Start your weekend with whole-wheat waffles

This month, we have settled into a comfortable weekend morning routine. Mr. Second Helpings and the Little Helping wake up and work together on preparing coffee and smoothies. I indulge in a few additional minutes of head-on-pillow time before following them into the kitchen to make pancakes or waffles. There was no discussion leading to this arrangement, it just came about naturally.

In general, I like eating more carbs early in the day and weekends are a great time indulge this inclination. Beyond the blood sugar boost, there is a remarkable comfort in our smoothie and waffle routine. After breakfast our weekends are often filled with chores, projects, errands and socializing; these breakfasts provide a nice cozy transition into all that.

Breakfasts, like these, also remind me of my childhood weekends. Every few weeks my dad would pull out the big mixing bowl and begin scouring the cupboards for secret ingredients to add to his favorite basic waffle batter. My sister and I came to expect the little twinkle in his eyes as he challenged us to identify the modifications of the day. The secrets were often spices, packets of instant oatmeal, bits of fruit or a few scoops of a specialty baking mix that would now need to be modified in order to become the cornbread or muffins displayed on the label. I relished those mystery waffles. When I began cooking I incorporated Dad’s little-of-this and little-of-that methodology into my own creations.

The recipe below is a perfect example of using a basic batter as a platform then adding a few extras to boost the flavor and heartiness of the finished waffles. On its own, this whole-wheat waffle recipe from 100 Days of Real Food makes a fine breakfast. After I added more spice and stirred in wheat bran and flax seed, these waffles became a meal that sticks with us all morning. Not only is the flavor and texture of these waffles more substantial, but the additional ingredients increase the fiber and protein. Boosting these nutritional components turns each waffle into the pastry version of a slow-release energy capsule.

Our busy weekends are sure to continue through the summer and, as often as possible, our breakfast routine will too. Next time you are staring down at an activity-filled weekend, consider easing into that to-do list with a cozy breakfast that will keep you full through your busy morning.

Whole Wheat Weekend Waffles

Nothing says ‘hello weekend’ like a breakfast of hot coffee, fresh fruit and hearty waffles. Serve these drizzled with a touch of honey or maple syrup. Complete the meal with a side of fresh fruit or apple sauce and some plain yogurt. Of course, there is no rule that says you have to wait for the weekend to enjoy these whole grain goodies.

Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time 4 – 5 minutes per waffle; Yield 10 (7 inch) waffles

Ingredients

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 cup flax seeds

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups milk (low fat recommended)

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons oil, neutral flavored like canola, coconut, or grape seed

1 tablespoon honey

Method

1. In a medium bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, wheat bran, flax seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt).

2. In a larger bowl whisk together the liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, oil, and honey).

3. Gently mix half of the dry ingredients into the liquid until they are a uniform texture, then mix the remaining dry ingredients into the batter.

4. Let the batter rest while the waffle iron heats to medium high. Once the waffle iron is heated pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the center of the iron and cook according to the waffle iron instructions (until golden and slightly crisp). Keep the finished waffles warm while repeating the process until the batter is gone.

Store any remaining waffles wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven at about 300 degrees until warm through.

Approximate Nutrition per waffle: 150 calories, 6 g. fat, 19 g. carbohydrate, 4.5 g. fiber, 6.3 g. protein, PP = 4

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