Protein packed flapjack bars

Today I am off to Stockport ready for the Manchester marathon Sunday. No, I’m not running it! No full length marathons for me this year. My son Tom is doing it for the second time, hoping to beat his time from last year. Flapjack type bars are popular with runners because they are high protein for muscle repair and high carbohydrate for energy. They are also high fibre – oats and nuts, dried fruit and flax seed. If you are going to have a sweet treat then these are at least full of nutrients. But be aware – they are high calorie!

I decided to have a go at home made protein flapjacks – the ones you can buy are quite expensive especially if they have proper ingredients in them. I adapted a recipe I found on a vegan recipe site. I did change the ingredients a bit to fit in with allergy requirements, what I had in the cupboard and what I like.

Here’s what I did:


150g porridge oats

pinch of salt

40g pumpkin seeds

20g ground flax seed

30g soft dried figs, chopped

30g walnuts, chopped

2 medium bananas, mashed

170g almond butter

3 tbsp coconut oil

4 tbsp maple syrup – or you could use agave syrup I guess, or even brown sugar

1 tbsp plant based milk (or regular milk)

SURPRISE INGREDIENT: 1 tsp Timut pepper, ground in a pestle and mortar – next time I will use more, as the flavour was quite subtle. You could also use cinnamon, mixed spice etc

This pepper has a very different flavour to regular pepper – and the smell of grapefruit when you open the lid is amazing!


Preheat the oven to 180 deg C or Gas mark 4.

Melt the almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup gently over a low heat.

Put everything else in a mixing bowl.

Add the almond butter melty mixture and mix really well.

Spread evenly in a parchment lined 18 cm square tin – this was a problem for me, as my smallest square tin was 20 cm, and the mixture seemed quite thin in this. So I used a foil tin that was 18 cm x 12 cm, and accepted that they would come out quite thick! Cook for 30-40 minutes – depends on how big the tin is. I cooked them for 40 minutes, and could probably given them another 5.

Packed with goodness!

They came out well – a little crumbly – story of my life in baking this year it seems! 😉

But very tasty – at least the crumbly bits I tried this morning were! I like this recipe as you can easily adapt it to what you like, and what you have in the cupboard. And it’s a lot cheaper than fancy commercial flapjack type bars.

Hopefully the next post will be reporting the amazing success and speed of Tom, fuelled by these flapjacks, in the Manchester marathon. Good luck to everyone running, including Will and Steph who I met in Richmond in February.

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