This year I will miss seeing my Grandad at our local Raglan Anzac parade. Not because he won't be there, I have no doubt about that. It's me. I won't be there.
It's funny; I find the older you get the more you tend to appreciate what our forefathers have done to make our world what it is today. Years ago as a littlie I couldn't think of anything worse than standing around listening to speeches and watching men in uniforms walk up and down the main street. But as the years have passed it has become more and more something I look forward to. It's a day for us to remember and acknowledge all those who have fought and died in the course of service for their country. I still remember a few years back when I stood waiting to see Grandad march. He wasn't anywhere to be seen. I looked and looked and couldn't spot him. It brought a tear to my eye when I finally noticed him sitting up on the stage, no longer strong enough to walk the lap around town. For years he has been telling us his old war stories (he fought in World War 2), I wish I'd listened more carefully and I could have re-told one for you now. But alas, you will have to just make do with this recipe that I've come up with for gluten-free Anzac biscuit instead.
I love food with history and these little babies have ample. It is said that Anzac biscuits were first made way back in World War 1. Given the task of coming up with something nutritious that keeps well to send to their soldiers at war, the woman of the time came up with the simple mix of; hearty Scottish oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, baking soda and boiling water. The Anzac biscuit was born.
Traditionally made using regular oats, I've opted to make these Anzac's using quinoa flakes for a nutritious 100% gluten-free alternative. I understand that certified gluten-free oats are available in some countries, but I'm yet to come across any back home in NZ or here in Perth. We actually have been eating regular oats again for the past year or so and don't seem to have any issues with them, but I know for a lot of people who are gluten intolerant and especially those with coeliac disease, oats can be a real problem.
Gloriously crisp and golden on the outside, while still chewy in the centre, these biscuits are pretty damn close to the original in both flavour and texture. I think my even my Nana and Grandad would approve? If only NZ customs would allow me to mail some over for them to try...
Lest we forget xxx
gluten-free quinoa Anzac biscuit
As we tolerate butter in small amounts these days, I tend to do most of my baking with it. You can find quinoa flakes and flour at your local health food store or at selected supermarkets. It is said that traditional Anzac biscuits kept for up to 2 months, just long enough to be shipped over to the troops. Mine have never made it past 3 days before being gobbled up, so I'm yet to find out how well they actually keep 😉
- 1 cup (90g) quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup (70g) fine brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (45g) quinoa flour
- 1 cup (200g) raw unrefined sugar
- 3/4 cup (60g) desiccated coconut
- 125g butter
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat oven to 170 C/338 F.
Place quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, raw sugar and coconut into a medium bowl. Melt butter and golden syrup together in a small pan over medium heat. Mix the baking soda with boiling water and add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter mixture, using a wooden spoon stir to fully combine.
Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls, squeezing the mixture together if it seems crumbly. Slightly flatten and place 2-3cms apart on baking paper lined oven trays.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies have risen, then fallen and have become dark golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes to set before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.