For a nut-free version, you can easily omit the cashews – use pumpkin seeds, for example, if you need a crunch – and substitute the nut butter with more coconut oil. The chunks of dried mango work really well, just choose your brand carefully as many have added sugar and sulphites to preserve. I use Tree of Life from Ocado or Urban Fruits from Tesco and cut up into bite-sized chunks with kitchen scissors.
A food processor is the easiest thing to pulverise the dates and mango. If you don’t have one, however, you’ll just have to work a bit harder with your stick blender. Soak the stoned dates in hot water for about 15 minutes before starting; drain and mash up with the mango using a handheld blender.
You will need an oven proof dish – this recipe makes enough to fill a 15×15 cm vessel. I love my Teflon bakingware as it does not need greasing.
Ingredients (makes 30 squares)
270g oats (gluten free or conventional)
40g rice flour
Zest of 1-2 oranges
100g dried mango slices
100g cashews (pecans and pistachios are great too)
12 Medjool dates
2 medium mangos – about 700g in total (skin and stone)
6 passion fruit – pulp & seeds
50g coconut oil
25g almond or cashew nut butter
2 tablespoons of maple/agave syrup
Preheat the oven to 140 (fan)/160 (conventional)
- Prepare the oven proof dish by lining it with greaseproof paper and greasing it lightly with coconut oil (I put a blob of oil on the paper, pop it into the warming up oven for a few minutes, then spread with a piece of kitchen roll when melted).
- Pulse the nuts briefly in a food processor; or put into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. You are aiming for little chunks rather than crumbs – unless you want ground nuts in your flapjacks. Put into a big mixing bowl along with the sieved flour, orange zest, oats and dried mango.
- Stone the dates and blitz with the mango for a good few minutes until you have a smoothish paste. Halve the passion fruit and add the pulp and seeds and whizz together again.
- In a small saucepan, gently melt the coconut oil and nut butter together, stirring to help them along. Add this to the date mixture, along with the maple/agave syrup, and blend together into a runny paste.
- Tip this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well. Taste for sweetness, adding a bit more maple/agave syrup if necessary.
If your mangos are particularly juicy, or you feel that the mixture is overly sloppy, just leave it to stand for about 10 minutes before cooking as the oats will soak up some of the moisture.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes until firm and pale brown. Leave to cool and then slice into squares.