Anzac biscuits

Recipe: Better (gluten-free) Anzac biscuits

It’s been ages since I’ve eaten Anzac biscuits because they are definitely not gluten-free and. I know there are several paleo versions floating around in the interwebs but oats are such an important ingredient in this particular cookie that IMO they don’t deserve to be called Anzac biscuits at all.

Back when I reintroduced oats in my diet to follow the Chinese doctor’s nagging recommendations, I tried a few brands of gluten-free (by US standards, which are less strict than Australian) and uncontaminated oats. I didn’t have any issues with any of those so I use them regularly. For this recipe I used this brand of Australian uncontaminated oats. To learn more about oats, gluten and contamination click here.

I also bumped up the protein content by adding some whey protein powder and used a relatively low amount of unrefined sweeteners (coconut sugar and maple syrup), hence the name “better Anzacs”. Don’t be fooled though, these are still treats!
Hope you’re having a great Anzac Day!

Better (gluten-free) Anzac biscuits
Yield: about 14 medium chunky cookies

Better Anzac biscuits


Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup uncontaminated oats
  • 1/2 cup plain whey protein isolate
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Wet ingredients

  • 75g butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced works best).
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in a saucepan and melt on the stove (or place them in a bowl and melt in the microwave).
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  5. With your hands, make golf-sized balls with the batter, pressing firmly to make sure everything sticks together. Place on a tray lined with wax paper and flatten with your hand.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your taste (20 minutes will yield darker and crunchier cookies).
  7. Let cool down and enjoy.

The oats + AltShift experiment

Several months ago, I blogged about the porridge experiment. I ate rice porridge with black sesame, walnuts and goji berries for a few weeks to make the Chinese doctor happy. I attributed my positive health results to the herbs and went back to eating my normal (irregular) breakfast. Well, turns out that my chi has been declining again and the Chinese doctor gave me another breakfast talk. This time she did specifically mention the word “oats” and “every morning”, in order to boost my spleen chi. She also said to have ginger and cinnamon daily, which I don’t mind because I love both, and, most importantly, a glass of red wine every night. Woo hoo!

I’ll be honest and say I freaked out a bit about having oats for breakfast every morning. First, I hadn’t had oats since 2011 and I wasn’t sure how they would affect my blood sugar, hunger and inflammatory reactions to gluten (no, oats are not gluten free). Second, I’ve been doing AltShift since January 2nd with great success and I wasn’t sure if it made sense to try to fit the porridge macros into the plan. But I’m a scientist and a curious person by nature so I decided it was an experiment worth doing.

I don’t have a sweet tooth anymore so I’ve been making my porridge savoury. I cook the oats with either water or broth, mix it with fresh microplaned ginger, sometimes cinnamon, sometimes turmeric and eat it as part of my breakfast. I asked the Chinese doctor if I could eat other things with the porridge (e.g. eggs) and she said I should eat EVERYTHING. Yay! The glutton foodie inside me rejoiced. Because I’m still doing AltShift to the best of my ability, I do 1/2 serve of porridge on 5S, plus eggs or sardines. Sometimes I add a couple teaspoons of chia seeds that I soak in water while the oats cook, and/or a piece of butter at the end. On 3S days I have a full serve of porridge plus egg whites (mixed in), or tuna in water (separate). I normally add kimchi or sauerkraut on both shifts.

Savoury porridge with butter, boiled eggs, ginger and kimchi

Savoury porridge with butter, boiled eggs, ginger and kimchi

Savoury porridge with egg whites, ginger and turmeric

Savoury porridge with egg whites, ginger and turmeric

Savoury porridge with egg whites and kimchi

Savoury porridge with egg whites and kimchi

Savoury porridge with eggs and kimchi

Savoury porridge with eggs and kimchi

Because I’ve been eating a fairly big breakfast I don’t feel hungrier than normal. I have noticed I’m a bit more sleepy in the morning, but that could be a number of things. The biggie has been my reaction to gluten. I was fine with 1/2 dose but my reflux came back with the full dose. To rule out if it was the gluten content in regular oats (I was using Macro organic quick cooking oats), I bought a bag of uncontaminated oats, which claim to have < 3 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. It might be placebo effect but I do feel better with the uncontaminated oats. Regardless, having a whack (or half a whack) of grains at breakfast has made my digestion a bit slower. My pulse has gotten better, but I don't know if it's the oats or the acupuncture treatment the Chinese doctor gave me concurrently, or both. Anyway, things seem to be moving in the right direction for the most part, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing for a while.