I have a rotation of brownies, blondies, duck flaps (which are sort of like flapjacks in the sense that they contain oats) and gingerbread. They all follow the same basic formula--wholegrain GF flours that are high in protein, calcium and iron, not too sweet, full of fibre and the secret ingredients far replacer--a tin of beans. This makes them dense and moist and “fudgy” textured, but without all that fat . Plus the beans are full of protein and so they keep you fuller longer.
Everything I read about GF baking said that in order to be successful you need a ratio of 2/3 whole grain flour to 1/3 starch. Now a starch is high on the glycemic index and has no nutritional value. I used to make these with 1 cup GF flour and ½ cup starch, but I’ve abandoned that to make them healthier and ya know what? You can’t tell. Maybe you need that starch to make a lighter bread or cake, but when you want a dense, chewy bar it is not needed.
Here they are in the pan. Whoops! Where did that corner piece go?
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and grease a 9X12 inch pan.
1 ½ cups wholemeal pastry flour
To make it GF use a combination of flours that you like. There is no need to add unhealthy starches--the GF flours are fine. I used a combination of buckwheat, teff, quinoa, chickpea and oat flour because of their different nutritional benefits. Plus it means I can use less of expensive ones and make them last longer if I use a variety of GF flours.
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup Demerara sugar
½ tsp (smoked) sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼-½ tsp ground cloves
¼-½ tsp allspice
Sift your dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
Then combine the following ingredients in a blender:
1 ½ cups haricot beans or chickpeas
I do find that tinned beans work best for these as they are mushier. I used chickpeas in these as I can get a tin for 35p and haricot beans are 99p a tin. The next time I cook my own beans I am going to try to “overcook” some of them to be used for snack bars.
1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 7-8)
¼ cup molasses (blackstrap molasses is very high in iron)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root (about 2 inches long) peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup water
2 TB flax meal (acts like an egg and adds fibre and omega 3,6,9)
1 TB lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Blend that up for several minutes until it is completely mixed and a thick puree. Mix it into the dry ingredients. If it seems a bit dry, add in a splash or 2 of water of non-dairy milk of your choice. I had to do that, but mainly because oat and teff flours are very “thirsty” and soak up liquids more.
Spoon into greased pan and smooth out to make sure it is level.
Bake for 14 minutes, then remove and rotate the pan so it bakes evenly and then bake for another 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool and then cut into 12 squares.
Store in the fridge. This will last all week for 2 people.