Many newly diagnosed coeliacs are advised to avoid oats as well as wheat, barley and rye. This is not because oats contain gluten but because they often become contaminated during the growing or processing process. This can be a temporary restriction for a year or so until it’s been confirmed that the gut is healing, but some people have to continue to avoid them on an ongoing basis as they are so sensitive. I’m still in my first year and I am really missing my flapjacks and porridge.
However, all is not lost. Enter millet flakes. Easily obtainable from some supermarkets and most health food shops, millet flakes are a good alternative to oats and are naturally gluten-free. They can be used as a breakfast cereal, however I prefer to use them in baking. Below is a recipe for Anzac biscuits which I’ve adapted from Healthy Gluten-Free Eating (available from Coeliac UK). I found them originally a little dry and dare I say a bit boring, so I added more syrup, some honey, nuts and dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, cranberries etc). I found if you whizz the fruit in food processor or mini chopper it gives the biscuits a moist consistency. If you leave the pieces too large, they tend to fall out when cooking. The biscuits might go a bit soft the next day, but you can pop them back in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up (presuming there’s any left the next day!)
Debs Special Anzac Biscuits
These biscuits commemorate the participation of Australia and New Zealand in the Second World War. Here is a Coeliac-friendly version with a new twist.
Makes about 30
110g millet flakes
110g caster sugar
110g desiccated coconut
100g gluten-free flour
50g ground almonds
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tbs honey
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
50g nuts roughly chopped (optional)
50g dried fruit finely chopped (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3/fan 150 and line some baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
- Mix together all the dry ingredients, except the bicarbonate of soda, in a bowl.
- Put the water, golden syrup, honey and butter into a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda and stir. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Roll the mixture into balls and place onto a baking sheet. Space them sufficiently far apart for the biscuits to spread as they cook. Flatten slightly and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them – they burn easily!
- Leave to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-6 minutes, or until firm enough to handle, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.