Recipe Makeover: Waffles

website waffles

“But I was good all week; I went to school!”

My two daughters love school — my oldest because she’s academically inclined; my middle child because she’s socially inclined. My son, however, believes school was designed by adults who want to torture little boys. His current goal is to grow up to become President of the United States for the sole purpose of changing the laws which mandate that children need to attend school.

Still, I laughed this morning when he asked if I would make waffles for special breakfast, and his reason for why I should was because he had been good by going to school all week. What he thought he might have been able to do otherwise, I do not know….

To be honest, though, I hadn’t been inclined to make waffles because we had always used a lovely recipe from my mother-in-law which now I can’t use due to my new wheat sensitivity and dairy allergy. So, I had been making a lot of French toast and pancakes and frittatas instead for our special Saturday breakfasts. However, I bit the bullet this morning and decided to attempt a recipe makeover and see what happened.

What happened was that the waffles came out delightfully delicious and perfect with no inkling that they weren’t the same waffles from my mother-in-law’s recipe, so I’m going to share the makeover this morning in case anyone else has a son wanting waffles to eat.

Original Waffle Recipe:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup wheat germ, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 2 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 2 eggs.

The Makeover:

1. Flour: I had loved this recipe because it called for 100% whole wheat flour which is more nutritionally dense than white flour. To make it gluten free, though, required making some choices. I could use a more nutritionally dense flour like garbanzo bean and gluten free oat flours which are usually my flours of choice, but waffles really require a lighter, finer flour if you want them to come out light and airy, so I chose instead to use a brown and sweet rice flour blend from Authentic Foods instead.

2. Wheat germ: Because wheat germ has added nutritional benefits I didn’t really want to simply replace this part of the recipe with more flour. So, instead, I opted to replace it with golden ground flax seed which is a great addition for those omega-3’s and has a similar texture and consistency to wheat germ.

3. Sugar: Since I rarely use refined white sugar, I decided to use 1 tbsp of Agave in place of the sugar.

4. Baking powder and salt: Since baking powder has sodium in it, I reduced the amount of salt to 1/4 tsp and added 1 tsp of cinnamon for some flavoring.

5. Milk: Because of my dairy allergy, I decided to experiment with both soy milk and flax milk, since we usually make a double batch so the kids can toast up waffles during the week before school. The soy milk has the advantage of adding protein to the waffles. The flax milk would provide another alternative since I’m always watching how much soy I use in case my body decides to add yet a fourth allergy or sensitivity onto my plate. Both versions came out perfectly, so I would imagine that folks could experiment with almond or coconut milk, too. Rice milk is always an option, as well, but remember that it’s much thinner than all the other milks so sometimes it needs the addition of a tbsp of flour or arrowroot to thicken it.

Because I was concerned about getting the right thickness for the waffle batter and about how well the gluten free version would rise, I also decided to borrow a technique I use for pancakes and make a “buttermilk”. So, I added 2 tbsp of lemon juice to the 2 cups of “milk” and let it sit for a couple of minutes after stirring. This added acid to the batter which created a “just right” batter texture and perfectly risen waffles.

6. Vegetable Oil: So, nowadays you can google oils and find all sorts of reports saying that even the ones which were touted as good like safflower are bad. It’s difficult to know what to believe anymore. The truth is moderation in all things is always the key. Since the one thing which hasn’t changed — ever — is that people continue to tout the benefits of olive oil, I decided I’d use a blend for the waffles. Using olive oil alone would considerably alter the taste of the waffles s I used a blend of olive, canola and grapeseed which I purchase at BJs and keep in the house.

7. Eggs: Since no one has an egg allergy (currently!), and neither my husband nor I have cholesterol issues, I opted to just keep the eggs as is, and this recipe is marvelous because you just whisk the eggs in with the batter without having to separate the yolks from the whites and whip the whites, which takes so much more time to do. If someone does have to watch cholesterol and opts for using four egg whites instead of the two eggs, I would encourage you to then whip the egg whites and fold them into the rest of the mixed up batter.

8. Additions: Since I was creating a new waffle recipe, I decided it would be nice to try to jazz them up a little bit, so after whisking the batter, I gently folded in one cup of frozen mini wild blueberries. Not only did this make the cooked waffles pretty but it added a very nice taste to them.

Gluten and Dairy Free Waffles


1 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend

1 cup golden ground flax seed

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups “milk” (soy and flax work well)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup plant-based oil blend

1 tbsp Agave

2 eggs

1 cup frozen mini wild blueberries

Cooking Instructions:

1. Preheat waffle maker.

2. Whisk together the flour, ground flax seed, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Whisk the lemon juice into the milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the oil, agave and eggs to the milk, and whisk well.

5. Gently fold in the blueberries.

6. Put one cup of the batter into the waffle maker and cook according to the waffle maker’s design. (We have two; and for one, the light goes on when it’s done, but the other the light goes off. It always makes for an interesting morning!)

7. When the waffles are done, if you aren’t going to eat them immediately, put them onto a wire cooling rack so they can cool, and then put them into the fridge in a container. To reheat, simply toast them in the toaster on low.

Note: One recipe made 20 waffles for us with a waffle maker that makes four at a time.




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