The idea that a biscuit or cookie can be a healthy snack is an interesting one. Lots of people have tried to create something that fills that gap. I’ve come up with a recipe that is as close as I can get, to cover off gluten free, dairy free, egg free and low sugar. But it’s not perfect -because that magical, healthy biscuit doesn’t really exist if you were raised on the traditional version.
If you are trying to cut your sugar intake, one option is to use artificial sweetener. But we are told the artificial sweeteners are not good for our bodies. We can swap out refined sugar for sweeteners considered less harmful, such as maple syrup or honey, but essentially they still carry a high carbohydrate load. Using ingredients like coconut sugar or palm sugar is another option – but… it’s still sugar. And biscuits are generally required to be sweet, to provide that yummy addition to a tea break. This biscuit has 1/3 to ½ of the usual sugar load.
Flour is another issue for lots of people these days. If you’ve ever tried a gluten free supermarket biscuit, you’ll understand why a decent gluten free biscuit feels like the proverbial unicorn. Gluten free flour does not work like regular wheat flour. It takes a lot of gum, stabilisers, improvers etc to mimic that effect. So I’ve given up on the flour substitutes, and gone for something completely different.
This recipe won’t suit if you are allergic to peanut butter. But if you swap that for almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter, it will work just fine.
Double chocolate gluten-free, vegan protein biscuits
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp boiling water
1 cup peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar if you’re not a purist)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cocoa (no added sugar)
½ cup long thread coconut
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or buttons
Preheat oven to 180◦C, and line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicon sheet. Mix the flaxseed and the boiling water in a cup, and set aside for10 minutes to turn gloopy.
Cream the peanut butter, sugar, maple syrup and vanilla (it’s quicker with an electric beater) then beat in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, including the flaxseed gloop. Scoop dessert spoon lots and roll them into balls, placing them on the tray with enough space for spreading. Use a fork to flatten them to about a centimetre thickness.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are firm. Cool on the tray. Store in an airtight container. They may soften but you can re-crisp them in a hot oven if you feel the need.