It’s hard to sit down and type anything about the last few weeks now that I’m a mother. The journey has been so all-encompassing, so full to the brim of every emotion, of a love I never knew, of challenges, choices and non-stop growth… and amongst it all has been the hurdles involved in breastfeeding. I posted on instagram about this a while ago and the support and honesty from the community surrounding everyone’s own journeys has been so beautiful and affirmative. I will write more about it here soon, but in the meantime I have been greatly helped along by some great galactagogues (lactation-supportive foods), including fennel, fenugreek, porridge and these wonderful banana flapjacks which I found myself craving from the early weeks. With iron-rich, energy-giving oats, maca to boost stamina and keep hormone levels in check, and plenty of calcium-rich figs and dates (which help keep prolactin levels up), they are an ideal healthy snack for anyone who needs some extra energy – breastfeeding or not.
I must credit the Free From Fairy for the original recipe; the flapjacks are based around a lovely date and banana paste which then coats the oats and makes a gooey refined sugar-free treat. I adjusted things a little as I only have jumbo oats, and have added figs, maca and a little salt to ramp things up; you could also add cacao nibs or apricots, or play around with whatever is in your larder. I do not know how the quantities would change with rolled oats but I recommend trying the same and seeing how they go. They can only be too gooey which is no big deal! You can also add some honey or maple if you have a really sweet tooth but the banana and dates should suffice, and they keep blood sugar levels on a more even keel. And of course, you can leave out the maca if you don’t have it.
Makes about 12 flapjack squares
100g dates soaked in 1/2 cup (or 100g) boiling water
1 medium ripe banana, peeled
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp vanilla paste / extract or the seeds from one pod
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp maca
a pinch of pink or sea salt
4 dried figs, roughly chopped
200g jumbo oats
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Start by soaking your dates in a small bowl. After five minutes or once they’re completely soft, transfer the dates and water into a blender and add the banana, coconut oil, vanilla, bicarbonate of soda, maca and salt and blend util a smooth paste forms.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the oats and chopped figs, mixing thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into a greased or lined baking tray (you can choose the thickness – if it is too big and you want them chunkier, don’t spread it all the way to the end). Bake in the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes until brown on the top but still gooey – they will set and firm up once cooled.
Leave to cool for at least twenty minutes before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.