Friday, December 05, 2014

Seed Stacked Flapjacks

On a recent business trip to Europe, I not only experienced plenty of food at restaurants, I also partook in the local snack foods, because, you know me and my love of trying new things!

Seed Stacked is a company in the UK, that makes two product lines focused around seeds, one is packets of seasoned seeds, called "Sprinkles", which I did not try, and the other are bars, or, as they are known there, flapjacks.  While I still don't usually like bars that I try in the US, I was fascinated by my only other experience with flapjacks (part of my Graze box, yes, a company that started in the UK as well), so I was eager to try them out.

When I had my first flapjacks from my Graze box, I thought they seemed less like a granola bar, and more like a healthy oatmeal cookie.  I wasn't quite sure when in my daily eating schedule they made sense - were they ok for breakfast?  Just a snack?  They weren't quite a dessert ...

Luckily, Seed Stacked cleared it up for me: "great for breakfast, lunchboxes or a snack in the afternoon".  Aha, yes, basically acceptable whenever.

Their flapjacks are available in three varieties: original, or topped with yogurt or carob.  Their marketing line is "indulge yourself in health", which sounds a bit silly, but, I actually understood this phrase.  The bars are pretty healthy, as they really just are made of oats (22%) and seeds (47%), plus honey (29%) for sweetness, yet they do feel indulgent.  I can't really explain it, as I'm not one to generally get into healthy bars.

I enjoyed the flavors I tried, and wish I'd snagged some for my trip home.  Oh, they are also gluten-free.
Original Flapjack.
"Handmade pure oat bar with seeds and honey".

I started with the original, literally a bar of oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds, lightly sweetened with honey.  Or if you prefer their marketing: "Our deliciously healthy Seed Stacked Flapjacks are a mouthwatering combination of gluten free rolled oats and Mother Nature’s wonderful sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds all bound in a perfect soft, sweet package with natural honey and no added sugar."

I was skeptical.  I don't care for flax seeds as they are generally too bitter for my taste.  I doubted how a simple bar of seeds and oats could possibly be worth eating.

Yet ... it was truly satisfying.

The texture was similar to the other flapjacks that I've tried, soft, almost like an oatmeal cookie, rather than a granola bar.  Slightly crumbly, but not messy.

All of the seeds were incredibly flavorful.  The level of sweetness from the honey was perfect.  I was shocked, but I quite liked this, and would gladly eat more of these.  I also think they'd make great little snack size nuggets too!
Carob Topped Flapjack.
"A delicious, gluten-free, pure oat bar with seeds, honey and a smooth carob topping."

Next I moved on to the one with the carob topping.

The texture was about the same as the original, soft, yet crunchy.

I loved the crunch for the assorted seeds, and, surprisingly, the bitterness they added.  The flavor was balanced by the sweetness of the honey, which was as strong as you'd expect given that it made up more than 25% of the bar.  It really was all in balance.  I normally dislike flax seeds, but I didn't really taste them in here.

On top was a layer of carob, which did taste a bit like chocolate, making this feel even more like an indulgent cookie rather than a fairly healthy choice.  The thickness of the carob layer was just right too, enough to taste it, not overwhelming.  The balance of everything in this bar was done really well.

I liked this much more than I anticipated, particularly the texture.  I'd gladly eat another, anytime of day.
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