When Life Hands You Lemons You Make…Flapjacks and Cookies

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Saturday was shopping day, as it is every week.

As it was the start of a new food shopping month I was going bold and stocking up.

I went to Holland and Barrett to re-stock on some vitamins I was running low on, and to buy a bulk load of stock powder. I had 2 coupons – one for £5 off a £20 shop and another for 20% off the highest price item. To my delight I was able to use both on the same transaction, but the 20% off coupon took me below £20 by 39p. I had to think fast.

Luckily there at the front counter was a 40p bag of reduced dried figs. I realised it was reduced to 40p when I left the shop because it was due to go out of date in 5 days time.

Now, you all know I’m a bit flexible with use by dates, and often end a recipe with something along the lines of ‘This is a great way to use up that jar of stuff that expired 2 years ago and has fur growing around it…’ but I decided that this would be an excuse to get my bake on.

I found a recipe on the BBC Good Food website for figgy flapjacks, and the only change I made was where they said use 150g of dried figs and 75g of another dried fruit I just used all 225g of dried figs. Plus I added mixed seeds and chia seeds.

Also on Saturday I had an online delivery from a major supermarket and sadly one of my jars of peanut butter had a broken lid.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, but didn’t have anything to decant it into, so I decided the only logical things to do was to make peanut butter cookies.

You will need 1 x 340g jar of any peanut butter, 300g sugar and 2 eggs and about 1-1.5 cups of oats. Mix all together, spread out in little cookie shapes on a tray, cook for between 15-20 minutes until firm around the edge but soft in the middle and scoff.

 

The Get in my Face Chocolate Banana Balls

Yep, get in my face and balls have appeared in the same title.

This is totally ripped off  adapted from a recipe in the cookbook Hungry? The innocent recipe book for filling your family with good stuff by the Innocent Smoothie People but I use less ingredients because it’s cheaper.

The recipe is supposed to use three ripe bananas, but I didn’t want to deplete my newly replenished stock of bananas so in the spirit of ‘Waste Not Want Not’ I used some frozen bananas I had stored in the freezer.

This did mean I had to do a lot of processing to ‘mush’ them when ripe bananas would be ready to go.

INGREDIENTS

2.5 Cups of porridge oats

3 Bananas, ripe, unless you want to use frozen and work hard at it

100g melted butter/margarine

1 cup of mixed dried fruit

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Vanilla paste/extract/essence

 

METHOD

Obliterate your bananas into a pile of mush in the mixing bowl.

Add the melted butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and whirl into a mixed frenzy.

Add the oats gradually, you’ll want it stiff but soft if that makes sense, you may need less or more oats.

When you feel happy with the mix add the dried fruit and mix together.

Roll into ball shapes and place on a baking parchment lined baking tray.

I put them in the oven at Gas Mark 4 as I was concerned because I had used frozen bananas that it might ‘melt’ and it seemed to work as they came out happy 25 minutes later (you might want to flip them half way through).

Mixed Berry Rolls

I was inspired to make these after seeing a recipe in the January 2017 issue of the free Tesco magazine.

My recipe is basically a slight variation on the one that featured in the magazine, so not a true inspired original recipe. The Tesco recipe is definitely fancier, mine just used what I had.

INGREDIENTS

500g White Bread Flour (I bet wholemeal would work just as well)

350g Frozen berries

325ml water

Cinnamon

Mixed Spice

A bit of yoghurt (optional, a nice way to use it up)

A bit of icing sugar (optional, a nice way to use it up)

METHOD

Weigh out the 500g bread flour and mix with the water then mix with your hands to form a dough. When it no longer feels sticky leave it for 5 minutes.

Pour a little bit of yoghurt and icing sugar over the berries to make them a little less tart (this step is optional)

Roll out the dough into a nice rectangle shape. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mixed spice.

Cover the dough with the berry mixture and spread it out until even. Then roll the dough over the berries from the longest side and keep rolling till it is a nice long roll.

Cut chunks off and place them flat on a baking tray. You should have between 10-12 but it depends how big you have cut them.

Bake in the oven on gas mark 7 for about 30 minutes (your oven might be better than mine).

Odds and Sods Flapjacks

I have eaten two chunks of this whilst still warm from the oven and I dare go one further from saying it is ‘edible’ to saying it is ‘delicious’.

It tastes a bit like the berry flavour Trek Bar, which at one point I was buying at least once a day.

It has banished so many items from my cupboard, there is actually a slither of space in there now.

Also it uses a secret ingredient.

Be prepared to be amazed/repulsed.

It contains…pureed banana peel (obviously no stalk or end bit).

Well, I do hate waste.

It is called the Odds and Sods Flapjack because it contains a little bit of everything. You can make up your own measurements of things.

INGREDIENTS

One ripe banana and banana peel cut into little chunks (cut off the stalk and end)

About 300g of oats (disclaimer-I used a 220g packet of pre-made crumble mix which was essentially oats and then topped up with more)

About 250g-300g of seeds and dried fruit, I used the last of my mixed seeds, some flax/linseeds, dried cranberries and 150g of dried mix fruit.

150g Frozen berries.

Honey (I used what was probably about 2 tablespoons)

Coconut Oil (about 1.5 tablespoons)

Peanut Butter (about 1.5 tablespoons)

METHOD

First up, measure out your frozen berries (my pack was bought last summer and has been untouched since then in the freezer) and place them in a pan with a little bit of water and put on a low heat to defrost/cook.

Place your dried fruit and seeds, particularly if you are using linseeds, in a food processor and pulse for a little bit just to give the linseeds a chance to lose their husk.

Pop the dried fruit, seeds and oats in a bowl.

Pop your banana and banana peel into the food processor and pulse into it is banana mush and add to the dried fruit, seeds and oats.

If your berries have defrosted add them to the bowl with all the other ingredients.

Add the coconut oil, peanut butter and honey to the saucepan you just had the berries in and melt together. It is ok to use either crunchy or smooth peanut butter. I used crunchy.

Once this has melted add to the bowl with all the other ingredients and give a good mix till it has all come together.

Pop in a baking pan/tray/dish covered in baking paper and pop in the oven at Gas Mark 5/190 degrees (thank you itsabakerslife 🙂 ) for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when you test it.

This recipe was adapted from about 3 separate suggestions in a book I got for my birthday that I love called ‘My Zero-Waste Kitchen’ which is a DK (Dorling Kindersley) book. They were the ones that told me banana peel is edible. This recipe is adapted from a fruity flapjack recipe they have that I kinda went freestyle on. I do feel this recipe is more mine then anyone elses, which is great, as it is only recently I feel like I am confident enough to make something on my own.

The book also suggests these flapjacks can be ‘cooked’ raw by placing them in a freezer and then a fridge.

People in my life had thought I was good at cooking but all it was really was that I could follow a recipe and end up with a similar end product to the one in the picture. Making something on your own, with your own recipe seemed like magic. I still can’t claim to know the rules of cooking/baking but I am getting there.