The History behind the ANZAC Biscuit
ANZAC Day (25th April) is a nationwide day of commemoration for Australians and New Zealander’s of the lives lost at war, especially the ANZAC’s (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) of WWI.
The sweet ANZAC biscuits that we know and love today, originating from World War I, are in fact a derivative of the hard-tack soldier’s biscuit that was consumed in the battlefields (which is commonly confused) . They are thought to have been carefully created by a team of women on the home-front who were searching for a solution to a biscuit that could be easily transportable to their men on the front line in care/comfort packs. The sweeter and more palatable biscuit recipe It was important that the biscuits and its carefully selected ingredients didn’t spoil in the long voyage, were readily available and delivered nutritionally, hence the inclusion of golden syrup and the exclusion of eggs and butter traditional used in biscuit cookery. The biscuits were then packed into tins, sometimes billy tea tins, to keep them airtight as is done with the Emu Bottom ANZAC Biscuits with Wattleseed.
It is also believed that the sweeter biscuit recipe is celebrated and shared as the ‘ANZAC biscuit’ due to the love and compassion from the home-front that is associated with them and the care packs they were and still are a part of today. To this day they represent more than a biscuit and a recipe as they are an iconic tradition that is passed down through the generations of Australians and New Zealanders, i.e. from mother to daughter as was done with ours, where the stories of our past are shared, and of the gentle reminder of the ANZAC legacy and spirit that is never to be forgotten – lest we forget.
Anzac biscuits are a family favourite of ours to bake at home with the children. They are traditionally made with rolled oats, butter, sugar, golden syrup, white flour and coconut. I’ve adjusted the original recipe to create a healthier version of this fabulous cookie. The first is my favourite and based on traditional rolled oats combined with coconut, almond and heart healthy / anti-inflammatory coconut oil. The worst thing about them..?! It’s hard to stop at one! The great thing about this recipe is that you can also swap the oats for quinoa to make them suitable for gluten free eating plans or source a good quality uncontaminated gluten free oats from your local health food store.
So what’s great about them?
Oats are a great source of soluble fibre that fills you up, so you feel fuller for longer. According to studies, the beta-glucan fibre found in oats can help regulate your appetite for up to 4 hours as well as help lower cholesterol. Coconut oil works as an anti-inflammatory and is also stable at high cooking temperatures. It also replaces traditional Tran’s fats in margarines which are found in most store bought Anzac cookies.
(Makes 12 delicious Anzac cookies)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats Gluten free
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup flaked or chopped almonds
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons raw organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
Combine oats, coconut and almonds into a food processor.
Add the oil, honey and vanilla.
Turn on the food processor and mix well for about 30 seconds or until combined.
Add the water and process again. The addition of water will help the cookie mixture stick together.
Form into 20 small cookies and place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Flatten down with enough room around each cookie.
Bake for 20 -30 minutes in a low 150 C (300 F) oven. or until golden brown.
Cool completely before eating and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container for 5 days.