Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Easy and mostly healthy: 10-Grain Waffles


One of my favorite ways to feed the ravening horde that tromps down the stairs every morning is to fix a double or triple batch of pancakes or waffles, hope for leftovers, and freeze them for busy days.  I just use a standard pancake recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens, but I substitute 100% whole wheat pastry flour for the all purpose flour and add a wee bit more baking powder.

If you aren't familiar with whole wheat pastry flour, you should really try it.   It can be subbed in for white flour pretty much anywhere, no need to mix with white flour.  It is milled finely, has a very light texture, and makes lovely 100% whole wheat pancakes, waffles, biscuits, muffins, cookies, etc.  (Not so hot in cakes, though.  I suggest you just take my word on that...otherwise you, too, might have a story about an Infamous First Birthday Cake that follows you for the rest of your life.)  I like Bob's Red Mill, it is fairly economical and widely available in whole foods stores and some grocery stores.  Of course it is more expensive than white flour, but the payback in terms of health is real.

Yesterday I tossed together a batch of my Oat Bran Waffles...except I was out of oat bran.  I have a little bit of an Achilles' heel in the kitchen - I'm terrible at keeping staples in stock.  I'm better than I used to be..which isn't saying a whole lot more than, "we don't usually run out of ketchup any more."  I dislike buying something unless I know specifically why I need it, so I can't convince myself to replace something just because it's running low.  It causes a world of trouble...but it's also forced me to learn to make creative emergency substitutions in recipes!  So the Oat Bran Waffles became 10-Grain Waffles, just like that.

10-Grain Waffles  (Adapted from a recipe for refined grain waffles in Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 1996 edition)

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c 10-grain hot cereal (dry)
1 heaping T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 eggs, separated
1 3/4 c milk
1/2 c oil

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl; mix the egg yolks, milk, and oil in another.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix till just combined.  Clean up the mess from your three year old trying, and failing, to balance a jar of peanut butter on his head.  Beat the egg whites till stiff, then fold lightly into batter.  Leave a few fluffs of egg white.  It should look like this:
Waffle batter...
Bake according to your waffle baker's instructions.  Serve it up with butter and real maple syrup, or, more healthy, with plain yogurt and applesauce (no, seriously.  It's good.  I promise.).   Freeze the leftovers - they reheat gorgeously in the toaster.  My children all devour these - and finding something that ALL of them love is pretty rare.  Variations: For the original oat bran waffles, use 1 1/4 c flour and 1/2 c oat bran.  For whole wheat waffles, just use 1 3/4 c flour.  For pancakes, you could probably just skip separating the eggs and put the whole eggs in with the wet ingredients.  I've never tried that - if you do, leave a comment and tell me how it went!


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