Grab that waffle iron and bring your appetite! NICBC’s Michelle Severs serves up a nutritious twist to a Saturday morning staple, without sacrificing taste!
On Saturday mornings, my family and I broke our daily breakfast routine of toast or cereal with waffles. Instead of rushing off to school or work, we grabbed the waffle iron and made these crispy treats. We almost looked forward to eating the waffles more than the weekend itself.
As I became interested in nutrition, I realized that my favorite childhood waffle recipe was a dessert disguised as breakfast. With an entire stick of butter, a full cup of buttermilk, and ½ of a cup of sugar, these waffles are sure to spike blood glucose and triglyceride levels. After doing some investigating with the Condé Nast’s SELF Nutrition Data website, I learned that each waffle has approximately five grams of saturated fat and ten grams of sugar. It is like eating a large chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. And that doesn’t even count the syrup we drizzle on top.
Though these numbers frightened me, I wasn’t willing to give up my beloved waffles yet. My mom and I began to modify the recipe to decrease the fat and sugar content without sacrificing flavor or texture. We’d conduct little experiments, making small tradeoffs that wouldn’t compromise taste. After a few rounds of producing chewy waffles, we found the perfect ratio of ingredients that simultaneously cut the sugar and fat content in half. Not only did we enjoy finding the recipe we liked, but we also embraced the challenge of mastering our craft as amateur waffle makers. The new waffles are less dense, but still contain the same savory taste with half the amount of fat.
Now I welcome you to try the recipe for yourself. In terms of the dry ingredients, we minimized sugar from ½ cup to ¼ cup. To improve nutrient content, we added flaxseed to the recipe. Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. It also provides a subtle nutty taste, which creates a new flavor profile that isn’t in the original recipe. All other dry ingredients and their measurements remain the same as the original recipe.
For the wet ingredients, we swapped out buttermilk for low fat milk (either 1% or 2% will do) to decrease the saturated fat content. We also wanted to integrate more oils from plants, which typically contain less saturated fat. The butter-vegetable oil mixture has less saturated fat but still contains the savory flavor that the butter provides. To create the mixture, we melted ¼ cup of butter and combined with the vegetable oil, then added it to the other wet ingredients.
Finally, we poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. It’s important to mix the ingredients with a spoon until they are thoroughly blended, which should only take about 1 minute. In order to have waffles with a soft, fluffy texture, refrain from over mixing. Mixing the batter too much will incorporate air, which makes the texture less spongy. Once well-mixed, we poured the batter onto a waffle iron and cooked it for roughly five to seven minutes, or until the waffle slid off the griddle easily. The fat in the batter prevented the waffle from sticking to the iron.
If you are looking for syrup alternatives, try making a fruit compote. It’s a great way to increase the nutritive value of your breakfast and provide a little moisture to offset the dryness of the waffles. Waffles make a great base for any kind of fruit. What works for me are blueberries and blackberries, but you can get creative with other fruit toppings like bananas, raspberries, or apples.
Saturday Morning Waffles
A nutritious twist to a Saturday morning staple, without sacrificing taste!
- Wet Ingredients
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 cup plain low fat yogurt
- 1 or 2 teaspoons vanilla Dry Ingredients
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/3 cup flax seed Optional Fruit Compote
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ cup blueberries
- 2 Tbs. honey
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Use whisk to evenly blend all dry ingredients.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs with whisk. Whisk in low fat milk, low fat yogurt, and vanilla until well-blended. Melt the butter, then combine with vegetable oil. Whisk in melted butter/vegetable oil mixture.
- Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix gently with wooden spoon until all ingredients are evenly combined into a loose batter.
- Pour onto waffle griddle and cook until golden and crispy (about 5-7 minutes at 350F).
- Optional Fruit Compote: Chop up blackberries and blueberries. In a small saucepan, cook blackberries and blueberries over low heat. Add the honey. Let the mixture come to a gentle bubble, then serve over the waffles.
Michelle Severs is a first-year Master’s student at the Friedman School, where she studies Nutrition Interventions, Communication, and Behavior Change. She also aspires to become a Registered Dietitian. When not camped out in the library, she enjoys hiking in the great outdoors, drawing her surroundings, and spending time with family and friends.