NO ONE wants to start thinking wholesome, healthy eating just yet – after all there’ll be an entire Christmas spread to plough through in many homes this weekend. But the new year is just around the corner, and with a new year comes noble resolutions of eating healthier and exercising more regularly.
You can already get a healthy start right now, by making some delicious, puffy cranberry flapjacks for a special Christmas breakfast today. The recipe, which is being featured on The Global Table blog today, comes from popular South African food personality Justine Drake’s new cookbook, Simply Good Food, which is backed by Discovery Health’s Vitality programme.
The flapjacks are made with wholewheat flour and grated apple, which cuts out a lot of the sugar you would normally add to a flapjack or pancake batter. She makes them with sultanas but also recommends raisins or cranberries – the latter lending a luxurious Christmas touch.
Scroll down to learn how to make this easy breakfast or tea-time treat, which Justine says kids particularly enjoy. I scoffed mine with a gigantic dollop of creme fraiche (so much for trying to be healthy) and honey, along with some fresh berries on the side.
Justine has worked in the food-media industry for more than 20 years and Simply Good Food is her fifth cookbook. She has worked as food editor on numerous titles, edited the Eat In food directory since 2006 and edits Pick n Pay’s Fresh Living magazine. She also researched and presented Just in Africa, a 13-part South African culinary travelogue that aired locally and abroad, and last year hosted Vitality’s Healthy Food, Healthy You television series.
The time to start living a healthy life is now, she says, and the place to start is the kitchen. The book covers breakfast dishes, lunches (including a few you can pack up for work) and there’s even a chapter on “Good Food for Little People”.
Another chapter titled “Everyday Easy” proves “healthy food can be quick, easy, affordable and, above all, delicious”. Veggies, desserts and a basics section with recipes for dressings, stocks and sauces wrap up this informative book that is sure to put the fun back into cooking.
* Simply Good Food is published by Lannice Snyman Publishers and the recommended retail price is R162.50.
Apple and Sultana Flapjacks from ‘Simply Good Food’
You can also make these with dried cranberries instead of sultanas for a Christmassy touch, as per Justine’s suggestion in the book – I found raisins also worked well. There are other alternatives and serving suggestions in the book, such as a savoury variation of the recipe. Justine conveniently provides a dry flapjack mix recipe which can be stored in an airtight container; you then just use as much of the mix as you need to make a fresh batch of batter each time.
Dry flapjack mix: 600g wholewheat or Krakley Wheat flour; 3 Tbsp (45ml) baking powder; 2 tsp (10ml) bicarbonate of soda; 3 Tbsp (45ml) castor sugar
Batter: 150g of the dry flapjack mix (recipe above); 1 large egg; 1 cup (250ml) fat-free milk; 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon; 1 apple, peeled and grated; 1/2 cup (125ml) sultanas
Mix the dry flapjack mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
Stir the measured dry mix, egg and milk together until smooth. Stir in the cinnamon, apple and sultanas. Add an extra splash of milk or apple juice to moisten the mixture if necessary.
Heat a non-strick frying pan and lightly coat with cooking spray. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and then flip to brown the other side.
Layer the flapjacks onto a platter or individual plates. Serve with a drizzle of honey or, better still, mixed berries.
The Global Table verdict
These flapjacks tasted delicious and the fact that they are so healthy, given the sweetness added by the apple and the sultanas, is a bonus. Salvelio did the frying and found they stuck to the pan a bit (and he did use a non-stick one). It’s also a bit of a balance to get them golden on both sides and cooked through, but once you have the knack they will turn out beautifully. Also, the book indicates the batter yields 16 flapjacks, but we only got half that. Chances are we probably did make them too thick then! We still have quite a bit of the dry mix left and can’t wait to experiment again – they’ll get gobbled up in a flash.