Paula Mee’s Fruit and Fibre Flapjacks

What if you could improve your mental health, boost your mood and reduce the symptoms of depression by altering the way you eat?  Focusing on the link between food, mood and mental health, author and dietitian Paula Mee outlines how a Mediterranean food plan can do just that in her latest book, Mediterranean Mood Food.

Improve your mood with these yummy snacks!



The fastest way to use up opened seeds, nuts and dried fruit before the best-before date arrives is to make a large tray of nutty treats. These keep well in an airtight tin in case you get a snack attack. Yes, there is added sugar in the condensed milk, but the trick is to cut the flapjacks into small squares. Apart from the condensed milk, all other ingredients have a myriad of gut-friendly soluble and insoluble fibre and antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals. What I really like about this one is that it takes seconds to make and you might even coax a younger member of the family to help.


1 x 400g tin of condensed milk

250g oats

150g dried fruit such as dried cranberries

150g unsalted roughly chopped nuts

125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)


Preheat the oven to 130°C.

Oil a 23cm x 33cm x 4cm baking tray.

Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.

Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients, then add the warmed condensed milk and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture into the tray and use a spoon to even the surface.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then cut into four across and four down to make 16 chunky bars.

Allow the bars to cool completely before removing from the tin so that they stay hard and don’t break as easily.

Mediterranean Mood Food; What to eat to help beat depression and live a longer, healthier life by Paula Mee is published by Gill Books, €19.99.