I am the world’s worst pancake flipper, even though I make them several times a week! Enter the waffle. Waffles may be a little more work up front, but these nutritious ones freeze really well. Reheat them for a delicious breakfast later in the week.
If you’re just starting to explore eating more “real foods” these waffles are a great way to start including more healthful choices in your cooking. I found this recipe a few years ago somewhere on the web, and have modified it to include more “traditional food” ingredients for your health. So, get your waffle iron out!
Really Good Waffles
3 large pastured eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons organic evaporated cane sugar ( Sucanat or rapadura would be even better.)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I omit the salt, since my Kerrygold butter is quite salty)
In a large bowl, beat eggs for several minutes, until thick. Melt the butter while the eggs are being beaten. Then add the milk, vanilla and most of the melted butter to the eggs. (Save a little butter for greasing the waffle iron.) Beat egg mixture for two more minutes. Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the egg mixture. Beat for an additional two minutes. If you’d like your batter thinner, you can add a little more milk.
Brush melted butter on your hot waffle iron. Ladle some batter into the middle of your iron and cook waffles until brown and crispy.
Enjoy with real maple syrup!
I could easily write one or more blog posts about each of the ingredients in these waffles. For now I’ll just touch on some of the basic points:
Sugar is bad for you. Unfortunately, I love sugar. It’s a constant battle to stop consuming so much of something that I crave! Therein lies the rub. Sugar is incredibly addictive. From time to time I “go off” sugar and get to the point where I don’t crave it anymore.
Unrefined sweeteners aren’t quite as bad for you as the little white crystals that we normally find in everything from cookies to spaghetti sauce. The problem with refined table sugar (sucrose) is that it is so far away from the plant that produced it (sugar cane or sugar beet) that it has none of the original nutrients left. Without the nutrients from the plant, the refined sugar actually robs your body of its nutrients in order to be digested.
Alternative, natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, evaporated cane sugar, rapadura and sucanat all still contain some of the vitamins and minerals needed to help your body digest them. Remember that they will still raise your blood sugar, so don’t go overboard.
2) Pastured Eggs
Pastured eggs rock! Pastured eggs are from chickens that are allowed to roam freely outside, eating whatever they please. In real life chickens are not exclusively vegetarian. They love insects, grubs and worms as well as greens and grains. Have you ever seen the yolk of a pastured egg? It’s a beautiful dark yellow/orange color, indicating that those were happy chickens!
Pastured eggs also pack much more of a punch nutritionally. See this article from Mother Earth News about the health benefits of real eggs.
Try to stay away from the mass-produced eggs found in most supermarkets, even the ones that claim they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These chickens may have been feed inferior sources of omega-3’s, like ALA, rather than DHA or EPA. Besides, pastured eggs naturally have a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio than the eggs we find at the store:
Pastured eggs are dramatically richer in omega-3 fats, which prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in pastured eggs is ideal (about 1:1), while an indoor egg has almost twenty times more omega-6 than omega-3 fats.¹
3) Sprouted Wheat Flour
Okay, there is no way I have time to sprout my own wheat, dry it and grind it into flour. Instead, I buy it here.
Why bother to use sprouted flour in the first place? Sprouted wheat is much more easily digested than wheat that has not been soaked, grown into sprouts and made into flour. Sprouting the wheat also gets rid of the nasty phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in unsoaked wheat berries. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that will make it hard for you to absorb the calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc in the wheat.²
I find that sprouted wheat has a very nice flavor and bakes well in many recipes. I don’t make pie crusts out of it, but it’s great in waffles and hearty pancakes!
4) Butter and Whole Milk
Yum. Butter contains a high amount of saturated fat. Butterfat is what makes full-fat milk “whole.” It took me a long time to get over feeling like every time I ate butter, cream, or cheese that I was clogging my arteries. In reality, there in no good science to support the theory that eating saturated fat is bad for your heart.
In fact, there are some good reasons to eat butterfat, especially when it comes from cows that have been grazing on fresh, green grass. From Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon:
- Butter from grass-fed cows is high in vitamins A and D. As a bonus, it comes prepackaged with the fat needed to absorb these essential fat-soluble vitamins!
…the value of vitamins A and D is indisputable with respect to growth, healthy bones, proper development of the brain and nervous system, and normal sexual development. Many studies have shown the importance of butterfat for reproduction; substitutes based on vegetable oils have led to infertility. As butter consumption in America has declined, sterility rates have increased.³
- Butter from cows that eat grass contains the correct balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.
- Eating butter instead of margarine just might save your heart. Margarine has been linked to heart disease and cancer.
This blog post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.
1) Planck Nina. Real Food: What to Eat and Why. New York: Bloomsbury, USA, 2006.
2) Fallon, Sally and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. Nourishing Traditions. Washington: New Trend Publishing, Inc. 2001.
3) Enig, Mary, and Sally Fallon. Eat Fat, Lose Fat. New York: Hudson Street Press, 2005.