You know when your friend calls and says she is popping around in half an hour for a cup of tea and you have no yummy treats? That’s me, always. Mostly because I don’t buy packaged foods like biscuits and honestly because when I do make whole food treats they NEVER last long… So here is a healthier vegan version of Anzac biscuits, using nutritious ingredients, free from refined sugar, dairy and gluten free. Plus an optional twist on a traditional favourite, half coated with homemade dark chocolate.
Afternoon tea with your bestie? Work or lunchbox treats? Problem solved.
I love finding ways to create old favourites using healthier ingredients, swapping out refined carbohydrates/sugars and swapping to healthier anti-inflammatory fats/oils. Traditionally, Anzac biscuits are made with white flour, oats, butter, sugar, coconut and golden syrup. Store bought versions usually contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, no thanks! I’ve made these Anzac biscuits dairy free and vegan by replacing butter with a heart healthy anti-inflammatory macadamia oil, but a good quality grass-fed butter would also be great if you already have it on hand.
Oats are a great staple in any healthy diet. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish and build a strong healthy body, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, B1, and B5. Oats are incredibly filling and may help with weight loss by promoting the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which makes you feel fuller longer. They contain powerful antioxidants that lower blood pressure and increase nitric oxide production, improving blood flow. Oats also contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which studies have shown helps to:
- Slow digestion and increase feeling of fullness
- Reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels
- Regulate blood sugar and insulin response
- Increase good bacteria in the gut
Oats and Gluten?
Oats don’t technically contain ‘gliadin’ or ‘glutenin’ (the gluten proteins), however they contain a protein called ‘avenin’ which is similar to gluten and may cause similar symptoms in some people. The main concern with oats and gluten intolerance or coeliac is that oats are often harvested, processed and packaged on the same machinery as gluten containing grains (such as wheat, barley and rye), which is why they aren’t “gluten free”. You can you can buy gluten free oats that have been harvested, processed and packaged in a gluten free facility.
In Australia, FSANZ defines oats as a gluten containing grain, and Coeliac Australia recommends that oats are excluded from a coeliac diet, until further research is more conclusive. If you are simply gluten intolerant you may find you can tolerate oats without any symptoms. Those who choose to consume a gluten free diet can decide on whether to consume oats or not, just remember they are highly nutritious!
Anzac Biscuits (GF/DF/V/ refined sugar free)
- 1 ½ cups GF rolled oats
- ½ cup flaked/desiccated coconut
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts (almonds are another option)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or rice malt syrup or honey, however honey is not a vegan option)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, or melted grass-fed organic butter (use olive oil for vegan)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon plant-based milk
- Preheat oven to 160 C (fan forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Combined all ingredients either in a food processor for about 20 seconds or in a mixing bowl until combined. If using a food processor, you want to keep the oats partly intact to give the biscuits texture and help them stick together.
- Add the milk or water and mix through until the mixture combines.
- Spoon balls of mixture (about 20 small) onto lined baking trays, and flatten down into biscuits.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Whilst they are baking, whip up a batch of my raw chocolate (recipe here the blog). When biscuits are cooled, spread the raw chocolate over half the biscuit. Refrigerate until chocolate has set.