With ANZAC day fast approaching, I can almost smell the glorious scent of that sweet golden syrup and oat mixture baking in the oven. ANZAC biscuits are delicious for those of us who can eat them, but for those that have coeliac disease, are on the low FODMAP diet, or have other gastrointestinal issues, we may not be able to eat your traditional ANZAC biscuit. But fear not, below you’ll find both a gluten-free and low FODMAP recipe perfect for those who often miss out on ANZAC day.

WHY AREN’T ANZAC BISCUITS GLUTEN FREE?

As most of us know, one of the many ingredients in ANZAC biscuits are oats. While delicious and full of fibre, these may not be appropriate for our friends suffering from coeliac disease. However, this is dependent on where you live or where you get your oats and the rules around labelling of ‘gluten-free.’ As we’ve talked about previously, coeliac disease is an auto-immune disorder characterised by an abnormal reaction to the main protein, gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley. Oats, while labelled as a gluten-containing grain in Australia, contain a slightly different form of the protein gluten compared to wheat.

 

Different countries have different standards and regulations when it comes to labelling certain foods as ‘gluten-free,’ and Australia has some of the strictest labelling rules, to help protect those with coeliac disease from gluten ingestion or contamination. In Australia, oats cannot be labelled gluten-free. Certain oats that are labelled ‘wheat-free’ if they have not been contaminated or processed in an area that contains rye, wheat or barley. In other places such as America and Europe, you will find that they may label oats as gluten-free.

In practicality, most people (around 4 in 5) who have coeliac disease are able to eat and digest uncontaminated wheat-free oats without any abnormal side-effects. However, there are still some people (that other 1 in 5) with coeliac disease may experience immune reactions and damage to the small intestine associated with coeliac disease when they consume these uncontaminated oats. Essentially, Australia caters for the 1 in 5 that cannot consume oats without an immune reaction by having tighter regulations around the label ‘gluten-free.’ Other countries such as America, label oats as gluten-free, which leaves more options for those with coeliac-disease who do not react to oats (the 4 in 5) if they wish to consume oats.

So if you have coeliac disease, how do you know if you can tolerate oats with no harm? It is not a simple process to find this out. It involves a food “challenge” testing process with a small intestinal biopsy (via a gastroscopy procedure) before and after reintroducing uncontaminated oats to a gluten free diet. It is strongly recommended (by Coeliac Australia) to do this under the guidance of a health professional. You can read more about oats and coeliac disease in my blog post here.

 

RECIPES

Now that we’ve explained a little bit around why ANZAC biscuits aren’t considered gluten free in Australia, we’ve listed our gluten-free and low FODMAP recipes below. They may not be your traditional recipe, but they definitely taste just as good (maybe even better)!

 

GLUTEN FREE ANZAC BISCUITS

Makes 10-12

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp hot water
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, coconut, almonds and brown sugar.
  3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until just melted then remove from heat.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and boiling water, add to the butter mixture and whisk to combine,
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, mix to combine and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and place on the lined tray. Flatten with a fork if you prefer a thinner biscuit.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

 

LOW-FODMAP ANZAC BISCUITS

Makes 10-12

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free plain flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp hot water
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, coconut, almonds and brown sugar.
  3. Place the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until just melted then remove from heat.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and boiling water, add to the butter mixture and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, mix to combine and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and place on the lined tray. Flatten with a fork if you prefer a thinner biscuit.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

 

ANZAC Biscuits – Gluten Free and Low FODMAP
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