Who’s excited for Pancake Day? I know a lot of people prefer more crepe-like pancakes but I’ve never been very good at making them, they’re too thin and flimsy. I’m much more partial to fluffy American-style pancakes (I blame PJ’s Pancake House and their $6 student brunch deal) and find them both easier to make and more satisfying to eat. So any Francophiles can just stop reading at this point.

I’ve always liked the idea of pancakes made from oats, but without egg as a binder I find they fall apart or just turn mushy a little too easily. I often make savoury chickpea flour fritters for a quick lunch, so played with the idea of adding chickpea flour to the mix to make the pancake more sturdy, and it worked perfectly (and don’t worry, it doesn’t taste savoury or chickpea-ish at all).  View Full Post

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It’s been a disheartening week. Every piece of work I’ve submitted has received overwhelmingly negative feedback. It’s hard, when you’ve worked so hard at something and it’s made you so miserable, to realise it was all for nothing.

I find that it’s at nights when I’m weakest. During the daylight hours it’s somehow easier to pick myself up or not think about the things that worry me. But in the dark, lonely hours there is no escape. The feeling of hopelessness, so easily shrugged off earlier in the day, if far more overwhelming. The darkness lets the problems grow out of proportion in my mind; they seem to multiply in the shadows of the lamplight. View Full Post

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried – and failed – to make a flapjack as soft, chewy and delicious as the traditional kind, but without the buckets of butter and sugar that are usually called for. Everything I made was either rock hard, fell apart in my hands, or tasted far too healthified for my liking. Whilst I care about eating well, I don’t believe that taste should be sacrificed in the process; what is the point in eating something just because it’s mildly less unhealthy than a far tastier alternative? Better to have one real, unhealthy, delicious flapjack than 10 mediocre healthified ones, I say.

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So I gave up for a while, resigning myself to the fact that flapjacks could only ever be butter and sugar laden and that I’d just have to deal with it. Until, that is, essay procrastination gave way – as it so often does – to a burst of creativity in the kitchen. Instead of trying yet another complex and dubious looking “healthy flapjack” recipe, I took a standard, popular flapjack recipe (from BBC Good Food, a wonderful and frequent source of cooking inspiration) and simply replaced the standard ingredients for more nutritious alternatives. Butter became almond butter, brown sugar became chopped dates, and golden syrup became pure, unrefined maple syrup (I’m sure honey would work well too!). I tried both baking and freezing; freezing worked far better. The overall result? My favourite flapjacks to date. These are soft and chewy but hold together well. And, according to MyFitnessPal, each one contains 9g of protein and 6g of fibre. Don’t mind if I do.

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