These Salted Date Caramel Banana Flapjacks are refined sugar-free and gluten-free for guilt-free snacking.
I have made these flapjacks what feels like a dozen times over Christmas to get the recipe just right for January snacking. I was looking for something oat based to have in the kitchen for the whole family to ward off mid-afternoon hunger pangs that didn’t revolve around refined sugar and think I have struck gold with these little lovelies.
I am spending the first few weeks of this year on diet reset. My sugar, caffeine and martini intake quadrupled over the festive period and my energy levels have seriously plummeted as a result. This is ironic considering I have been resorting to chocolate and builder’s tea to help me battle toddler induced sleep deprivation and focus on keeping him alive during the day. The martinis have been essential to celebrate the fact that my son has been delivered to his bed in one piece each night.
These Salted Date Caramel Banana Flapjacks are a lovely recipe for the whole family, although feel free to omit the salt if you are worried about the intake for children, it’s just there to boost the flavour. A lady came to my cake stall a few weeks ago worried about those of my cakes described as Salted Caramel or Salted Honey. Salt is the new enemy she informed me with a very serious tone. Out of all my cake ingredients it was the 1 teaspoon of salt per layer cake not the 500g of caster sugar which concerned her.
However, these flapjacks have no refined sugar at all. All the sweetness is derived from medjool dates and a banana. However, dates and bananas do have sugar in them so these are still definitely a treat. The flapjacks are chewy and almost fudgey in texture thanks to the banana. I have erred on the texture over sweetness side of things so don’t expect a match for match replacement to your usual flapjack. These satisfy rather than lead to further sugar cravings so at first bite you may think they need to be sweeter but I guarantee you will finish your snack feeling completely satiated. That is also not to say that they are not delicious. Oh by golly gumdrops they are.
You start off by making a salted date caramel which is really just a fancy way of saying dates, water, vanilla and salt whizzed up in a food processor. Although the caramel flavour is not at all misleading, it really is a delicious alternative to the refined sugar version.
When the date caramel is mixed with the melted butter, cashew butter and mashed banana though true magic happens and if you dare to dip a fingertip into this magic elixir before you smother it over the oats, then I warn you, there may be no coming back from it. The fact that these flapjacks made it into the oven at all was a miracle each time. In fact if you eschew the flapjacks entirely and just make a Salted Date Caramel Banana soup then I wouldn’t judge.