Honey-Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Pears

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I woke up at 4:30 again this morning with a head full of words needing to come out. I proceeded to write solidly for over two hours before walking away, thinking all I had written needed to be shared.

Given the heaviness of what I’ve already shared in this space these last few days, weeks, and months, and the miraculous way that my lightness of being directly correlates with letting heavy thoughts go, those words may make their way into this space yet.

 

For now, I’d like to just settle my mind down and get cozy with high-vibe breakfast things, like waffles. And then, try to take a nap.

 

The Recipe Redux this month is all about breaking out of breakfast boredom and these waffles are one of the ways I’ve been doing that lately. Like a lot of people, I go through phases with breakfast meals, and the current one, hot porridge, has been going steady for four+ years.

But for the last month I’ve been revisiting my favorite waffles most Monday mornings. I generally have nothing planned for Mondays except to fill my brain with scientific literature and APA formatting for eight solid hours, as I’ve got the day off from work and it’s full of school instead. I’ve found that eating these is a great way to start the week.

The recipe for these waffles was a work in progress for about a year and a half after gluten and dairy were removed from my diet, and though I made a lot of different flavor combinations throughout my year teaching (comfort food after a stressful day, I suppose), these are the ones that became my go-to once that phase ended. I like them because the amaranth flour lends an earthy flavor, they’re almost entirely whole-grain, and they have just enough sweetness to need no extra sugar poured on top. All of this is my sort of thing because half the time waffles are more of a dinner item and I don’t like the idea of sugar and starch for my evening meal. I also can’t handle sugar for breakfast, so there’s that as well.

 

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If you haven’t tried amaranth before, it is technically a tiny-seed pseudograin, like quinoa. In fact, the two are related botanically and share many characteristics. Historically, amaranth was very important to the ancient Aztecs. Nutritionally, it is one of the highest-quality grains to add to your diet and is especially useful for individuals who do a lot of physical work, athletes, infants, children, and pregnant and nursing women. I like it because it is a good source of calcium and an excellent source of iron, and has more protein than most other grains. Even though its nutritional effects are minimal in these waffles, adding more amaranth to meals cannot hurt. Flavor-wise, I find that amaranth goes particularly well with autumn and winter fruits, like pears, and I prefer that combination over anything savory I’ve tried.

This recipe is inspired by Kim Boyce’s Honey-Amaranth Waffles in Good to the Grain, but is now so far removed that I can’t say they’re anything like her original. If you have no reason to avoid gluten, use whole-wheat pastry flour in place of the gluten-free, and if using your own gluten-free flour mixture, keep in mind that mine is 70 percent whole-grain by weight and has 10 percent buckwheat flour, which is another stronger flavor.

 

How do you break up the breakfast boredom?

 

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Honey-Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Pears, makes 3 

3 Tbs. ground flax, separated

3 Tbs. warm water

1 cup nut/seed milk

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. amaranth flour

1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. coconut oil, melted + additional for the waffle iron

 

To Finish:

1 pear, chopped into a large dice

1/4 cup water

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/16 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper

pinch of ground cloves

unsweetened coconut yogurt, optional

pomegranate molasses, if you’d like an extra fancy drizzle of sweetness atop

 

Directions:

  1. Turn the waffle iron to a medium-high setting. In a small dish, whisk 1 Tbs. ground flax with the 3 Tbs. water. Set aside to form a thick slurry. In a liquid measuring cup, stir the milk together with the vinegar, and allow to curdle slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the remaining dry ingredients together.
  3. Combine the coconut oil and honey, and then add them to the milk along with the flax slurry. Whisk the liquids briefly to make sure they’re uniform, and then pour them atop the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir the batter lightly. Depending on the day and air moisture, a little extra liquid may need to be added.
  5. Brush the waffle iron with a small amount of coconut oil, and then ladle 3/4 cup of batter onto the iron. Cook until the indicator light tells you it’s done, or a quick peek shows a golden-brown color.
  6. Remove from the iron, and plate up, along with a spoonful or two of yogurt and a pile of spiced pears.
  7. For the pears: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the diced pears, water, and spices. Once they begin to really cook, turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook until they are soft and beginning to be a little syrupy. This can all happen while waiting for those waffles to cook.

 

 

References:

Boyce, B. (2010). Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours. New York, NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

 

 

 

Carrot Orange Corn-Flour Waffles

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“The heart decides, and what it decides is all that really matters.” – Paulo Coelho

As a teenager, suffering through the angst of star-crossed infatuations, I ran. Though not a runner then, not adept at sports, without the proper shoes, I’d run the dirt paths behind the horse pasture, round the fields of corn and alfalfa, dodging animal tracks and farmers.  I’d often run away my worries, my frustrations, replacing them with a colorful imagination of the reality I wanted to exist.  In college, I learned from my phys ed prof, dubbed “Lance” by the farm boys in my class, that it takes five years to make a habit a lifestyle. Seven years later, I’m still running.  Running away my worries.  Running away my frustrations, gaining a better perspective, creating a new reality.

This last few months, running has been my guidebook.  Hours away from W for weeks at a time, too often feeling like an island of one, I’ve ran and made waffles.  And been humbled.  I have done things I didn’t think I could. I have stumbled and cried, been disrespected in small, countless ways, been left speechless. Hit roadblocks.  I have laughed uncontrollably.  I have pushed and stirred, over-analyzed, lost sleep, pulled a zillion gray hairs, and gone a bit mental.

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I’ve been encouraged and let down. Too often, of my own subconscious volition, I stood at the edge of a circle looking in. Wanting to both jump towards acceptance and run towards a calling I cannot explain.  Hours, weeks, months convincing myself to feel something that my heart long ago gave up.  Getting close to the end, I worry again.  I had a standard; did I uphold it?  Did I demand all that I should have?  Did I reach those that needed to be reached?  Was there real progress made?

At the end of the day when I’m less frustrated, when my run is complete, and those waffles have been devoured, I reach for a broader perspective.  In a tough position, I am making the most of it.  I could do more. But my heart has decided, and what it decides…is all that really matters.

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Carrot and Corn-Flour Waffles, adapted from Good to the Grain
Dry Mix:
3/4 cup corn flour
3/4 cup gf flour mix, or all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. ground flaxseed
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 Tbs ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
 
Wet Mix:
1 cup carrot-orange juice
3 oz. almond milk, plus more if needed
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
zest of half an orange
1 egg
  • Turn the waffle iron on high.  Adjust as needed as cooking progresses.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Whisk the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.
  • Brush the waffle iron, as needed, with additional oil.  Ladle out batter and cook until fluffy and done.
  • If available, top with freshly picked strawberries, and savor over a cozy spring meal.

Sourdough Waffles topped with Molasses, Pomegranate and Orange Slices

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It’s been months.  My quest for the “just right” gluten-free sourdough waffle recipe is over.  I’ve attempted getting this right so many times I’ve lost track.  Now, not far from where it began, I’ll share.

For whatever reason, I can’t make gluten-free waffles with eggs turn out.  Weird, I think, because that is what makes normal waffles so good.  Neither are there milk products or substitutes of any kind.  They didn’t work to my satisfaction either.  The best part about this recipe is that if you’re not eating gluten-free, you can still make this without a great deal of modification.  So here we have it- super simple if you’re inclined to utilize your sourdough culture.

I find the absolutely best topping right now is a thin smear of apricot jam, a light twirl of molasses and a heaping of satsuma or mandarin oranges and pomegranate seeds.  Weekend perfect.  Enjoy.

Simple Sourdough Waffles, adapted from Alaska Sourdough
1 cup sourdough starter
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. ground flax seed
2 Tbs. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • In a small dish, mix warm water and flax seed.  Stir to mix and allow to sit for a few minutes to thicken up.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, spoon sourdough starter, sugar, oil, salt, and flax mixture.
  • In another small dish, mix baking soda a enough warm water to dilute.  Gently stir soda mixture and dump into the rest.  Stir slowly until all mixed up and use immediately on a hot waffle iron.