just another fad? 

I’ve been asked why I’m vegan roughly eleventy billion and thirty eight times. Biting animals never seemed natural to me and I don’t recall ever enjoying the taste. Most of my family have trouble digesting dairy so it made sense to give that up too. A book called The Silent Ark by Juliet Gellately changed my perspective forever; it opened my eyes to environmental and human poverty factors which I hadn’t previously considered. 

Don’t worry though, I’m not a militant vegan. I won’t insist on lecturing you about your food choices while waggling a hairy armpit in your face, just as long as you don’t try and put ham in my handbag or sneak salami on my sarnie. This is what is right for me. It’s not what’s right for everyone. 

In fact, I would be more likely to discourage people from becoming vegan. This is because I believe it to be a lifestyle choice which can make you extremely poorly unless you take the time to research your dietary needs and ensure you’re getting all the right nutrients. Do you know how many miligrams of calcium you’ve had today? How about iron? To be a vegan, you have to be pretty comfortable reading and interpreting food labels. And yes, I do read the label of everything. Why wouldn’t you? Don’t you want to know what you’re putting in your body? 

For me, being vegan isn’t about disordered eating and controlling weight. It’s about making a choice which I feel ethically comfortable with while still ensuring I’m as strong and healthy as I can be. After all, strong is the new skinny. Didn’t you get the memo? Admittedly, I can be a little obsessive. Mainly over protein. Man, I love me some protein. But it’s never about calorie restriction or depriving myself. 

Whatever food choices you make, the principles of healthy eating are the same: plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, enough of complex carbs to give you energy, some good fats and some protein. Plenty of protein. All the protein. Maybe veganism can be symptomatic of disordered eating for some, but I think that it can also be a healthy, kind and environmentally friendly lifestyle….if done carefully. And as far as clean eating goes, just be sure to wash your fruit and veg. That ought to cover it. 

Super Swamp Smoothies

This week, I did my first exercise class since giving birth. It had been 15 weeks so it felt like it was time to ‘get back on it’. But ooooh, the DOMs. They hurt so good. Would you think I was a sicko if I said I’d missed them? 

My gym wife messaged me afterwards to ask if I’d got my six pack back by doing the class*. My abs do hurt like they should be ripped now but, alas, no. I still look mumsy. I still have a linea negra. I still wobble where I didn’t used to. I loved my pregnant body. I loved my pre-pregnancy body. However, it’s been tough loving my postpartum body. 

While I’m proud of my body and the miracle it’s achieved, I’m not used to the me I see in the mirror. I know I need the right fuel to allow me to feed and grow my healthy baby so now is not the right time to try to ‘get my body back’. It’s not my body right now anyway. It hasn’t been my body since the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test. And that’s ok. 

What I can do though, is to make sure I’m taking care of this body. So, it’s time to resume food prepping. Not to the same extent because ain’t no-new-mummy got time for that. One step at a time though, right? So it started like this…



Super Swamp Smoothies

For each smoothie, you will need: 

  • 1 scoop of protein powder**
  • 1 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp spirulina ( I would start with 1/2 tsp and gradually increase this as you adjust to the taste. Admittedly, it tastes like I imagine drowning in the sea feels.)
  • 1 tbsp wheat grass powder 
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen kale 
  • 1 banana (don’t add this until it’s time to blend) 
  • Optional extras: 1 tbsp peanut butter and/or 1 tbsp raw cacao 
  1. Decide how many smoothies you’d like to prep. 
  2. Set out enough freezer bags. An easy way to prep these without everything going everywhere is to set up the same number of protein shakers or pint glasses. Line each one with the freezer bag. 
  3. Put the ingredients for one smoothie in each bag. Don’t put the banana in! 
  4. Remove the bags and tie them. Throw them straight into the freezer. 
  5. When you want a smoothie, tip the contents of one bag into your blender. Add a banana and 1 1/2 cups water and blend up. Add more water if it’s still too thick for your liking. 
  6. You can throw the freezer bags back in the freezer to reuse next time if you like. This will save on money & waste! 


You can see why I’ve called it a Super Swamp Snoothie, eh?! Don’t expect it to taste like ice cream and pancakes. It tastes like green. It’s going to do you a world of good though. 

Enjoy. Or don’t. 

*I’ve never had a six pack. Four at best and only when pulling my best Instagram angle pose. 

**I use a mix of unflavoured hemp, rice and pea protein. You can use whichever protein powder you prefer.