I can’t remember whether I have put this recipe up here before, but it needs to be published for permanence reasons.

I joined into the cycling community at a time when ‘wholesome’ foods had suddenly become popular. This was perplexing for a number of reasons. As a country lad, I grew up on such real foods as Flapjack like my Mother always made. Alongside my upbringing on real food a few people might remember that I started my athletic endeavours as a runner. Very few people in the running community took advantage of energy foods that were so popular in cycling. Before a long Sunday run, I would have a slice of toast and a glass of water, even if that run was an hour and a half long. Faster, anaerobic training sessions weren’t beckoned with an energy gel or some fancy pants carbohydrate drink, but with a cuppa tea and some flapjack a good couple hours before hand. This methodology seems crude to a cyclist, but I am still a believer in all that is real; Clif bars, which purport similar claims of wholesomeness, have a list of ingredients longer than a full roast dinner. I can’t understand how it takes 60 different things to make something as simple as a sugary snack. Please do not confuse the endorsement of this recipe as any kind of reassurance of ‘health’ though. With at least 50% being sugar and fat, it is designed for those which agree a sedentary existence is a fearful thought.

So here it is:

1 Lb Oats – big fat whole rolled oats

8 oz Butter/margarine/other source of fat

8 oz. Dark Brown Sugar

8 oz. Lyles Golden Syrup

8 – 12 oz. assorted fruits, nuts and seeds

Melt all the wet stuff, mix in all the dry stuff. Flatten into a greased baking tray and cook at 350ish Celsius for about 25 minutes. Check to make sure its nice and golden. The raisins are a good indicator of cookedness; its done when they’re dark brown and crispy.

As this recipe was taken from my Mums cookbook, there is always a mix of measurement units. The UK’s mix of measurement is an interesting quirk, but certainly equips one to understand any instructions. For those reading this in the US, you will also notice that Lyles golden syrup isn’t exactly widely sold; for anyone in Boulder, I would recommend heading to the World Market on 28th street and buying some, as there really is no perfect substitute. Golden syrup is a by-product of sugar refining that leaves behind a un-crystallising liquid; I’ve heard from others that an equal part mix of corn syrup and molasses is an adequate replacement but never tried it.

The fruit and nuts are a personal choice. I normally go for a combination of dried cranberries, raisins, apricots and some pumpkin or sunflower seeds. The more of this stuff you add, the drier and more crumbly the flapjack gets. Want it all sticky and chewy? Either add more syrup, or less fruity stuff.

Being back in the UK and riding from home, I don’t have the normal convenience of Carborocket or other quick and easy energy sources, so I am back to eating flapjack and drinking water. It feels good, too.