“SHORT ORDER” WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES (OR PANCAKES)
(Cook one or a whole batch!)
Howdy, all! I’ll cut right to the chase: It’s time for to me to stop inventing version after version of my long‑tinkered‑with waffle mix and finally post the thing so my waffle‑loving friends can get down to business and start eating.
I didn’t mean for anyone to go hungry as I’ve been trying out different recipe versions; but, hey, it’s not MY fault that every dang one of them was a worthy candidate! As soon as I would try a new waffle, I’d wonder if it was really better than the old one; then I’d have to make another new batch and do side‑by‑side comparisons…and eat more waffles.
Not that eating more waffles made me sad or anything. It’s just that, in the end, for me it is all about TIME. When I want a waffle, I want it NOW, and I don’t want to have to pull out measuring cups and spoons and whir a small amount of batter in my Vitamix that is going to selfishly waste half my batter by holding it down underneath the blender blades.
My solution was to mix up a big batch of all the dry ingredients into a homemade mix so that when I want a waffle, all I have to do is add water to it, let it thicken a bit, and then tell my new Cuisinart waffle maker to work its magic.
A word about waffle irons. I had given up on waffles because no matter what I did, my waffles would ALWAYS stick, and who wants to spend time cleaning a stupid waffle iron? Well, it turns out that the answer is to get a GOOD nonstick waffle iron (I now swear by my inexpensive Cuisinart Classic) and never, ever spray it with non‑stick spray. That stuff can mess up a nonstick surface like nobody’s business, leaving a wicked little residue that gets worse with time. A good nonstick waffle iron truly is nonstick! (You do have to pour the batter into a HOT iron and leave it until it’s finished cooking all the way, which should be intuitive unless you’re as impatient as I am sometimes.)
Neva Brackett’s recipe for Light and Tender Waffles from her Seven Secrets cookbook (get one!) is what I started with for my waffles. It calls for whole oats, millet or cornmeal, flaxseed, and cashews. You simply throw everything in the blender with some water, blend it for a minute and then cook up your delicious waffles. This works just fine if you’re making a regular batch of waffles for two or more people, but since I love EASY when I’m hungry, I wanted to spend a bit of extra time pre‑blending all dry ingredients into a flour to then store so I don’t have to do that every time.
Instead of processed oil in these waffles, we’ll use a whole‑food source of it from nuts‑‑cashews or almonds. The whole nuts blend easily in the Vitamix with the water and other ingredients if you’re making a batch to use right away, but getting them into a flour takes a bit of work because the fats in the nuts make the mixture want to cake down at the bottom of the blender jar. After spending quite a bit of time blending, poking to the bottom of the blender to loosen the mix, then blending and poking and blending and poking some more, I decided to try some pre‑ground almond flour. Golden Buzzer‑‑it worked!
Do you see the hemp hearts in the picture with the cashews? I wondered if people with nut allergies could use hemp hearts instead of nuts (they are SO good for you)‑‑and another Golden Buzzer award, because those worked well too! You do get a bit of “hempy” taste, but I think they’re tasty; and besides, it’s nothing that a pouring of maple syrup can’t fix.
For those with celiac or wheat allergies, if you use certified gluten‑free quick oats and millet where you might otherwise use wheat flour, you’ll have a mix free of wheat or gluten.
Look how cute quick oats and millet look under the microscope at 100x! (Did you buy your kids or grandkids stereo microscopes for Christmas? It’s not too late to get them one for Valentine’s Day!)
Instead of eggs, flaxseed does the trick. I LOVE the Premium Gold pre‑ground flaxseed, because it doesn’t require milling and is very shelf‑stable the way it’s processed. I buy it at Costco. Good stuff! (It’s also really cute under the microscope.)
There will be a bit of salt and sweetener in the mix also. Once you have it all processed into a consistency like flour, you’re ready to make your waffles! You simply use about 1/3 C. of mix to a scant 1/2 C. of water for each waffle, let it thicken for a few minutes while your waffle iron heats up, then cook it. For a sweeter waffle, you can add a bit more sweetener to the batter, vanilla or cinnamon; or for waffles and gravy, leave them as is.
It will be best to keep the ground-up mixture in the freezer to keep it fresh‑‑but it might not last long enough for that to matter!
A healthy plant-based waffle mix to make ahead for waffles your way--in a jiffy!
This whole grain mix is free of gluten, oil, dairy, and eggs.
- 2 C. quick oats (gluten free if desired)
- 1/2 C. whole grain millet (may also use cornmeal)
- 1/2 C. flaxseed, finely ground OR 2/3 C. of Premium Gold cold milled flaxseed (I get mine from Costco)
- 1 t. salt
- 2 T. date sugar, sucanat, or other type of "good" sugar (Needed to help the waffles brown)
- 2/3 C. blanched almond flour, finely ground
In a high-speed blender, process oats, millet, flaxseed, salt, and sugar until very fine, like flour. (You may need to work with it a bit or blend half at a time if your blender isn't powerful enough.)
Dump blended ingredients into a large bowl and mix in almond flour until the mixture is uniform.
For each waffle, whisk 1/3 C. of mix with a scant 1/2 C. of water and let stand for a few minutes to thicken. (The mixture will appear to be far too watery at first, but it will thicken considerably as the water is absorbed into the dry ingredients.)
For people who like sweeter waffles, try adding some liquid stevia, a few drops of vanilla, or some cinnamon.
Pour batter into a preheated nonstick waffle iron and cook until the waffle stops steaming before peeking at it. This will likely take considerably longer than traditional white flour/egg/oil waffles, so ignore your waffle iron's green light! Let them cook all the way through, and they should come out clean, with no mess. It can take 4-7 minutes, or even longer. (Do a dance. Read something. Tidy up the kitchen.)
1/2 C. of raw cashews may be substituted for the almond flour, blending them in with the oats and millet in the first step. It will take a lot of blending/stirring to the bottom/blending some more to get it very fine, but it works if you're patient.
For those with nut allergies, you may also use hemp hearts in place of the nuts. You can taste the hemp heart flavor in the waffles, but they're so good--and good for you!