This recipe comes from a cookbook with no quinoa, chia seeds or kale. The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook from 1971 has none of the modern super foods, but does have a load of wheatgerm! It’s in almost every second recipe.
My friend Clare found this gem with its gorgeous 1970s illustrated cover at an op-shop, and I was chuffed when she wanted to lend it to me (we met last year while making a recipe book for our kids’ primary school). I flicked through every page – as you do when it’s not your own book and you have to give it back – and photocopied a bunch of interesting recipes to try. I’ve got wheatgerm covered for the rest of my days.
I love these little biscuits from the book and I’ve made them half a dozen times, making a few tweaks to the quantities, etc. They look just like Anzacs, and do have plenty of oats in them, but instead of coconut and golden syrup they’ve got sunflower seeds, wheatgerm and brown sugar. They’re energy-packed and nutritious, and somehow come out tasting a bit like peanut butter; yet no nuts, just seeds. They’re the perfect sweet-but-healthy treat to have in the house and/or put in lunch boxes.
(If now you’ve bought wheatgerm and don’t have plans for the rest of the packet, check out this very easy, delicious (and again healthy) loaf cake from the early days of this blog: Banana, date and wheatgerm loaf.)
Sunflower seed biscuits
The recipe makes quite a lot of biscuits (although they keep well). You can halve it if preferred.
225 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g (¾ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt (flakes or coarsely ground is best)
250 g (2½ cups) rolled oats
225 g (1½ cup) sunflower seeds
40 g (½ cup) wheatgerm
150 g (1 scant cup) wholemeal plain flour
Cream the butter and sugar (with a wooden spoon is perfectly fine) until the mixture becomes pale and creamy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and bicarbonate of soda. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Dollop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto trays lined with baking paper, leaving a few centimetres in between. Cook for 10–12 minutes, or until golden but not too dark.
Makes about 65 small biscuits