These cherry coconut flapjacks are a delicious fruity twist on the classic British oat bars. And they're healthier too, with fewer fats and sugars for a good-for-you treat!
Traditional flapjacks are baked oat slices made with butter, sugar, and golden syrup. They're tasty yes, but quite caloric!
To cut back on the nasties while giving you a satisfying energy bar, we made our oat flapjacks with cherries and coconut, plus a few dates for natural sweetness. That's it.
A simple puree of blended cherries, dates, and a little low-fat coconut milk replaces butter, sugar, and syrup all in one go.
So yes, these coconut cherry flapjacks are also dairy-free, vegan, and free from refined sugars. Super!
To keep things simple, we skipped the baking step: simply mix the flapjack dough, flatten it in a tray, and chill before slicing.
In no time, you'll be nibbling one of these cherry date coconut bars, perfect as a sweet treat for breakfast or as an energy snack between meals.
How do you make coconut flapjacks without butter?
To prepare coconut-flavoured oat bars without dairy butter, you can use coconut oil or, even better, coconut milk and nut butters.
In this recipe, we replaced fat from butter with low-fat coconut milk and shredded dry coconut, which together make a cholesterol-free alternative that also provides healthy fibres.
Do you use fresh or dried cherries in cherry bars?
Fresh, frozen, and dried cherries are all great options when making oat bars.
We love using frozen cherries in our healthy flapjacks: they're easier to find and cheaper, and you can blend them into a purple puree that's great for adding bulk and colour.
How do you make flapjacks without sugar or golden syrup?
You can make healthier flapjacks by swapping sugar, syrups, or honey with fruit puree made from naturally sweet fruits.
In this cherry oat bars recipe, we used a mix of frozen dark sweet cherries and dates, which also provide beneficial fibres and antioxidants.
Do you have to bake flapjacks?
Though traditional British flapjacks are cooked in the oven, you don't necessarily have to bake them: you can eat flapjacks raw instead.
No-bake flapjacks are deliciously gooey and just as tasty.
To improve digestibility, you can use toasted oats in the recipe or leave the flapjacks in the fridge for 30 min-1 hour or overnight to allow the oats to soften.
|Pitted Frozen Cherries
|Low-Fat Coconut Milk
Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) static.
Spread the porridge oats flat over a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Toast in the oven for 15 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
Meanwhile, add frozen cherries, pitted dates, coconut milk, and salt to a food processor.
Leave the cherries to defrost for 10 minutes, then blitz all together into a smoothy, creamy puree.
Add the toasted oats to a bowl and tip in the cherry-date puree and two-thirds of the dry coconut.
Mix with a spoon until the ingredients come together into a dough, and then use your hands to work the flapjack mix into a compact, slightly sticky dough.
If you pinch off a bit of flapjack dough and squeeze, it should hold together.
Now, line a square 20 cm (8 inches) baking tray with parchment paper.
Transfer the cherry flapjack mixture to the prepared tray and press down with your fingertips to distribute the dough evenly.
Then, press down as firmly as you can with the back of a spoon to ensure the flapjack bars will hold together when set.
Sprinkle the flapjack slab with the remaining dry coconut shreds, pressing them in with your fingertips so they’ll stick.
Cover the tray with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the cherry flapjack dough to set and harden.
Finally, remove the flapjack slab from the tray and slice it into squares or bars — 16 bars for the default ingredients.
Your healthy cherry coconut flapjacks are ready, enjoy!
Store these coconut cherry flapjacks in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months, interleaving each bar with a piece of baking paper.
For a boost of proteins, you can add a scoop of protein powder to the flapjack mix – see how we've done it in these protein bars with lemon.