Enjoy amazingly delicious sugar free flapjacks with minimal effort! Using only 4 ingredients, these gluten free flapjacks make the perfect snack and will definitely be kinder on your blood sugars. The only downside is waiting for these tasty flapjacks to cool!
We are big fans of oats in this house. We eat them for breakfast, use them in snacks and even in my favourite dessert. The reason we love them so much is that not only are they incredibly nutritious but we have found them to be a great option to support blood glucose management.
This flapjack recipe however swaps out the usual syrup and sugar with a sugar substitute, xylitol, which due to its low glycaemic index does not raise blood glucose levels.
Full of buttery oats, these no added sugar flapjacks really do make a tasty treat. But if you want an even more decadent flapjack, then make sure to check out my delicious Bakewell Flapjack with added cherry and almonds.
What is a Flapjack
In the UK a flapjack is a snack bar that is traditionally made with oats, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. However, if you aren’t from the UK then this recipe will probably look similar to recipes you know called oats, cereal or granola bars.
A flapjack recipe is typically quite simple. They are generally pretty sweet, buttery and either soft and chewy or a little harder and crumbly. These sugar free flapjacks tend to be a little more on the harder and crumbly side, as they are cooked for a little longer.
The Best Oats to use for Sugar Free Flapjacks
I have tried using both jumbo rolled oats and porridge oats in this recipe and I have found that the slightly smaller porridge oats work better. I think the smaller surface area helps them to stick together a bit better. But the good news is they also tend to be slightly cheaper which is always good news!
And to clarify, oats and oatmeal are the same things but we just use different words to describe them. Here are some other terms you may be familiar with:
- Porridge oats
- Rolled oats
- Jumbo oats
- Instant oats (the most highly processed version of oats) – Not suitable for this recipe!
Oats and Diabetes
Oats have a low glycemic index which can be a really good choice for blood sugar management. Being a low GI whole grain means that your body will be slower in turning the carbohydrate to glucose, resulting in a more delayed and potentially smaller rise in blood sugar levels. Another reason why we are big fans of them!
This flapjack recipe goes even further though by replacing the usual sugar with a sugar alternative, xylitol. Xylitol is my sweetener of choice again due to its low glycaemic index, it doesn’t have a strange taste profile and it doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugar levels. But if you would like to read more about sugar substitutes and diabetes management then you can read more here
The world of sugar substitutes and type 1 diabetes can be confusing. This guide explores substitutes in the UK and diabetes management
Nevertheless, I appreciate what works for us may not be the same for you. However, we have found that continually trying and choosing low GI options, such as oats and wholegrains always helps to delay and create smaller rises in blood sugar levels.
If you would like to read more on how a whole food diet has helped with our diabetes management, then make sure to read this article.
Ingredients for easy sugar free flapjacks
- A naturally gluten-free whole grain
- Oats are such a magnificent food (in my opinion); they are wholegrain, a great carbohydrate source, and full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- They also have a lower glycaemic index so the body will be slower in digesting them and turning the carbs into sugar.
- High in saturated fat so I am always careful not to include too much in our diets
- A nutritive-based sweetener with a low glycaemic index that doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugars
- Use any sweetener you prefer, however, read more here, as not all sugar replacements are a 1:1 substitute.
- Vanilla Extract
- The better quality the better the flavour
- I like the Pure Vanilla Extract by Nielsen Massey
Parchment / Baking paper
How to make these easy sugar free flapjacks
In a few simple steps, these deliciously oaty and crumbly flapjacks will be teasing you whilst you patiently wait for them to cool. By far the hardest part of this recipe!
Start by preheating your oven to 180c fan / 200c and then prepare your tin. Line a square tin (20cm x 20cm) with parchment paper so that the paper comes up on all sides.
Next in a saucepan heat the butter, xylitol and vanilla extract until bubbling. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes. Then take the buttery mixture off the heat and add your oats. Mix everything together well ensuring all your oats are well covered.
Finally, transfer the mixture to the lined dish, spreading it out evenly. Push down firmly with a spatula or you can lay a piece of grease-proof paper on top and use your hands to press down firmly to get the flapjacks nice and smooth. Pop the flapjacks into the preheated oven for 25-30 mins. The flapjacks should have a light golden glow to them.
Leave the flapjacks to completely cool in the tin before removing carefully, lifting the parchment paper. I would recommend leaving them to cool again for an hour or so before cutting them into your squares. (I did tell you that the waiting was the hardest part!)
Storing your flapjacks
Store your flapjacks in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.
Other Oaty Recipes to try:
If you’re an oat lover like we are then why not try these other delicious oat-based recipes:
- APPLE CRUMBLE WITH OATS
- EASY NO BAKE CHOCOLATE OAT BARS
- PEANUT BUTTER BANANA OAT COOKIES
- CHERRY BAKEWELL BAKED OATS
- HEALTHY BERRY CRUMBLE – NO ADDED SUGAR
- SIMPLE SUGAR FREE OAT BISCUITS
Oats are a real superfood in my eyes, full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are fantastic as a slow-release carb snack that potentially can help to keep blood sugar spikes at bay. The added butter in this recipe may also slow digestion, making these quite a slow burner. However, we all respond differently so test what works for you!
The overall carb count for one flapjack, based on the ingredients we would count for is:
- 400g of Porridge Oats from Sainsbury’s = 242g of carbs
Divide this by the serving size, 16 – 242/16 = 15g of carb per portion
Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.