Monday, January 7, 2013

Real Food, Real Easy: 100% Whole Wheat Waffles

So, with the new year comes a renewed commitment (for most of us) to do better, health-wise. A simple easy start is to make sure that you are eating breakfast everyday! In our busy lives, I know it can be difficult to make good choices-- when you are short on time, do you skip a meal or pick up something in the drive through? Neither is a great option.  Knowing that I'm always pushed for time, instead of making things everyday, I make up a big batch of food on the weekend (usually Sundays). Then I freeze or refrigerate the leftovers and I've got a healthy grab and go breakfasts ready anytime!

This recipe is a great substitute for prepackaged frozen waffles. A few minutes at the waffle-maker and you'll have a week (or more!) worth of ready-to-go WHOLE WHEAT waffles. Plus the base recipe is a wonderful blank canvas for add ins. My favorite stir-in is chocolate chips but you can also up the flavor (and nutrients!) with any kind of fruit -- think blueberries, sliced bananas or strawberries. If you are in a real rush, consider topping the waffle with cream cheese or peanut butter for a less messy, eat-on-the-run meal.(plus it'll get you a nice bit of protein as well!)

Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Waffles
makes approx. 20 waffles (if 1/4 cup batter used)

3 cups whole wheat flour (I like white whole wheat by King Arthur or Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs baking powder
2-2 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil (use refined to reduce "coconut" flavor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Optional add-ins:
1 cup- chocolate chips OR blueberries  OR sliced bananas OR sliced strawberries

1) Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
2) Add liquid ingredients and stir until well mixed-- start with 2 cups of milk. Add more until batter is pourable-- it shouldn't be either runny or pasty. Stir in optional add-ins, if including.
3) Heat up waffle iron. Butter or oil compartments as necessary.
4) Spoon or scoop approximately 1/4 cup of batter into center of each waffle compartment. If you have a smaller waffle-maker, this should fill it up. If you have a GIANT belgian waffle-maker like mine, you'll see that my waffles aren't quite filled up. This is okay because one, full-size waffle was TOO big!

5) Cook until LIGHTLY browned and set. This is probably less done than you'd want if you are eating them out of the cooker-- you are deliberately slightly undercooking to ensure that they don't get too dark when you run them through the toaster to reheat!
6) Remove waffles and set aside to cool completely.

7) Package in gallon size zip bag or other airtight container and freeze.

To Reheat: Take waffle directly from freezer to toaster. Cook on normal toast setting (with defrost, if available). Top with butter, syrup, jam, diced fruit, cream cheese, peanut butter or anything else I've missed!

We typically alternate waffles with some of the whole wheat muffins I've made (and keep in the freezer as well). I've also taken to experimenting with whole wheat bagel making. With a constantly changing flavors and types of whole wheat pre-baked breakfasts, the family doesn't get bored of one thing or option. Plus I love knowing that no matter how hurried I get, there is always something I can grab that isn't full of empty calories or tastes like cardboard!

 As always, feel free to comment below and let me know what you think of the recipe or how it worked for you!

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