Sweet and slightly chewy flapjacks are probably something you ate a lot of as a kid, I know I did. We have lightened them up by sweetening them with banana and honey for these Healthy Flapjacks. These refined sugar free flapjacks are perfect for lunch boxes and so easy that kids can get involved with making them. There are so many ways to adapt them with your favourite add-ins too!
First up, I want to be honest with you. These are never going to taste exactly like traditional flapjacks, as they are a healthier version. They don't have that same crispiness and texture, because they don't have golden syrup and brown sugar in. You also don't get that teeth-covered-in-sugar feeling from eating them! If that is what you are looking for, then try our Chocolate Flapjacks recipe.
However, these are still amazing! You still get that sweetness from the honey and banana and the chewiness from the oats. More like a sweet oat bar, than a traditional flapjack, kids will love these healthy flapjacks and will love mixing everything together and eating the mixture off the spoon.
The difference between UK and US flapjacks
Just in case there is any confusion (depending on what part of the world you are living in), it's probably best to clear up exactly what flapjacks are. Here in the UK, a flapjack is an oat based bar. Usually rectangular and loaded with sugar, they were a popular bake when we were kids.
However, in the US, a flapjack is what we in the UK would call a pancake. If you are in the US, then this recipe is probably what you would call an oat bar, or maybe a granola bar. Hopefully that clears up any confusion, for anyone reading this from the US.
Why you will love them
- Healthy alternative - These are a lighter version of a traditional flapjack, with only 150 calories per flapjack, compared to over 300 for sugary buttery ones. These are almost fat free, as we haven't used any butter. We have also sweetened it with banana and a little honey.
- Vegan option - Because these healthy flapjacks don't have any butter in them, they are easy to make vegan. Just swap the honey for maple syrup.
- Easy - Just 6 ingredients go in to making these and it's as simple as mashing the bananas and then mixing everything together. Kids will love mashing the bananas up and as long as everything else is measured out, then can just dump it in the bowl and mix it up. They also bake in just 20 minutes.
- Adaptable - Use this recipe as a base and then add in all your favourite flapjack additions. We have given you all our favourite options below.
- Freezable - This recipe makes 14 flapjacks. If you don't think you will be able to eat them all before they spoil, then pop them in the freezer. This makes them ideal to get out for lunch boxes.
- Oats - We used rolled oats in our flapjacks, as we find that it holds together a lot better. However, you can use whole oats, you will just get a more crumbly texture.
- Bananas - This is what replaces the butter and adds sweetness. You want really ripe bananas, but not over ripe black bananas. Try to go with ones that have black spots on the peel.
- Honey - We have given it a little sweet boost with some honey. Try to use the best quality honey you can. To make these healthy flapjacks vegan, swap the honey for maple syrup.
- Chocolate chips - Whilst these aren't essential, we love them in flapjacks. We have used dark chocolate, as it has such a strong flavour so you don't have to use as much of it.
- Vanilla - This adds a real depth of flavour to the flapjacks. Use vanilla extract, rather than essence, for a natural flavour.
- Cinnamon - This adds some warmth to the flapjacks. You could swap it for ground ginger or nutmeg if you prefer.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make healthy flapjacks - Step by step
One: Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Place the bananas in a large bowl and mash until a smooth consistency.
Two: Add the oats, chocolate chips, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well until combined.
Three: Line a 20x25cm (8x10 inch) baking tin and pour in the mixture. Press firmly down and into the corners. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into bars.
Flapjacks are so easy to adapt, which is one of the things we love about them. Use this as a base recipe and then feel free to add in all of your favourite ingredients. Although, maybe not all at the same time.
Some of our favourite add-ins are:
- Chocolate - we have used dark chocolate, but white or milk works well too. Why not go for a flavoured chocolate like chocolate orange?
- Fudge pieces
- Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or cherries are all great)
- Grated apple
- Nut butter (cashew is our favourite, but peanut and almond both taste good too)
- Chopped nuts (walnuts and pecans are a favourite)
- Desiccated coconut
- Cocoa powder
We think these are the perfect afternoon treat with a hot drink. Why not try one of the ones we have on the blog - here are some of our favourites:
- Cinnamon Coffee
- Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Snowman Hot Chocolate
- Cinnamon Mocha
- Chai Tea Latte
Store: These flapjacks will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for around 4 days. After that they will start to dry out. You can warm them up in the microwave for 15 seconds if you prefer.
Freeze: You can also freeze them, individually wrapped in cling film and then put in a ziplock freezer bag, and they will keep in the freezer for about a month.
Defrost: You can defrost them individually in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Healthy is such a subjective word, but we have made a few changes to make these a healthier version of more traditional flapjacks. They don't have any butter or refined sugar, and instead we have used banana and honey. The oats make these a great snack that will help you to feel fuller for longer.
Oats are super nutritious - they are full of antioxidants and keep your blood sugar steady, which means no sugar spikes and crashes. they are also full of heart-healthy fibre, with each flapjack containing 4 grams of fibre!
To make these vegan, simply swap the honey for a good quality pure maple syrup.
If you use gluten free certified oats and make sure that there is no other cross contamination, then these flapjacks are a delicious gluten free snack.
The flapjacks will still feel soft to touch, as they will harden outside of the oven when they are cooling.
• Make sure to pack all the mixture down in to the pan. This will help to keep them together.
• Leave them to cool completely before cutting. This allows them to firm up and keep their shape.
• Remember, if you are serving these to children under 1, they can't have honey so you will need to use maple syrup.
• If you want a chewier flapjack, then blend some of the oats.
More snack recipes
- 6 bananas
- 375 g oats
- 4 tablespoon honey
- 75 g chocolate chips
- 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Place the bananas in a large bowl and mash until a smooth consistency.
- Add the oats, chocolate chips, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well until combined.
- Line a 20x25cm (8x10 inch) baking tin and pour in the mixture. Press firmly down and into the corners. Cook for 18-20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then cut into bars.
- Make sure to pack all the mixture down in to the pan. This will help to keep them together.
- Leave them to cool completely before cutting. This allows them to firm up and keep their shape.
- Remember, if you are serving these to children under 1, they can't have honey so you will need to use maple syrup.
- If you want a chewier flapjack, then blend some of the oats