JustJaks Happy Holidays Flapjack Mix

14 August 2012

This was an interesting review for me. I'd no idea you could buy mixes for things like flapjacks. Or indeed, that it was possible to make one yourself without using, say, half a tin of golden syrup.

JustJaks specialises in fruity oat bar mixes. Run by two sisters, the company has a range of oat bar (aka flapjack) mixes, plus some seasonal ones. There's also accessories on the site, like children's aprons and gift kits.

We recieved the JustJaks Happy Holidays Flapjack Mix. At least that's what it says on the box. On the website it is called the Happy Holidays Oat Bar Mix (£3.75). Whatever the name, the end result is the same!

Read on to see how I got on.

The JustJaks Happy Holidays Flapjack Mix can in a slim, plain brown, cardboard box. On the inside lid is a beautifully designed set of instructions. On the bottom of the box is an equally stylish info box and ingredients list. Tightly packed inside is a packet of oats, and a packet of dried fruit.

You need to provide the fruit juice that's used to combine the mix together.

The mix is a fruity combination of sultanas, tasty dried pineapple & mango, mixed together with coconut. With 150mls apple juice added to the mix you can then bake it in the oven. Each 305g pack makes 8 large bars or 16 bite size servings.

First gather together your utensils. You'll need a mixing bowl, and a wooden spoon. The instructions also ask for a spatula, but I don't know why. I didn't need to use one. Next, you need an 18cm by 18cm baking tin, either non stick or greased. I assumed by the measurements they wanted a square one, but we don't own one of those. The nearest I could get was a round cake tin measuring 19cm.

I gave my son the job of tipping everything into the bowl, which he loved. Then measuring out the apple juice, and tipping that in. The instructions called for 1 minute of mixing like mad! Not something a 7 year old is particularly good at, so we took it in turns. He did one minute, then I did a minute of mixing.

I'd considered just using one of my square baking tins, and just sort of shaping it into a square in the middle. However, once I started pressing the mix into the tin I realised you really do need to have the right sized container, or near as, to get that even spread. I pressed it out using the palm of my hand.

Then it was into the oven, gas mark 4, for approximately 16 to 20 minutes. It smelled gorgeous. The apple juice gave it a really sweet tang. My husband came home half way through, and commented on what a great smell it was.

Finally it was time to pull it out of the oven. I have to say that by this point, I was absolutely starving. But I waited for the oat bars to cool down. You're supposed to let it cool for five minutes, then separate into 8 slices, or 16 bite size chunks, and put it in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

I couldn't wait that long so had my first slice straight away. It was still warm, and delicious. The oat bars are gorgeous after they've been in the fridge too. I don't think this is a recipe that you can do wrong in any way.

And after all that? My son wouldn't touch it. Not with those icky dried fruit in there. Sigh. Well never mind, that left lots more for me. For some odd reason, my husband thought he was going to get a share. Goodness knows why!

Pros: good price, easy to do, all natural, fun to make up with the kids, absolutely delicious

Cons: yeah, for some kids there's just no way they're going to eat dried fruit, even if they do make it themselves

Overall verdict: 8/10

10 comments

  • TamsinOxford
    Now I want one.
  • terry111
    so 3.75 for a small bag of oats and a bit of dried fruit?thats so far from a bargain its hilarious ... why wouldnt you just buy them for a fraction of the price at the supermarket???
  • LynleyOram
    that's a good point Terry. I guess that once you've made up one of these kits, it'll give you the confidence to try it out for yourself. However, I've given some to friends today who make their own flapjacks, and they thought it was particularly delicious. Certainly the ingredients used here are very good quality, and the oats is the right mix to get a tasty (chewy) end result. I think that, for children other than my son, making their own will encourage them to eat them too. And the packaging on this will definitely appeal.
  • e4b4
    I've just ordered a box to try out. I think it's a nice idea, but could get a bit costly when you add on the P&P. I guess the proof is in the tasting!
  • TamsinOxford
    Oooh! Let us know how you get on. I can't wait to hear what you think.
  • LynleyOram
    am eating the rest of mine right now with a cup of tea. I don't normally like oat bar type things, so that's an endorsement! I'd say that the chewiness of these makes them for me.
  • jack991
    £3.75 PLUS postage, PLUS your own apple juice ???? Quite ridiculous price for some 'homemade' flap jacks, heres an idea for you...buy a pack of oats for about a pound (will be 10 times the amount you get in this pack) and a pack of dried mixed fruit for about a pound (5 times the size of the one here) and it will work out at about 30p per batch rather than a fiver!!! And who mentioned the packaging being 'appealing' as a plus point??? on a home made flap jack you REALLY care what packaging the dry ingredients came in???
  • e4b4
    So, I received my pack and got baking straight away. It was really easy to assemble and get in the oven. But they didn't seem to have the consistency that I had imagined they would. My son didn't like them at all, but my mum managed to finish them off. I was a bit disappointed and think it's highly unlikely that I be ordering them again. I think I'll stick to the bag of oats and raisins and make my own in future!
  • LynleyOram
    that's really interesting E4b4, what consistency had you expected? I was expecting something a bit harder I think, like a Jordan's cereal bar. In the photo on the site it looked a bit crisp. Mine were quite chewy though. I'm with your mum though, I found I really liked it. Probably a great way to use up uneaten packets of raisins and the ends of porridge.
  • JustJaks
    Hi everyone and thank you for your comments, I thought I'd take this opportunity to respond to some of the comments above. I can understand the comments about the price of the mixes but the same could be said for a lot of the products available in the supermarkets, for example fruit smoothies are very easy to make however a lot of people like to buy them already made up for their convenience and the range of recipes. My sister and I have chosen recipes that we feel bring together ingredients that would be expensive to buy separately if purchased individually for example dried strawberries and organic mango. Having said all of that we are trying to bring down the cost buy changing the packaging and buying in larger quantities. In answer to the comments about consistency we have recently changed the description of the mixes to fruity oat bars as we feel that this is more descriptive of our product, hence it's not as syrupy as a flapjack or crunchy as a cereal bar. Thanks again for commenting, we have taken a lot of time to create bake at home kits that they will enjoying making and will continue to improve the recipes in the future.

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