nettle flapjacks 001Monkton’s kitchen assistant and medical herbalist Elizabeth Crawford shares her delicious flapjack recipe;

“Nettles are bursting with vitality at this time of year, and the fresh green stems and leaves of new growth are delicious in soups, stews, juices or simply as a rich mineralising tea. Being exceptionally nourishing and slightly sweet, they work surprisingly well in sugar free, dairy free, seedy flapjacks. Just remember to protect your hands and wrists when picking and chopping!”

For the honey roasted seeds:

200g organic pumpkin and sunflower seeds

1 tbsp local organic honey

50ml sunflower oil

½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the flapjacks:

75g sunflower or rapeseed oil

75g butter or vegan margarine

225g barley malt extract

150g dates, chopped

200g fresh nettle tops, finely chopped

50g golden flaxseed

200g honey roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds

450g organic porridge oats

 

First make the roasted seeds. If the honey you are using is thick or set, gently heat it with the oil to increase fluidity. In a medium sized bowl combine the seeds and cinnamon, then add the honey and oil and stir thoroughly to coat. Turn the mixture into a baking tray and put on the top shelf of an oven preheated to 190 degrees for around 15 minutes. Halfway through toasting removed the tray and turn the seeds with a spoon. The seeds are done when they are a light golden colour – they will still be sticky but will crisp up while cooling. Turn the seeds onto a piece of greaseproof paper to cool while you continue with the flapjack recipe.

 

Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees and line a 30x20cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the oil, butter or margarine, malt extract and dates in a large pan over a medium heat. In a bowl, combine the flaxseed, roasted seeds and porridge oats. When the oil mixture begins to froth a little, add the nettle and sauté gently for a minute or two until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oats and seeds – the mixture will be sticky but fairly loose. Turn into the prepared baking tray and press down firmly (this is easier if you wet your hand a little). Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the flapjack looks golden and cooked. As soon as they are done, use a knife to score the surface into portion sized pieces, then allow to cool in the baking tray before dividing up and sharing with family and friends!

Makes around 18 large flapjacks.