Tag Archives: oats

Great Fun Flapjacks (GF)

The name of these gluten-free flapjacks is the result of a bit of banter between my 22 year old nephew and I about finding the right acronym for his condition ! Being gluten-free is undoubtedly a constraint and sometime can be felt as a bit of a stigma, but it is not as complicated to cater for as I first thought and because our nephew is staying with us in London at the time of this writing, I have had to extend my repertoire of coeliac-friendly recipes and this is one of the first that I tweaked for him.  So here is the harbinger probably of a series of gluten-free meals that I will try and share with you.

Whether you are intolerant or not – and the figures here differ from 10 per cent to may be 40 per cent of the population!-, eating a diet lighter in gluten is possibly not a bad habit. It seems to me that we are generally having far too much of it and from food not necessarily associated with wheat! Did you know Malt vinegar, most soy sauces and many industrial products including sausages contain gluten?!

Crunchy with a tender heart

Crunchy with a tender heart



Ingredients list:

  • Butter, 100g
  • Rapeseed oil, 2 tbsp
  • Treacle, 1 tbsp
  • Porridge oats, 200g (choose Nairn’s GF variety)
  •  Agave syrup, 2 tbsp
  • Muscovado sugar, 50g
  • Xantham gum, 2 Tbsp
  • Mix of sunflower, pumpkin, linseeds, sesame and raisins, 120g

Melt the butter and oil in a medium pan.

Put all the dry ingredients together 
in a big bowl, then pour the melted butter and mix while adding the 
agave syrup and the treacle.

Spread into an oiled tray so that you get 
a depth of about 1 cm. Put in a hot oven at 180° for about 20min. The edges 
must look brown and crispy before you take it out. Let it cool down 
then cut big squares with the tip of a knife. The GF version is more brittle than the original but the magic of the Xantham gum helps in binding it together quite satisfactorily.

Oats are very good at lowering your cholesterol . The agave syrup is a health option because its low glycemic load means that your glucose levels won’t shoot up too quickly, so no hunger pangs straight after and more long term energy.

Coeliac is a very serious and precisely diagnosed, defined, medical condition and unless you suffer from it there is no reason to go gluten-free, but may be going gluten-light carries it own health benefits. If you are interested in this stream, I am sure more “Great Fun” recipes will be coming your way and I hope you enjoy the change and maybe experience some health benefits yourself.

Superfood granola

Granola is a relatively new comer on the food scene- I don’t recall eating anything like that when I was younger. But it is a very worthy addition to a health-conscious larder and even though there are some delicious shop-bought versions, it remains a luxury product. Given it is such an easy thing to make in big quantities, I would really recommend you try doing your own customised version from time to time.

Best homemade breakfast

I do realise that this is my second Granola on the blog but they are very different: the previous one had the smoky and rich taste of treacle and held into clumps because of the butter content ; while this new one is a finer, paler edition and has a delicate hint of citrus with the addition of grated lemon and orange zest. I also really love the coconut shavings I’ve added! Let’s say it’s a springtime version…

I have it in the morning with oat milk, for a snack directly from the jar and if coming back hungry from late night outing, I enjoy it over yogurt with a hint of honey or agave syrup. You can have it with milk, add fresh fruit to it, the combinations are endless…

Ingredients list:

  • Rapeseed oil (with dash of linseed oil) 160ml
  • Maple syrup 120ml
  • Rolled oats 200g
  • Barley or quinoa flakes 50g (optional)
  • Agave syrup 2 Tbsp
  • Mix of pecan nuts, linseeds, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower and linseeds
  • Coconut shavings or ground coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of one orange and one lemon

Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the oil and mix it in.

Add the maple syrup and rub it all in.

This time I used some toasted coconut shavings that I had found at Wholefoods and they were a great addition! But if I don’t have them I’ll try something else!

I love experimenting with new flavours and the hint of citrus brought in by the zest makes my morning every day at the moment! Aromatherapy tells us that lemon and orange essential oils are both uplifting and energising so I feel this is therapy as well as a meal.

Spread the mix into a shallow dish and place in the middle shelf of your oven for no more than 40 min at 150°. Slowly baking is best. It is ready when toasted and golden. A low oven is important because the seeds burn easily.

Homemade granola

>Ingredients list:

45 g butter

2 Tbsp rapeseed oil

1Tbsp treacle

200g porridge oats (I used a blend of oats and quinoa flakes)

2tbsp agave syrup

150g raisins, nuts and seeds mix : linseed, sesame or pumpkin are all good!

Melt the butter in a medium pan.

Add the 
Agave syrup and the treacle. It is easier to get the treacle out if you use the spoon you have just dipped into the warm butter.

Add the oil. Keep aside warm.

Put all the dry ingredients together 
in a big bowl, then pour in the melted butter and mix.

A wild garden, last summer

Now choose a healthy mix of nuts, seeds and dry fruit. Choose anything you like! My own favourite is a blend of currants, sesame seeds, linseeds, pumkin seeds and brazil nuts, roughly chopped up. Mix it in.

Pour on a tray, being careful not to have too thick a layer or it will roast unevenly.

Bake in a hot oven (180°) in the middle shelf for about 20 min but watch and shake from time to time so it does not burn! It does so very quickly and you want golden, not black…

Enjoy with yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast or after a light dinner. Here you are, Pauline, as requested – Hope you didn’t have to wait too long!

Apple and blackberry crumble


4 to 5 Bramley apples
A handful of frozen blackberries
A good cupful of rolled oats
A tsp of oats bran
Half a deck of cards of butter
A cup of brown granulated sugar
A Tsp of flour
A tsp of cornflour
A capful of orange blossom water

Mix the oats, bran, butter, sugar and flour in a bowl: Rub it between your fingers until it comes to a light and sandy texture.

Dice the fruit into a pie dish, add the frozen blackberries from last summer and dab with the orange blossom water. Dust with the cornflour, then sprinkle the topping generously until it covers most of it. This is not a neat recipe: no need to be prissy about it! The rougher, the better.

Bake at 180° for 45 min.
The crust needs to be golden and crunchy like a flapjack.

Eat warm with ice-cream.

This is such an iconic pudding it needs no introduction but the use of oats and bran instead of flour makes it a very healthy option because of the good fibre and the low sugar content.

My oatcakes

>My oatcakes
Oats is awonderfully healthy staple with a low glycemic load and a capacity for clearing out bad fat such as cholesterol.
It is also tasty and warming so in winter you can never have enough and I try to include it regularly in my menus.
These oatcakes are crumblier than their shop version and they go brilliantly with cheese or nut spreads for a healthy snack.

Ingredients list:
Oatmeal 1 cup ( I have not turned to US metrics but this just needs quick and rough measures so a tea-cup will do for ease !)
Oatbran 1/2 cup
Wheatgerm 1/2 cup
Salt one pinch
Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
Pinch of smoked paprika or chilli powder
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Butter 40g
Rice flour 1 tbsp
A little cold water

Mix all the ingredients then add just enough water to help the bonding and make a long log that you will wrap in cling film and put 1 hour in the cold.
Warm your oven to 180 degrees Celsius then cut medium thick slices off your log with the sharpest of knives.
Lay those on baking paper and bake for 15 to 20 min.
Sorry for the lack of pictures but my computer is in repair so please bear with me for awhile…
Diane Frost
Sent from my iPhone .