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freshly baked flapjacks in tin

Low sugar & low calorie flapjack recipe

20 Apr 2021 • 1 min read


We all know the theory that healthy eating consists of eating a balance of foods, whilst doing your best to avoid some others!

One great way to strike this balance is to find healthy alternatives to traditionally less healthy snacks and treats, which might otherwise lure you away from your healthy eating plan.

Check out our range of healthy snacks and flapjacks, or read on to find out how to make these super-simple, three-ingredient, healthy flapjacks here.

Low calorie foods

The NHS advises that men need around 2500kcal a day, and women needs around 2000kcal a day.1

These are the recommended amounts to maintain a healthy body weight, though this does depend on your activity levels.

If you are very physically active, either at work or for leisure, then you may need more calories.

And by contrast, if you are more sedentary, or do little activity generally, you may need fewer calories.

If you are trying to lose weight, you are probably looking for low calorie foods and recipes to keep your calorie intake down.

The oats in this flapjack are an excellent source of energy, nutrients and fibre. Which are a great substitute for other snacks or breakfasts that do not leave you feeling full.

The last thing you want is to find yourself reaching for more high-calorie snacks or meals because the low calories snacks did not fill you up enough!

Check out the health benefits of oats, and read on to find out how to make delicious, low calorie healthy flapjacks.

How many calories are in a flapjack?

If you explore the range of flapjack recipes and products available, you will notice the often wide range of calorie amounts in each flapjack.

Made with high-calorie ingredients, such as sugar and butter, a flapjack can easily have as many as 500kcal per serving.2

If you are aiming to lose weight and you are looking for low calorie recipes, then those high-calorie recipes may not be suitable.

These low cal flapjacks are a great substitute when you are looking for a flapjack fix, as they come in at under 100kcal per square.

Low calorie, low sugar, or low fat flapjacks?

Why choose? You can achieve all three with this low calorie, low sugar, low fat flapjack recipe!

We have skipped the sugar in favour of bananas. The bananas are a great binder too, which means you do not need to add oil. This keeps the fat content down.

But these low calorie and low sugar flapjacks are absolutely not low in taste!

The optional cinnamon and cocoa powder add even more flavour, and we encourage you experiment with adding other extras such as seeds or dried fruit.

Healthy flapjack recipe

With just three basic ingredients for these flapjacks, it is quick and easy to make this delicious snack.

Make sure the bananas are extra-ripe, as they are softer and sweeter that way.

The oats need to be rolled oats - the kind you use in porridge. They are the perfect consistency for flapjacks.

You can use dairy milk or your preferred alternative. Both oats and milks are available in store.

This recipe makes around 12 flapjack squares. You can store these in an airtight container for around a week, or even freeze them, to save them for much longer.


  • 200g porridge oats
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 150-200ml milk (or dairy-free equivalent)


  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Line a large baking tray with baking paper
  • Mix the oats, bananas and half the milk in a large bowl
  • If the flapjack mix seems dry, add more milk bit by bit, until the mix just holds together. You do not want it to be too wet.
  • Spread the flapjack mix evenly across the paper and press it down into the tray.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 35 minutes, or until they are starting to brown.
  • Remove from oven, slice into squares and leave to cool in the tray.

Adaptations for your healthy flapjacks

If you follow this recipe, these flapjacks are a low calorie food, and are great as part of a low calorie diet.

You can add seeds, nuts, nut butters, dried fruits, cocoa nibs and more spices, but keep in mind that, while you will add some nutrition with these, you may also be adding calories.

We especially like this recipe with some seeds sprinkled on top, or a scoop of whey powder for added protein.

Check out our protein flapjack recipe if it is extra protein you are after.

Last updated: 2 April 2021



Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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