Saturday, January 14, 2012

Multigrain Oat Waffles

You know who loves breakfast? I do.
You know who else loves breakfast? My kids.

Sometimes I have to take advantage of the kids and their love of pancakes and waffles. I use it as an opportunity to get them to branch out. I find that often my kids will devour breakfast and then pick and snack the rest of the day, so it's a good time to get something nutritious in them.

Ages ago, when I was a teenager learning the basics of cooking, I happened across a British recipe for oat waffles. They were good, but a bit more work than I was willing put out as a 14 year-old.


About Thanksgiving, I ran into that recipe again. I hadn't seen it in years. I made it a few times with some changes. I tried using quick oats instead of slow-cooking oats and swapped out the buttermilk for regular milk. They were better. On a lark, I threw in some ground flax and wheat germ. It was so good.

These waffles are filling. The texture is really light with a crisp edge and they are a little chewy from the oats. I know some really healthy multigrain foods are gritty and full of oat husks. (Yuck) If you're just trying to venture into healtier foods, I think you will like this. You can control the waffle batter. You can add or omit ingredients. Remember that.

Ingredients
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick oats are OK too)
1 1/4 cups water
3 Tablespoons salted butter, diced
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated (white) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons ground flax seed meal
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
fruit preserves or syrup

Method

1. In a medium saucepan, combine oats with the water. Bring to a simmer and cook while stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Let this cool a bit before using in step 3.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix in the wheat germ and flax seed meal. If you don't like the added healthiness or flavor of the wheat germ and flax meal, you can leave them out.  I really don't notice it since the oatmeal already provides a lot of texture.


3. In another bowl or large measuring cup, beat eggs, vanilla, and milk. Stir cooled oats into the egg mixture. Adding the oats when they are too hot will curdle the eggs. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. 


4. Preheat standard waffle iron. Cook until you reach your desired level of golden brown toastiness or according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Use about 2/3 cup of mix for an 8 inch waffle. I like to spread it with a spatula to make sure the batter fills all crevices.


Please note, if you have a Belgian waffle iron, these waffles won't work in it.  The grid depth is way too deep for these to rise up right. I know from experience.

5. Serve with butter, fruit preserves or specialty syrup. I recently picked up some white fig preserves at Whole Foods and it was great together. Maple syrup and butter is always a hit with the kids.


Note: These freeze well. I like being able to grab a box of homemade waffles from the freezer on busy mornings. I will take them to daycare for the kids. I feel better knowing what went into my kids tummies. I think sometimes we make other kids jealous. I like to look at what other kids are eating. Fast food breakfast shows up a lot there.