25th April is ANZAC Day here in Australia. As the tale goes, ANZAC biscuits were traditionally sent to soldiers by their wives, as the ingredients in these biscuits kept well for long periods of time. Flour, rolled oats, sugar, dessiccated coconut and butter were the main ingredients in traditional ANZAC biscuits – and I made a vegan version of these 2 years ago. But this year I wanted something without the refined ingredients. So I made these raw ANZAC biscuits…
Well, actually, they’re raw-ish. Not technically raw. I first published this recipe on Instagram and declared these to be “raw-ish ANZAC biscuits”. Not fully raw, but closer to raw than baked cookies 🙂 After my IG friend Rosie asked me what wasn’t raw about cashews, coconut, oats and dates, it got me thinking, and researching. While it was hard to come by concrete evidence for the following points, here is some general information:
Cashews: I already knew that truly raw cashews are hard to come by, but I didn’t even think about that when I set out to make these raw ANZAC biscuits. Cashews are usually heat treated so they can be removed from their shell. I used “natural” cashews in this recipe, so while they weren’t roasted, they technically aren’t raw either.
Coconut: this was Rosie’s guess to be the heat-treated ingredient, but I thought shredded coconut was simply dried at a low temperature, so technically raw. After some research, I learnt that shredded coconut is actually heat treated before drying to kill any bacteria – it’s bathed in 80C water for 8-10 minutes to kill bacteria such as salmonella. So I guess dried coconut isn’t raw either…
Rolled oats: when I made this recipe, rolled oats were the only ingredient I knew to be heat treated – the oat groats are steamed (and then rolled) to extend their shelf life. So, rolled oats aren’t raw either.
Dates: now, come on, surely dates are raw! Right? Actually, I recall reading that the fresh Medjool dates here in Australia (and most likely in other places around the world) are also steam treated to kill bacteria. So I guess that means dates are out too…dates are not even raw.
But it doesn’t matter if you want to label these ANZAC cookies as raw or not, they are still delicious, vegan, refined sugar free, quick, and easy to make. So I guess they weren’t really a fail, after all 🙂
Raw-ish ANZAC Biscuits
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
- Blend coconut and cashews until fine.
- Add dates and blend until well combined.
- Transfer to a bowl and mix in oats.
- Shape into cookies and eat!
- Tip: if mixture is too dry you can add a splash of water to help cookies stick together.