Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Of Squidginess and Getting our oats!

Greetings my lovelies. 

Can I say a huge THANK YOU to those of you who leave comments on my ramblings posts.  I can't tell you how much I love reading them.  I think any blogger worth their salt would agree that each new follower and every new comment makes it all worth it.  You're all FABulous dahhlings!!

Now then... I had a particularly bad day yesterday at the dark and gloomy place and by the time I got home I felt like this:

I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say that the events of yesterday have steeled my resolve to get the hell out of there and look for pastures new before my mental health really begins to suffer.

To take my mind off killing people my bad mood, I decided to do some baking.  My darling partner was told by his GP that his cholesterol was slightly on the high side recently.  Not high enough to warrant medication, but all the same we're trying to make some healthy changes to both of our diets which should hopefully begin to make a difference to his cholesterol count.  We eat relatively healthily anyway with lots of lean meat and loads of simply cooked veggies and stir fries but our downfall is a mutual love of sweet treats.  We've changed his usual supply of choccie bars for his work snacks to more 'healthy' cereal snack bars, but I'm still concerned by the amount of saturated fat and sugar in some of them.  Whilst some bars are admittedly less calorific and sugar laden than others, I felt sure that I could go one better and make our own cheaper and lower in fat version.

I scoured the interweb and found a recipe some fat free oaty bars,and, as I know that oats are a good cholesterol busting food,  I thought I'd give them a go.

Here's the recipe:-

They were described as 'flapjacks' however I think this is somewhat of a misnomer.

110g (4oz) porridge oats - not the instant stuff - the good old fashioned rolled oats that you can get in a hewooooge bag for next to nothing.

110g (4oz) caster sugar - however - I used half this amount of demerara sugar and they were still fine.  You'll see why in a bit!

1 dessertspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used mixed spice)

1/2 (half) teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

100g (3.5g) sultanas - I used currants (I'm SUCH an anarchist)

225g (8oz) mashed bananas (this is why you can easily use less sugar.  The bananas are naturally sweet anyway)

4 tablespoons skimmed milk

2 egg whites

1 teaspooon vanilla extract (optional).


1.  Preheat oven to 180 C or Gas Mark 4

2.  Prepare a 23 x 33cm (9 x 13 in) tin (or whatever you have!) which has been lightly greased or lined.

3.  Chuck all the dry ingredients in a bowl and shimmy em about a bit so they're all combined. 

4.  Peel yer nanas!  In a separate bowl bludgeon the bananas with a blunt instrument.  Or you could simply mash em with a fork.  (very cathartic this!). Then add the egg whites, milk and vanilla.  Combine and mix together.

5.  Stand on a kitchen stool and pour contents of second bowl into first from a great height.

6.  Ignore the bit about the kitchen stool as blog author has clearly lost her marbles.

7.  Mix the mixture until the mixture is well and truly mixed.

8.  Pour into your prepared pan and make your merry way to your oven, avoiding any banana skins which have been discarded in wild abandon during instruction (4).

9.  Pour very large glass of wine and lie down in a darkened room until the pinger on the oven/egg timer/mobile phone alerts you to the fact that it has been 35 whole minutes since you abandoned your kitchen and that you still have two bowls and mixing implements to wash up, bits of mashed banana to comb out of your hair and a mountain of oats to sweep from the floor because you left the packet open and they tipped out. **

** This may only happen in my kitchen in which case ignore most of instruction (9) and just take the oaty bake from the oven and test for done-ness.   If you're happy with them then allow to cool for a while and cut into bars.  You can sprinkle them with more cinnamon and sugar if you like - but I didn't.  So there.

Here they are - squidginess abounds!

My initial thoughts are that 35 mins didn't seem to have made them 'flapjack' like. They were very sticky, so I left them for a further 10 mins and then turned the oven off hoping that they would 'dry' out to a more crunchy/chewy flapjacky consistency, however I have to say that they're still more 'cake' like than expected. I suspect that next time I make them I may add more oats and see how that works out. The family like them anyway though. They're very squidgy (the non-flapjacks not the family - although they have their moments!) and very moreish! Perfect for brekkie and full of cheap, storecupboard, wholesome stuff. Give them a try and let me know what you think :)

'Nana Squidges!
If anyone else has any low fat flapjack type bakes then I'd love to hear about them.

In other news of great import:

Our girls have been busy over the last few days!

And I'm a tad concerned that one of them may need reconstructive surgery!!  Ahem... what a whopper!

Have a lovely evening y'all!! 


  1. I haven't done any baking for a while. That recipe looks tasty- I prefer squishy to crunch in a cereal bar for sure!

  2. What a wonderful boiled egg that would make, a big pile of soldiers to dip in that huge yolk- heaven!

  3. I think your "dark place" is worse than mine, but I am feeling the same way and trying to "move on." I can't find an email address for you, so I apologize for this long comment, but I thought you might appreciate this (Make sure you read all the way to # 7):

    Just in case you are having a rough day (week, year, and life), here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. The funny thing is that it really does work.

    1. Picture yourself lying on your tummy on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal clear stream.
    2. Both your hands are dangling in the cool running water.
    3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.
    4. No one knows your secret place.
    5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.
    6. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
    7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you are holding underwater.

    There!! See? It really does work. You're smiling already.Feel free to forward this if you know others who might benefit from this technique.

    Cheers Kim!

  4. That's not an egg, it's a ball!

    I love oaty type goodies but always convince myself we can have 2 or 3 as it's more healthy. I add cranberries to flapjacks, and sometimes use maple syrup instead of golden, yummerific. xx


Working from home

I've taken a precious day of annual leave today.  I've really struggled this week with feeling so yuk and I needed the restorative ...