I often have low iron levels and so I like to try to have snacks at hand which are packed full of natural sources of iron, such as these iron-rich flapjacks. As much as I enjoy eating meat on occasion, it can get a bit tedious (and expensive) to frequently eat a lot of meat, but thankfully, there are lots of great ways you can incorporate iron into your diet without always having to resort to eating meat all the time.
The natural world provides us with a whole host of plants and seeds which pack a serious iron-rich wallop and the beauty of eating plant-based sources is that they tend to be really, really cheap to buy, especially in bulk. Oats, for instance, are a brilliant source of iron and they’re also highly rich in nutrients, such as protein, soluble fibre and B-vitamins, while pumpkin and sunflower seeds have also got loads of iron in them along with a list as long as your arm of vitamins and essential minerals.
I made a big batch of these iron-rich flapjacks and they were demolished by myself and my family in no time at all. They’ve got a great texture and are filled with delicious fruity flavours. I topped mine with a dark chocolate drizzle, but if you’d like to keep the iron-rich flapjacks healthy you could leave the chocolate off them. Although, bear in mind that cocoa powder and good quality dark chocolate are great sources of iron in themselves and they’re also rich in antioxidants, so in my humble opinion that sounds like an excellent reason to go ahead and use the chocolate.
300g gluten-free oats
3 tbsp (36g) chia seeds
100g sunflower seeds
100g pumpkin seeds
4 tbsps cocoa powder
1 tbsp dried ginger
160g coconut oil or butter (melted)
140g golden syrup
1 large firm banana (mashed)
100g dark chocolate (for decorating)
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and line a deep-sided traybake tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix the chia seeds with 7 tbps of hot water and leave them for 5-10 mins to gel.
Melt the coconut oil with the golden syrup and put it in a large mixing bowl.
Add all of the dry ingredients and the mashed banana into the bowl and mix very well until it’s all coated.
Pour the mixture into the lined traybake tin and bake for 30-40 mins.