How many of you have enjoyed a “digestive biscuit” before? Considered a cookie in the US (although still much less sweet than most American-style cookies), digestives are a centuries’ old snack created from the belief that the use of baking soda would aid digestion.
If you take a look at the ingredients, modern day versions don’t have much benefit for digestion. With the holidays and unofficial Cookie Season upon us, I wanted to create a true digestive style cookie that included ingredients shown to support digestion. A healthy digestive function is key to hormonal balance.
These Fennel Orange Digestive Cookies are a cinch to make and require only 15 minutes of prep time. Unsweetened applesauce, coconut oil, and molasses provide natural sweetness that won’t spike your blood sugar, and they are egg-, dairy-, and gluten-free.
The orange and fennel add a festive kick for any cookie swap or to enjoy after a holiday meal.
Fennel seeds have historically been used as a digestive aid, with some cultures chewing on plain fennel seeds after a meal. (In fact, we use fennel in our After Digestive Bitters from Wellena.) Dried fennel seeds are also high in fiber, with 1 gram of fiber in every 3 grams of fennel seeds. From a hormone standpoint, a recent study has also shown that daily consumption of fennel seeds over 8 weeks can offer significant improvement to symptoms of menopause. (1)
Flax seeds are an amazing source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water so moves through the digestive track quickly, “sweeping” waste along with it – including excess “dirty” estrogens, and supporting balanced hormones in the process. Soluble fiber forms a gel when combined with water, to help you feel satiated. Both forms of fiber support balanced blood sugar levels. Flax seeds are also used in Seed Rotation to bring menstrual cycles and hormones back into balance.
Orange zest doesn’t just provide a bright and festive flavor. The flavanones of citrus fruits, including oranges, can help support optimal gastrointestinal function. (2)
Oat flour has a high fiber content that contributes to regular bowel movements. It also serves as a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the beneficial bacteria that aid in digestive function. (3) If you give this recipe a try with a different form of gluten-free flour, let us know how it goes for you.
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup melted unrefined coconut oil
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups oat flour
- ½ tsp aluminum free baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Add flaxseed/water mixture to a large mixing bowl with coconut oil, molasses and applesauce. Stir to combine.
- Stir in oat flour, baking powder, sea salt, fennel seeds and orange zest.
- Scoop dough onto baking sheet 2 inches apart using a cookie scoop. Gently press cookies to ¼-inch thick using a spatula. Bake 18-22 minutes.
- Cool cookies at room temperature for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire cooling rack and cooling completely.
- Store in an airtight container in a dry location.
Find more hormone-balancing recipes in Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones. You’ll also find easy, hormone-balancing recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, and nightshades. These recipes are highly anti-inflammatory, low in sugar, and made with powerful medicinal ingredients to help heal your body naturally.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
- Ghaffari, Parvin et al. “The effect of Fennel seed powder on estradiol levels, menopausal symptoms, and sexual desire in postmenopausal women.” Menopause (New York, N.Y.) vol. 27,11 (2020)
- Stevens, Yala et al. “The Intestinal Fate of Citrus Flavanones and Their Effects on Gastrointestinal Health.” Nutrients vol. 11,7 1464. 27 Jun. 2019
- Korczak, Renee et al. “Effects of oats on gastrointestinal health as assessed by in vitro, animal, and human studies.” Nutrition reviews vol. 78,5 (2020)
Thank you for those recipes. I would love to make them today, I adore cookies but for the reasons you mentioned in your newsletter, I usually refrain from eating them. I have one request though: Could you add the measurements in grams please? I know, it is not a big deal to do it myself but by the time I print out the recipe and convert into metric (searching for the converting tables first) I lost steam and end up without cookies. Actually, that is not bad considering it is much healthier not to eat cookies etc. at all.
Not Cookie Monster but Dragon Mama
I have to refrain from seeds…..would it be okay to ground the fennel seeds?
Hi, yes that sound be ok. We haven’t tried out this substitution yet, but let us know when you do & how it turns out! Thank you. ~HB Support
Made these last night & love them! One question though… should they be soft or crispy? Not a big deal as I think they would be great either way I just wondered what to aim for:)
Hi TM, these are meant to be on the crispier side. ~HB Support
These didnt come out at all. Super crumbly and the taste was not good. Waste of time and ingredients
Hi Gigi, we’re sorry to hear these didn’t work for you. Sometimes it works better if you let the freshly ground flax sit for about 10 minutes in the water to make a gel like mixture before adding to the rest of ingredients. This can sometimes fix the issues with being too crumbly. ~HB Support