Healthy ANZAC Biscuits (refined sugar free & vegan) + Oats & Gluten Intolerance

You know when your friend calls and says she is popping around in half an hour for a cup of tea and you have no yummy treats? That’s me, always. Mostly because I don’t buy packaged foods like biscuits and honestly because when I do make whole food treats they NEVER last long… So here is a healthier vegan version of ANZAC biscuits using nutritious ingredients, free from refined sugar, dairy and gluten free (if using gluten free oats). Plus an optional twist on a traditional favourite, half coated with homemade dark chocolate.

Afternoon tea with your bestie? Work or lunchbox treats? Problem solved.

I love finding ways to create old favourites using healthier ingredients - swapping out refined carbohydrates and sugars and swapping to healthy fats by replacing vegetable seed oils with healthy virgin oils. Traditionally, ANZAC biscuits are made with white flour, oats, butter, sugar, coconut and golden syrup. Store bought versions usually contain hydrogenated vegetable oils - no thanks! I’ve made these ANZAC biscuits dairy free and vegan by replacing butter with a heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. I’ve replaced the golden syrup with stevia for a no sugar option or 100% maple syrup if you prefer the taste.

oats in a coconut bowl

Oats & Gluten Intolerance

Oats are a great staple in any healthy diet. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish and build a strong healthy body, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, B1, and B5. Oats are incredibly filling and may help with weight management by promoting the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which makes you feel fuller longer. They contain powerful antioxidants that lower blood pressure and increase nitric oxide production, improving blood flow. Oats also contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which studies have shown helps to:

  • Slow digestion and increase feeling of fullness

  • Reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels

  • Regulate blood sugar and insulin response

  • Increase good bacteria in the gut

Are oats gluten free?

Oats don’t technically contain the gluten proteins, gliadin or glutenin, however they contain a protein called avenin which is similar to gluten. Some people find oats difficult to digest or for those with gluten intolerance, some experience similar symptoms to consuming gluten. The main concern with oats and gluten intolerance or coeliac is that oats are often harvested, processed and packaged on the same machinery as gluten containing grains (such as wheat, barley and rye), which is why they aren’t typically labelled ‘gluten free’. You can buy gluten free oats that have been harvested, processed and packaged in a gluten free facility.

In Australia, FSANZ defines oats as a gluten containing grain, and Coeliac Australia recommends that oats are excluded from a coeliac diet, until further research is more conclusive. If you are simply gluten intolerant you may find you can tolerate oats without any symptoms. Those who choose to consume a gluten free diet can decide on whether to consume oats or not, just remember they are highly nutritious!

healthy anzac biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits (Refined-sugar free & vegan)

These ANZAC biscuits taste like the traditional version but are refined sugar free, dairy free and vegan. Gluten free option using gluten free oats for those who can tolerate oats.

Makes: 15 biscuits


Prep time:

Cook time:

  • 1 + ½ cups rolled oats (gluten free for intolerances)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tbls stevia or 2 tbls 100% maple syrup
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tbls plant-based milk

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Allow to rest for 10 minutes (so the oats soften a little).
  3. Spoon balls of mixture (about 15) onto the lined baking trays, and flatten down into biscuits.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

  5. Whilst they are baking, whip up a batch of my homemade chocolate (search chocolate in the search bar at When biscuits are cooled, spread the raw chocolate over half the biscuit. Refrigerate until chocolate has set.

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