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.
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?
Honey-Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Pears, makes 3
Recipe Updated: 10/25/22
3 Tbs. ground flax, separated
3 Tbs. warm water
1 cup non-dairy 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
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. (untoasted) sesame oil, melted + additional for the waffle iron
1 pear, chopped into a large dice
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/16 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and black pepper
pinch of ground cloves
unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, optional
pomegranate molasses, if you’d like an extra fancy drizzle of sweetness atop
- 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.
- In a large bowl, stir the remaining dry ingredients together.
- Combine the 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.
- Stir the batter lightly. Depending on the day and air moisture, a little extra liquid may need to be added.
- Brush the waffle iron with a small amount of additional sesame 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.
- Remove from the iron, and plate up, along with a spoonful or two of yogurt and a pile of spiced pears.
- 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.
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.