About Time You Tried: London’s Best FlapjacksBy Alicia Grimshaw
There’s nothing better than a bit of oaty goodness. In association with everyone’s favourite Lizi’s Granola, we searched high and low to find London’s best bars. Here’s where to get your afternoon sweet fix:
Order: Superfood Flapjack (£4)
The Lowdown: Walk into Lab Organic and you feel like you’ve already lost 2 pounds (in weight, not cash). They’ve fully embraced the healthy lifestyle by creating nutrient-rich organic cold pressed fruit and vegetable juices and heap of snacks, nut free mylks and anything virtuous you can think of. Everything they prepare is packed full of the good stuff – whole grains, healthy fats, tons of nuts and anything else to make your body smile. Their superfood flapjack is nothing short of a taste sensation, packed full of the foods of the moment – cacao, goji berries and macadamia nuts.
Where: 58 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9PA
Order: Granola Bar (£2.20)
The Lowdown: Housed in a railway arch, the chaps at E5 Bakehouse know a thing or two about how to make a good sourdough loaf. Championing organic and locally-sourced ingredients, the small team of bakers bake their bread using artisan methods and techniques. They treat their loaves with the love and respect they deserve – from their ciabatta, focaccia and spelt loaf they’re all packed full of doughy goodness. For those wanting a sweet treat, the granola bar made from dates,figs, raisins, apricots, walnuts and almonds is sweet, delicious and paired with one of their coffees is the absolute dream.
Where: Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH
Order: Cranberry and Apricot Flapjack (£1.50)
Expect: Fighting off the coffee chains and becoming a must lunchtime stop off, Reynolds is a cafe dishing up salads, deli pots, wraps and sweet treats. First opened in 2007, the small family business has now expanded to a second brand in Charlotte Street but still promoting the philosophy of creating interesting food and quirky combinations. Stop by for their warming bowls of porridge for breakfast and come lunch pick up one of their salad boxes. Choose from a regularly changing cold selection and a cracking selection of sarnies. Their cranberry and apricot flapjack is everything we like – a generous slab, full of flavour and fruit.
Where: 34 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DW and 53 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4PA
Order: Granola Bar (£2.80)
Expect: The Ottolenghi empire has received mass acclaim since opening their first shop back in 2002. Now operating out of four outlets across the city, the deli at Notting Hill concentrates on seasonal food, pastries and a good selection of lunchtime dishes. Their food is vibrant, comforting and uses ingredients that are simple yet daring. Mediterranean influences are fused with a wide mix of other fare creating varied dishes packed full of flavour and spices. Their granola bar is the most heavenly mix of sweet oats rolled together with dried fruit and nuts – it’s chewy, nutty and a perfect afternoon treat.
Where: 63 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AD
Order: Banana and Date Flapjack (From £2)
Expect: Gluten-free, wheat-free and diary-free baked goods is on the menu at The Free From Bakehouse. This independent producer is bucking the trend that free from products are tasteless and inferior to regular sweet treats. Their hardwork has certainly paid off as their mantlepiece is now full of awards having been awarded 2 star gold at the Great Taste Award 2012 and winning at the Free From Awards with their almond, apricot and tahini flapjack. The banana and date flapjack is suitable for vegans, sweetened only with fresh banana and containing only five ingredients – this is certainly a guilt-free snack.
Where: Borough Market – every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Order: Grazac (£2.80)
The Lowdown: For proper coffee made out of proper quality beans – it’s not of this hemp milk, weird syrups nonsense. The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs not only take pride in their coffee knowledge and creating one of the best flat whites we’ve ever tasted, but they are also actively involved in humanitarian work both in the UK and abroad. With nine cafes across London, no two shops are ever the same – each with their own personality. Drop in for their granzac, a cross between an anzac cookie and a flapjack containing all the usual ingredients you’d find in a flapjack – oats, sultanas and thankfully not a flax seed in sight.
Where: Locations here
Order: Oat Bars
The Lowdown: Stocked in Planet Organic and Whole Foods, Nom Foods are 100% never baked, organic, free-from refined sugar and dairy-free. You may think they taste like a science experiment – but believe me, they taste really, really good. Don’t let the free-from labels put you off. Nom’s oat bars are bursting with simple, honest and nutritious foods – such as oat bran, virgin coconut oil and cacao nibs. Nom’s bars are the ‘healthy flapjack’, perfect for breakfast, as an on-the-go snack, or with a proper nice cuppa.
Where: Find stockists here
Order: Granola Square (60p)
The Lowdown: Marks and Spencer has one of the finest bakery selections on the high-street. Buttery eccles cakes, white chocolate cookies and pastries – it’s the pain au raisin for us. No flapjack list worth its oats would fail to include Marks and Spencer. Their granola bars are a versatile snack – perfect for an after lunch dessert, an evening treat or something to eat on the morning commute. Their granola square benefits from pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and raisins all for the bargain price of 60p. You can’t argue with that.
Where: Every decent high street
Photo courtesy of ssshalala
One to make at home..
These are delicious and very more-ish but their hidden beauty is their versatility – truly anything goes. So the ingredients list below is just a guideline – please feel free to substitute your favourite dried fruits, nuts and seeds (or simply whatever you have in your cupboard) with the ones I have chosen.
100 g unsalted butter
3 tbs honey
1 tbs brown sugar
200 g granola
50 sunflower seeds
50g pecan nuts – chopped
100g dried fruit (I used cranberries and raisins)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g chocolate chopped if you are feeling decadent
Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter and line a 20cm x 20cm baking dish or tin. Heat the butter, honey and sugar in a large saucepan, stirring until the butter is melted. Add the granola, seeds, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate if using and stir until combined. Tip into the tin and press down lightly until even – I always do with this with my potato masher! – then bake for 25 mins or until golden on top. Cool in tin, then cut into 12 squares. If you don’t cool it before cutting, it will be less of a bar and more of a crumble.
These American style pancakes are light, fluffy with a deliciously unexpected crunch. Serve with a slathering of chocolate spread, some sliced banana and a sprinkling of chocolate granola on top for a hearty breakfast or a decadent pud.