I made one of my regular batches of fruit and nut flapjack this week. Not only is it the perfect accompaniment to a mug of tea, it also has some distinct health benefits.
Justin and I were both born in the 1960s, which means we’re getting on a bit! It’s perhaps time to start considering our health and brain function into old age.
It seems like diet could be a very important factor. Oily fish is often cited as great ‘brain food’, but nuts are also a fantastic source of cerebral nourishment.
Here’s a selection of commonly found (and tasty!) nuts and some of their recognised health benefits.
Almonds are very high in vitamin E (good for glowing skin). They’re also a good source of omega-6 and 9 (poly)unsaturated fatty acids
Un-roasted walnuts contain twice as many antioxidants as other nuts or seeds
Brazil nuts are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium (a mineral important for cognitive function and a maintaining a healthy immune system). Eating just 2 give you 100% of the recommended daily allowance
Cashew nuts contain a high concentration of essential minerals including magnesium (thought to counter age-related memory loss), phosphorus and zinc
Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of manganese and thiamine (vitamin B1)
Flaxseeds have one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Useful in maintaining healthy brain and visual functions). Especially important if you’re vegetarian or vegan as it is most commonly found in oily fish
Whole sesame seeds are a very good source of iron (again, important for vegetarians and vegans)
This flapjack is quick and easy to make – and is so delicious, that the health benefits are an additional bonus… and we didn’t even get started on the goodness of dried fruit!
Click here to pin our recipe for future reference!
Fruit and nut flapjack
350g rolled oats
50g dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, blueberries, dates, figs, apricots or a mix of any/all of these)
50g seeds and/or nuts, roughly chopped (linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds or a mix of any/all of these)
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Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2
Put the butter into a large saucepan on a low heat. When the butter has melted, add the honey and stir to combine
Turn off the heat, add the oats, dried fruit and nuts/seeds and mix well
Put the mixture into a 23cm/9-inch shallow square cake tin and flatten down firmly with the back of a serving spoon
Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned
Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into squares or finger-shaped portions
You can store the flapjacks for up to 3 days in an airtight greaseproof paper-lined tin or plastic container
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