Sometimes you just can't go past a classic and these Anzac biscuits are no exception. It can be hard when baking with whole food ingredients and reduced sugar to get that delicious, chewy texture. However, this Anzac biscuit recipe worked out perfectly despite using gluten free flours as the base and coconut sugar rather than caster sugar. Making a classic recipe healthier is really so easy. It just requires some confidence in experimenting with new ingredients. Sometimes it will work first time and sometimes it will need some tweaking.
How to Make a Recipe Wholefood and Healthier
Firstly, you need to swap the flour from highly refined, nutrient depleted wheat flour to a wholefood ancient grain or gluten free flour. Ancient grains like spelt, rye and oat flour are great to use in baking. Because they are far less processed than most wheat flours, they still retain their nutritional value. Some great gluten free flours include buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, tigernut flour and teff flour. Often when using gluten free flours you will need to add an extra egg or 1 - 1 ½ teaspoons extra of baking powder to improve binding.
Secondly, swap the white or brown cane sugar for rapadura (evaporated can juice), coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. I always reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe at least by half as a general rule. Sometimes even more than half but it really depends on the recipe. For example, some of the chewy factor in these cookies is due to the sugar caramelising. If it was a cake I could have reduced it much more than I did.
Thirdly, consider the oil that you are using. I always stay well clear of canola oil as most are genetically modified. I opt to use butter (if not dairy intolerant), rice bran oil, extra virgin olive oil (on occasion) or cold pressed, non-refined coconut oil.
Lastly, I always use aluminium free baking powder as there are many studies about the negative effects aluminium has on the nervous system and brain.
A Few Words on Gluten Free
Now I just want to be clear about two things. Firstly, if something is labelled as "gluten free" it doesn't necessarily mean that it is healthy. There are a lot of REALLY crappy gluten free products out there, using refined flours as well as lots of sugar, fillers and preservatives. This is one of the reasons I choose to make most things myself. Secondly, these Anzac biscuits are made using buckwheat flour and tiger nut flour, which are both gluten free and highly nutritious. However, they do still contain oats. Oats are thought to be naturally gluten free but are often contaminated throughout processing. You can buy gluten free oats, though if you are a coeliac I suggest you steer clear all together. This is because oats still contain a gluten like compound which can potentially still react with coeliacs. You can read more about that here.
History of the Anzac Biscuit
We can't really do a remake of the original without talking a little bit about the classic, can we? The term ANZAC refers to Australia New Zealand Army Corps and was formed in World War I. Anzac biscuits were made by wives and mothers of soldiers and were sent to soldiers as they kept well and didn't spoil easily. Some were sold at fetes and carnivals to raise money for the war effort. These biscuits are still sold today to help fundraising for the returned services organisations of New Zealand and Australia.
For anyone interested in learning more about using whole foods in baking, I will be holding a workshop at the Source Bulkfoods, Springfield in July. You can join my mailing list here to find out as soon as tickets go on sale. I have been working hard on creating a FREE Resources Library for all of my subscribers, where I will be adding practical guides and eBooks to help you to be your healthiest self. Be the first to know when the Resources Library launches by joining the Sarah Bell Nutrition Community.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup tigernut flour
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- ¾ cup cold pressed coconut oil liquified
- 2 tblsp honey
- 1 tblsp water
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Add oats, buckwheat flour, tiger nut flour, coconut sugar and shredded coconut to a medium sized bowl.
- Pour coconut oil into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Add the honey and stir to combine.
- Mix together the bicarb soda and water.
- Once the coconut oil mixture is completely melted and hot, pour in bicarb mixture and stir quickly to combine.
- Once bubbles start to form turn the stove top off and pour coconut mixture into dry mix. Stir through until well combined.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper and begin rolling mixture into balls. Place each ball on the tray and press down slightly. Do not place biscuits too close together as mixture will spread during baking.
- Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before eating.