I was inspired to make these carrot cake granola bars by my local food market. My favourite stall by FAR is Flaxjacks. I actually looked up their website and it turns out they are not just a flapjack making business, their main role is farming linseed (also referred to as flax).
Commonly referred to as a superfood, ground linseed is just a really good, easily digestible source of omega-3. To be honest you’d probably have to eat A LOT of just flaxseed to get anywhere near the recommended daily intake of omega-3, but it’s good to have as a boost.
The flaxjack bars are basically just flapjacks with a bit less added sugar and a whole lot of flaxseed. £2 each or 4 for £6, total bargin (ish). My absolute favourite flavour is the carrot cake. Refined sugar free, full of healthy ingredients, I decided to attempt my own.
Carrot cake granola bars:
- 1 cup of dates
- 1 cup of oats
- 3/4 cup of mixed seeds
- 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1 medium carrot
- 3 dessert spoons honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
- 4 heaped dessert spoons flaxseed
- 1/2 tsp cinammon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Place dates in a bowel of cool water to soak up some moisture (this will help them blend more easily and make sure they are gluey enough to hold your bars together)
Pour oats, seeds (includng flaxseed) and nuts onto a flat baking tray and toast in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. Open the oven once or twice to stir the mixture and make sure everything is evenly toasted.
Finely grate the carrot and squeeze out as much moisture as possible with kitchen roll. Add to the oat mixture in the oven for the last 5 minutes to help it dry out a bit.
Remove tray from the oven. Drain the dates and blend with the honey to form a puree. In a large mixing bowel stir the oat mixture, cinammon and nutmeg into the date puree.
Spoon into a square tin lined with baking paper. Place in the freezer for an initial 20 minutes to help the bars firm up. They can then be cut into slices and transferred to the fridge.
I used a 7 inch square tin which made 16 bars. They have a subtle autumny flavour thanks to the cinammon, and are a real sweet treat for a healthy energy boost. If you want to make them truly no bake the toasting stage is optional, but I think it brings extra flavour to the ingredients.
Definitely squeeze the extra moisture from the carrots, the gooeyness of the dates is what holds the bars together and you don’t want the mix to be too wet. Mixing the carrot into the oat mixture is also a good idea to make sure it separates out evenly and not all in one clump.
These are really tasty, quick to make and you don’t end up with too much mess in the kitchen. They also travel well. I lived off these on my recent trip to Amsterdam, they were the perfect healthy snack to keep me going!