Spelt Biscotti with Pistachio and Citrus

Spelt is an ancient cousin to wheat, with a mild, nutty taste. It is richer in protein and fibre than wheat, as well as being much easier to digest due to its more delicate, brittle, gluten structure. This makes spelt suitable for many people who suffer from wheat intolerance or IBS. These hard biscuits are barely sweet and are just lifted by the citrus tang and the sweet dried fruit. They’re perfect for dunking in peppermint tea or in an espresso after a supper party.


Makes 16

185g (61/2oz) spelt flour plus a little extra for rolling

75g (3oz) xylitol (or caster sugar)

1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten free if necessary)

1 large free-range or organic egg, beaten

finely grated zest of 1 orange

75g (3oz) mixed dried fruit

75g (3oz) unsalted pistachios, shelled, but preferably with their skins on

2 drops of almond extract


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2 Mix the flour, xylitol and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Stir in half of the egg and mix. Then slowly mix in the remaining egg to create large breadcrumbs.

3 Stir in the orange zest, dried fruit and nuts, and bring the mixture together into a ball, using your hands, making sure that the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed. Taste and add a couple of drops of almond extract if you wish.

4 Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board and shape into a long, even sausage, around 20cm (8in) long. Flatten slightly to create the characteristic squashed shape of biscotti, then place on the baking tray and bake for around 25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes (you will need the oven again) before cutting it into 16 slices.

5 Lay the slices out on the baking tray and return to the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the slices over and cook for a further 10 minutes, to harden and turn them golden. Cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container for at least a week.

Cook’s Notes

Wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free • V • Can be made in advance • Suitable for freezing

From Delicious, Health Sugar Free by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce. With special thanks to Fiona McDonald Joyce for use of these recipes for Holford Health Club members.

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